Current issue: 53(4)
Earlier studies have shown strokes of lightning as the reason for 42% of forest fires in Finland. The frequency in northern Finland has been three times higher than in more southern parts of the country or 1.5 times higher than in Sweden. Taking the climatic factors into account these figures don’t seem to be accurate.
The study is based on the statistics about thunders in northern Finland and the information on the forest fires. We know that though there has been a lightning it is not always that the lighting strikes on land and lights a fire.
From the statistics it can be seen that the most forest fires that are thought to be kindled by lightning, have occurred in the same time when there has been thunder and lighting. Thunders and strokes of lightning striking to the land are the most common reason for forest fires during the warmest summer in northern Finland. The knowledge that a proceeding thunder storm may kindle several forest fires in a row must be acknowledged when planning the fire fighting resources.
The volume 34 of Acta Forestalia Fennica is a jubileum publication of professor Aimo Kaarlo Cajander.
The writer reports in this discussion article of four stands in Finland that have died due to a bolt of lightning. A death of a group of trees because of lightning has been relatively uncommon for the forest professionals. The trees may not have no lightning marks. The four sites are presented in detail. Characteristic for this type of death of trees is, for instance, that trees have died within a circular area (of usually 30 m of diameter), only conifers have died, trees die from the top down, sometimes marks can be found in trees in the centre of the area, and under the bark may be brown patches or stripes.