Fire Ecology

Jack Pine-Broom Crowberry Barrens.
Bottom right, recently burnt.
Contained in Letter to Mayor & Councillors, 2016
highlighting conservation value of
JP/BC barrens
Click on image for larger version

Fire Scars & Old Trees
HRM, NS & OTHER Fire Links
Surviving a Wildfire while Hiking
Pine Barrens Lit

Also on this website:
JP-Crowberry Barrens & Fire Mgmt
Page under Natural History/Overviews/Ecology Workshop

Towards a combined Conservation/Fire Management Strategy for the Backlands 26Oct2023
Post on this website, Oct 26, 2023. Cites an online presentation on Fires, Conservation and Fire Management in the Halifax Backlands by David Patriquin o Oct 23, 2023, to the NS Wild Flora Society. It can be viewed on YouTube, and the slide deck can be downloaded from

A Rare, Fire-Dependent Pine Barrens at the Wildland-Urban Interface of Halifax, Nova Scotia
Nick Hill and David Patriquin. 2014. A Rare, Fire-Dependent Pine Barrens at the Wildland-Urban Interface of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Annotated Slideshow presentation to the Wildland Fire Canada 2014 Conference, Halifax, N.S. Oct 6-9, 2014. 12 frames.

Pages from WLB report on FireEcology
(4.6 MB File) Extracts from Ecological Assessment of the Plant Communities of the Williams Lake Backlands (Hill & Patriquin, 2014; 30 MB file)

Regeneration of Forest and Barrens after the Spryfield Fire of April 30, 2009
Photo-essay by Richard Beazley and David Patriquin.  On April 30/May 1, 2009, an intense forest fire “cut a swath though Spryfield, Purcell’s Cove and Ferguson’s Cove.” (Chronicle Herald May 2, 2009). This set of photos  illustrates the regeneration of vegetation over the ensuing 16 months.

Species List for the Purcell’s Cove Conservation Lands: 2012 Update
Submitted to Nova Scotia Nature Trust Sep. 14, 2012 by Recorders/Compilers: David Patriquin, Bob McDonald, Burkhard Plache. Inlcudes a list of species with their ocxurrence in sites that burned in 2009 and in sites not burned.

Golden Heather in flower in the Backlands 30Jun2023
And some thoughts about what’s involved in keeping it around
Post June 30, 2023 by David Patriquin. “In my view, If we want to keep the suite of species associated with our JP-Crowberry barrens around and avoid a recurrence of really massive fires (as in 2009), we need to develop a combined Fire Management/Conservation strategy for the Backlands. It would be timely to do so given the new attention to such matters following our worst wildfire year provincially and nationally, not yet over.”

The Biology of Corema conradii: Natural History, Reproduction, and Observations of a Post-fire Seedling Recruitment
Martine et al. 2005 in Northeastern Naturalist 12(3):267-286. PDF

Fire-scarred white pines are a reminder that it’s Fire Season – especially in the Backlands (Halifax, NS) 19May2023
Post May 19, 2023

Recent fire and fire management in the New Jersey Pine Barrens: a model for the Backlands? 12Jul2022
Post, July 12, 2022.

Conceptual ecological models for the Long Island pitch pine barrens: implications for managing rare plant communities
Marilyn J Jordan et al., 2003. In Forest Ecology and Management. PDF

Fire Effects Information System: Species Reviews
These “include information on plant, lichen, and wildlife species’ life history, ecology, and relationship to fire. They are available for more than 1,200 species occurring throughout the United States.” Use search tool on home page to lookup a particular species. Reviews for some fire tolerant trees in Backlands:
Pinus banksiana  (Jack Pine)
Pinus strobus (White Pine)
Pinus resinosa (Red Pine)
Quercus rubra (Red Oak)
and this herb:
Hudsonia ericoides

The Ecological Role of  Fire in Jack Pine Forests
H, CAYFORD AND D.l. McRAE 1983. In The Role of Fire in Circumpolar Ecosystems, edited by David A MacLean; Ross Wallace Wein. International Council of Scientific Unions. Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment. Chichester West Sussex ; New York : Published on behalf of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment of the International Council of Scientific Unions by Wiley , 1983

The forest fires that nature intended
Nick Hill & David Patriquin in the Chronicle Herald, NS Naturally series, Mar 28, 2014 (1 page)

Celebrating broom crowberry
David Patriquin. Article in Atlantic Rhodo, may 2014

Fifty years of wildland fire science in Canada
Sean C.P. Coogan et al., Can. J. For. Res. Vol. 51, 2021. PDF

Modeling fire susceptibility to delineate wildland-urban interface for municipal-scale risk management
Whitman, E., Rapaport, E., and Sherren, K. 2013. Environ Manag 53:1427–1439.
Current and future wildfire risk in the peri-urban acadian Forest region.
Whitman, E. 2013. Master of Environmental Studies thesis, Dalhousie University.
Ellen Whitman and colleagues applied a spatially oriented fire modeling approach to examine “Future Wildfire Risk in the HRM Wildland-Urban Interface Under Climate Change” and “Urban Forests And Hazard Management: Trade-Offs Between Wildfire Risk And Benefits From Trees In The HRM Wildland-Urban Interface” Spryfield and Beaver Bank were used as case study areas.

Exploring the Widlland-Urban Interface in Halifax NS: Mapping the fire risk in the Eastern Chebucto Peninsula Backlands
ESRI Story Map by Sascha Mosky 2021. As a Master of Planning student at Dalhousie University, Sascha examined fire risk in the Eastern Chebucto Peninsula Backlands. Using civic address point data, Sasha created a 4-kilometer buffer around all homes in the backlands. Then, using Ecological Land Classification data, Sasha classified the various ecosystem types found within the backlands according to their relative fire risk. The findings, which showcase the fire risk for homes across the backlands, are displayed in an ESRI Story Map. prepared for Dalhousie University’s Forest Ecology course (taught by Dr. Alana Westwood).