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They support industry which employs 1.3 million people.In fact, forests are still the natural habitats of several species of plants and animals, as well as of several tribal groups of the world.
Some of the fire suppression techniques are to develop three metre wide five lanes around the periphery of the fire, back fires, arrangement of water spray, fire retardant chemicals should be sprayed from back tank and if possible by helicopters.
There must be a trained staff of firefighters to control the fire.
Destruction or loss of forest by fire is fairly common; because trees are highly exposed to fire and once started it becomes difficult to control.
Sometimes, the fire starts by natural process, i.e., by lightning or by friction between trees during speedy winds, while in most cases it is started by man either intentionally or unintentionally.
The sustained yield concept dictates that whenever timber is removed, either by block cutting or by selective cutting, the denuded area must be reforested. Similarly, any forested land which has been destroyed by fire or mining activities should be reforested.
In rugged terrain aerial seeding is the method of choice.Therefore, cutting should be regulated by adopting methods like: (i) Clear cutting, (ii) Selective cutting, and (iii) Shelter wood cutting.The clear cutting method is useful for those areas where the same types of trees are available over a large area.During the colonial period commercial exploitation began and this was the main cause of the depletion of forests.The commercial use of forests nowadays has reached such an extent that it has become a threat to the environment in the form of: (i) Increase in temperature, (ii) Lesser precipitation, (iii) Increased rate of soil erosion, (viii) Imbalance in ecosystem.But, now more than one-third of this area has been robbed by man of its natural protective cover and has been turned into barren land.The history of the exploitation of forests is as old as man himself, but during earlier times it was balanced through a natural growth process because at that time forest cutting was done for personal or community use only.But, the most unfortunate setback came in the form of commercial exploitation, which resulted in mass destruction of forest cover year after year.Originally, over two-fifth of the land area of the earth, exclusive of the Polar Regions, or about 1,200 million hectares was covered with natural forests.According to an estimate, during the period from 1940 to 1950, in the US alone, fires consumed an average of 21.5 million acres of timber yearly and as many as 1,175,664 cases of forest fires occurred during 1955 to 1964 period.Throughout the world, forest fire is common and in most cases they were begun by man. Guthrie, former fire inspector of US Forest Service has written: “To stage a Forest Fire you need only few things – a forest, the right atmospheric conditions, and a spark either from a lightning bolt or a match in the hands of a fool or a knave.