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Keyword: fuel moisture

Pyro-ecophysiology: Shifting the paradigm of live wildland fuel research

Publications Posted on: October 05, 2018
The most destructive wildland fires occur in mixtures of living and dead vegetation, yet very little attention has been given to the fundamental differences between factors that control their flammability. Historically, moisture content has been used to evaluate the relative flammability of live and dead fuels without considering major, unreported differences in the factors that control their variations across seasons and years.

Live fuels and fire behavior research

Projects Posted on: April 03, 2018
Exploring linkages between live wildland fuels, ignition, combustion and potential fire behavior.

Theory of precipitation effects on dead cylindrical fuels

Publications Posted on: July 25, 2017
Numerical and analytical solutions of the Fickian diffusion equation were used to determine the effects of precipitation on dead cylindrical forest fuels. The analytical solution provided a physical framework. The numerical solutions were then used to refine the analytical solution through a similarity argument. The theoretical solutions predicted realistic rates of water exchange and the internal distribution of the water.

Mapping fire regimes in the western United States

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 09, 2015
Forest managers and policymakers are increasingly concerned about potential for increased fire activity and severity in future years. Although many studies have focused on how fire activity is expected to change under future climate scenarios, there have been little to no studies on how fire severity is expected to change. To better under understand how fire severity will change in the future, a necessary first step is to better understand the climatic drivers of contemporary fire severity patterns.

Fuel moisture - a guide for evaluating severity of fire seasons

Publications Posted on: August 14, 2015
Field personnel in all forest fire protection agencies need some simple but reasonably accurate method for evaluating severity of the fire season as it progresses and of comparing severity of the current season with that of preceding fire seasons. This paper proposes use of records of average fuel moisture percentages cumulated continuously for 5-day periods throughout successive fire seasons.

Differences in fire danger with altitude, aspect, and time of day

Publications Posted on: August 13, 2015
The measurement of fire danger has progressed remarkably since the early days of measuring humidity alone, or humidity and wind, or humidity, wind, and rain at a few valley bottom stations scattered widely apart over a forest of a million acres or more. Measuring the moisture content of the fuels directly is now known to be more accurate than measuring humidity and rain and then estimating the fuel moisture and inflammability.

Physiological drivers of the ‘spring dip’ in red pine and jack pine foliar moisture content and its relationship to crown fire in the Great Lakes

Projects Posted on: March 27, 2015
For decades, the cause and timing of a 'spring dip' in foliar moisture content in red and jack pine in the Great Lakes region have been poorly understood. This project studies the drivers of this 'dip' in order to improve wildland firefighter preparedness.

Simulated western spruce budworm defoliation reduces torching and crowning potential: A sensitivity analysis using a physics-based fire model

Publications Posted on: October 07, 2014
The widespread, native defoliator western spruce budworm (Choristoneura occidentalis Freeman) reduces canopy fuels, which might affect the potential for surface fires to torch (ignite the crowns of individual trees) or crown (spread between tree crowns). However, the effects of defoliation on fire behaviour are poorly understood.

Fire activity and severity in the western US vary along proxy gradients representing fuel amount and fuel moisture

Publications Posted on: September 19, 2014
Numerous theoretical and empirical studies have shown that wildfire activity (e.g., area burned) at regional to global scales may be limited at the extremes of environmental gradients such as productivity or moisture. Fire activity, however, represents only one component of the fire regime, and no studies to date have characterized fire severity along such gradients.


Tools Posted on: August 05, 2014
The BehavePlus fire modeling system is a PC-based computer program that can be used for any fire management application that involves modeling fire behavior and fire effects. The system is composed of a collection of mathematical models that describe fire behavior, fire effects, and the fire environment.