This study collected a field dataset that allowed the determination of uncertainties, biases, and application limits of the consumption equations within Consume 3.0 and the First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM) to wildland fire in the eastern regions (northeast, north-central, southeast) of the United States.
Fuel consumption was measured during prescribed burn operations in southern pine forest and pine scrub fuelbed types in the southeastern United States and mixed hardwoods and pitch pine fuelbed types in the northeastern and north-central United States. The data was used to create a validation dataset and to test current fuel consumption models.
Land managers use fire to maintain and restore ecosystems, reduce fuel loading, expose mineral soil, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce the hazard of wildfire. As understanding of forest ecosystems has increased, forest managers have become more discriminating in their use of prescribed fire and managing wildland fire. Fires are now applied to satisfy land management objectives and benefit forest ecosystems as a whole.
Fuel consumption is a key variable in fire effects modeling and understanding when and how fire should be applied to meet site and landscape objectives, while at the same time reducing air quality impacts. Until recently, much of the considerable research on fuel consumption focused on prescribed burning following logging in forested ecosystems.
Data from all burns were compiled and analyzed. Consumption models were built for fuel categories within the following fuelbed types: black and white spruce/hardwoods, longleaf and loblolly pine, ponderosa pine, grasslands, and sagebrush. Improvements to the software included the following: