, 2010, Kaltenrieder et al., 2010 and Valsecchi et al., 2010). For the first time the high values of the indicators for anthropogenic activity no Trichostatin A chemical structure longer coincided with high fire frequencies ( Conedera and Tinner, 2000). During the Middle Ages the approach to fire by the Alpine population reveals contrasting aspects. As a general rule, fire use was banished from the landscape being a threat to buildings, protection
forests ( Brang et al., 2006), timber plantations and crops, as deducible from the numerous local bylaws dating back to the 13th century ( Conedera and Krebs, 2010). On the other hand, no prohibition or even obligation of pastoral burning in selected common pastures existed in many local communities ( Conedera et al., 2007). Besides a number of bylaws, evidence remaining of the second fire epoch can be found
in the many place names referring to the use of fire to clear brushwood to improve pasture-land or to eliminate trees (Italian brüsada; old French arsis, arsin, arselle; old German swenden and riuten; or present Swiss German schwendi) ( Sereni, 1981 and Conedera et al., 2007), as well as in the historical literature, e.g., Schmitthenner (1923), Schneiter (1970), Sereni (1981), Lutz (2002), Bürgi and Stuber (2003), Goldammer and Bruce (2004), Forni (2011). As a consequence, charcoal influx records slightly increase during the Middle Ages at the majority of sites investigated ( Gobet et al., 2003, ID-8 Blarquez et al., 2010, Kaltenrieder et al., 2010 and Valsecchi et al., 2010). Later, in the 18th and 19th DZNeP molecular weight centuries, the shortage of timber resources, forest privatization and development of the timber industry required increased fire control, and the prohibition of agro-pastoral use of fire (Conedera et al., 2004a and Conedera and Krebs, 2010), similarly to what Pyne (2001) reported for other areas. As a consequence, charcoal influx records decreased in Modern Times reaching
constant lower values in the 20th century in comparison with previous periods, excluding Roman Times (Tinner et al., 1999, Carcaillet et al., 2009, Blarquez et al., 2010, Colombaroli et al., 2010, Kaltenrieder et al., 2010 and Valsecchi et al., 2010). Similarly to other geographical areas, fire control policies have been strengthened during the second half of the 20th century also in the Alps, determining an overall decrease in the area burnt in the Alpine region (Conedera et al., 2004b, Zumbrunnen et al., 2010 and Pezzatti et al., 2013). Fig. 4 shows the decrease in yearly burnt area from the end of the 20th century which characterized most Alpine areas. This is particular evident in sub-regions with the highest burnt area such as Piemonte, Ticino and Friuli Venezia Giulia in Western, Central and Eastern Alps, respectively (Fig. 5). The current fire regime is characterized mainly by autumn-winter and early-spring slope-driven anthropogenic surface fires (Pezzatti et al.