Burning forests – for nature’s best

Controlled burning is one of the most effective nature conservation measures that we can perform. Through fire, we create habitats for species that benefit from the fire or that are dependent on forest fires to be able to survive.

Before humans began to work the forest, it was largely shaped by natural disruptions, mainly fires, and the animals and plants in our forests are adapted to a life in forests with disturbances. Copying these disruptions is therefore important in our work to create forests in which all species can live.


According to the rules of the FSC®, we need to burn a minimum of 5% of the rejuvenation area in terms of dry, healthy land, during a five-year period.

We mainly burn pine forest because these were the types of forests that were often ravaged by fire in the past. If there is spruce in the designated area, we fell that first. The point is that fire kills spruce trees, while pine trees often survive.

Safety first

Safety is the most important aspect when we carry out burning and all work is conducted under highly controlled forms using experienced and knowledgeable personnel. The most important thing is to create effective and clear boundaries for the area to be burned. Preferably, there should be a road, a lake or a river as an outer boundary. In addition, we place water hoses along the entire perimeter of the designated area.

There must be no spruce trees or old, dead birch trees adjacent to the fire. We remove everything that could result in smoldering material crossing the boundary.

Right weather

The ground and weather conditions must be favorable for the burning to be a success. When the ground is warm and dry, burning has a positive effect. The wind conditions must also be right. It is important that the fire does not become too fast and strong, and instead maintains moderate intensity.

Benefiting many species

Forest marked by fire, with dead wood and damaged pines that can become old are a rarity in the forest. Burning benefits species that are dependent on these environments.


One example is hypocenomyce anthracophila, a lichen found on burnt stumps, and another  is Geranium bohemicum, the seeds of which can lie in the ground for up to 100 years and only germinate when they are exposed to the heat after a fire.

Certain soil fungi such as hydnellum also benefit from fire, as does the daldinia loculata fungus, which looks like a black pingpong ball and grows in burned birches. Even various beetles and other insects stream in after a fire to lay eggs in damaged or dead wood. The coal-black jewel beetle can smell a fire from tens of kilometers away. It has heat-sensitive sensors on its abdomen and often arrives at the site of a fire before the fire is completely extinguished.

The three-toed woodpecker likes to peck nesting holes in dead wood and is usually present in the year following forest fires.

Photo: Geranium bohemicum

Bränd tallstam

Old trees and dead wood

Gap-filled forest of all ages