Characteristics of Korean Forest Fires and Forest Fire Policies in the Joseon Dynasty Period (1392–1910) Derived From Historical Records

Kim, D. ORCID: (2019). Characteristics of Korean Forest Fires and Forest Fire Policies in the Joseon Dynasty Period (1392–1910) Derived From Historical Records. Forests 10 (1) e29. 10.3390/f10010029.

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This study examined the records of forest fire outbreaks and characteristics over the 518 years of the Joseon Dynasty period (1392–1910) through the analysis of major historical records of Korea. The historical books used in this study were 14 major national historical books, and include the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty (朝鮮王朝實錄), the Diaries of the Royal Secretariat (承政院日記), and the literature was examined, centering on official records of the royal palace in the Joseon Dynasty period. The contents of forest fires recorded in the historical record literature include the overviews of outbreak, forest fire types, and forest fire damage. According to the results of analysis of historical records, the largest forest fire damage was in the forest fire that occurred on the east coast in 1672, in which 65 persons died and in the forest fire that occurred in the same area in 1804, in which 61 persons died and 2600 private houses were destroyed by fire. The causes of fire outbreak were shown to be unknown causes in 42 cases, accidental fires in 10 cases, arson in 3 cases, thunder strike in 3 cases, hunting activities in 2 cases, child playing with fire in 1 case, cultivating activities in 1 case, and house fire in 1 case. Forest fire outbreaks were analyzed by region and by season and according to the results, 56% (39 cases) of the forest fires broke out on the east coast and 73% (46 cases) broke out in the spring. Forest fire policies include those for general forests, those for reserved forests, those for prohibited forests, those for capital city forests, those for royal family’s graves, royal ancestral shrine, and placenta chamber, those for hunting grounds such as martial art teaching fields, and relief policies for people in areas damaged by forest fires, forest fire policies for national defense facilities such as beacon fire stations, and burning and burning control policies for pest control. In conclusion, due to the seriousness of forest fires in the Joseon Dynasty period, the royal authority and local administrative agencies made various forest fire prevention policies, policies for stabilization of the people’s livelihood damaged due to forest fires, and methods to manage major facilities in forests.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Joseon Dynasty period; historical records; forest fire; forest fire policies; forest fire record; the annals of the Joseon Dynasty
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2019 06:58
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:31

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