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UMD/GFW publishes another proxy for deforestation — tropical primary forest loss — but this doesn’t apply to any secondary forest loss or forest loss outside the tropics. In North America and Russia, industrial timber harvesting is a large driver of deforestation in natural forests. Every few years vast areas of forest, especially in boreal regions, burn due to fires. Many of these result from lightning strikes, while some result from human activities. Amazing baby fox bedding set While there is a natural fire cycle in northern forests, the effects of climate change — including higher temperatures, more severe droughts, and beetle infestations resulting from warmer winters — are making these ecosystems more vulnerable to unusually destructive fires. Deforestation includes the conversion of natural forests into tree plantations, like the clearance of tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia for oil palm and timber plantations. slash-and-burn agriculture, or swidden agriculture . Small-scale farmers clear forests by burning them and then grow crops in the soils fertilized by the ashes. Typically, the land produces for only a few years and then must be abandoned and new patches of forest burned. Fire is also commonly used to clear forests in Southeast Asia, tropical Africa, and the Americas for permanent oil palm plantations.