The study explores use of the Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) System to standardize the process of allocating Management Areas for Fire Suppression Support (MASSs) in Catalonia, Spain. MASSs are defined as those areas in the landscape that change fire behavior, reducing the magnitude of the wildfire, and improve significantly fire suppression effectiveness/capacity. Considerations for allocating MASSs include high likelihood of large fires in the vicinity, potential for spread, proximity of the location to valuable resources at risk, proximity to adequate water supply, accessibility by mechanized means, and fuel management opportunities. The combination of accessibility, water supply and fuel management opportunities, when allocating MAASs, provide the minimum requirements to allow fire suppression actions, while improving effectiveness and safety levels. For these purposes, we combine the newest data available, outputs from fire simulators and expert knowledge to define a problem that could be solved using EMDS within a participatory planning framework. To support the fire suppression mission of the firefighting service in Catalonia, this study uses a combination of strategic and tactical solutions, in which the strategic solution identifies high priority locations within the landscape for fire suppression activities, and tactical solutions identify high priority management activities within specific locations.
British Columbia experienced three years with notably large and severe wildfires since 2015. Multiple stand-replacing wildfires occurred in coastal–transitional forests, where large fires are typically rare, and thus, information on post-fire carbon is lacking. Because of their carbon storage potential, coastal–transitional forests are important in the global carbon cycle. We examined differences in surface fuel carbon among fire severity classes in 2016, one year after the Boulder Creek fire, which burned 6 735 ha of coastal–transitional forests in 2015. Using remotely sensed indices (dNBR), we partitioned the fire area into unburned (control), low-, moderate-, and high-severity classes. Field plots were randomly located in each class. At each plot, surface fuel carbon was quantified by type, namely coarse, small, and fine woody material, duff, and litter, and carbon mass by fuel type was compared among severity classes. Total surface fuel carbon did not differ significantly between burned and unburned plots; however, there was significantly less duff and litter carbon in burned plots. Remotely sensed severity classes did not properly capture wildfire impacts on surface fuels, especially at lower severities. Pre-fire stand characteristics are also important drivers of surface fuel loads.
The mixed severity fire regime of western Oregon forests creates a complex post-fire landscape mosaic with patches of low, moderate and high overstory tree mortality. Conversion of old-growth forests into plantations and post-fire salvage logging are widespread land uses that dramatically affect structure, biomass and carbon stocks. Few studies, however, have quantified the complex responses to wildfire and land management (i.e. logging and post-fire salvage logging) over long time periods. We quantified total aboveground biomass and composition in forest stands following low, moderate, and high severity fires 15 (2002 Apple Fire) and 29 years (1991 Warner Creek Fire) following fire in low elevation, old-growth forests dominated by Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). We also sampled post-fire responses in forest plantations (harvested prior to fire) and salvage-logged sites (harvested after fire) in the same fires. Fire severity had dramatic effects on the partitioning of total aboveground biomass (TAGB). Most of the TAGB in high severity fires was sequestered in dead trees (>43%) and downed wood (>29%) while live trees comprised the largest component of TAGB (>62%) in low severity fires. In spite of differences in overstory mortality, there was no significant difference in the TAGB between the low, moderate and high severity fires 15 years following fire (Apple Fire). Similarly, there was no significant difference between the low and high severity burns 29 years following fire (Warner Creek Fire). Managed forests (salvage and plantations) had significantly lower post-fire aboveground biomass and carbon storage that the natural forests. The TAGB of salvage logged sites was 49% and 42% that of the high severity sites at the Apple Fire and Warner Creek Fire, respectively. The mean TAGB of plantations was lowest of all fire and land use scenarios. At the Warner Creek Fire, TAGB of the plantations were <30% of that of the high severity fire sites (e.g. 326 and 984 Mg ha−1, respectively). This equates to a difference in aboveground carbon in the managed compared to the natural stands of 553 Mg CO2e ha−1 at the Apple Fire and 781 Mg CO2e ha−1 at the Warner Creek Fire. This research highlights the management tradeoffs involving values relating to carbon storage and wood harvest following fires.
In this study we identify pyrolysis gases from prescribed burns conducted in pine forests with a shrub understory captured using a manual extraction device. The device selectively sampled emissions ahead of the flame front, minimizing the collection of oxidized gases, with the captured gases analyzed in the laboratory using infrared (IR) absorption spectroscopy. Results show that emission ratios (ERs) relative to CO for ethene and acetylene were significantly greater than in previous fire studies, suggesting that the sample device was able to collect gases predominantly generated prior to ignition. Further evidence that ignition had not begun was corroborated by novel IR detections of several species, in particular naphthalene. With regards to oxygenated species, several aldehydes (acrolein, furaldehyde, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde) and carboxylic acids (formic, acetic) were all observed; results show that ERs for acetaldehyde were noticeably greater, while ERs for formaldehyde and acetic acid were lower compared to other studies. The acetylene-to-furan ratio also suggests that high-temperature pyrolysis was the dominant process generating the collected gases.