Forest Fire as a Military Weapon
FOREST SERVICE WASHINGTON DC
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In this report, primary research attention has been given to the flammability characteristics of jungle growth in tropical and monsoonal climates where forest fires seldom occur naturally. Major consideration has been given to developing operational guidelines that utilize input data readily available to military commanders under field conditions. The following conclusions are directly pertinent to the JCS request 1 forest flammability depends on the amount of dead vegetation on or near the ground surface, the moisture content of this ground level material, and the weather at the time of burning 2 forest flammability can be greatly increased by killing all shrub vegetation, selecting optimum weather conditions for burning, and igniting fires in a preselected pattern and 3 removal of overhead tree canopy requires the initiation of high intensity crown fires. In many climates, crown fires are unlikely to be achieved by any environmental modification technique. However, significant military damage can be produced by forest fires of lesser intensity.
- Unconventional Warfare