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Keyword: Hayman Fire

Fire severity and the “thermophilization” of forest understory plant communities following the Hayman Fire, Colorado

Science Spotlights Posted on: May 13, 2020
Wildfires in dry conifer forests can trigger the “thermophilization” of understory plant communities – a  decrease in the proportion of plants that prefer cool environments and moderate moisture relative to those that prefer warm, dry conditions. We used understory plant community data collected before and after the Hayman Fire to examine relationships between fire severity and thermophilization, and how those relationships varied through time.

Quantifying long-term post-fire sediment delivery and erosion mitigation effectiveness

Publications Posted on: April 02, 2020
Large wildfires can have profound and lasting impacts not only from direct consumption of vegetation but also longerterm effects such as persistent soil erosion. The 2002 Hayman Fire burned in one of the watersheds supplying water to the Denver metropolitan area; thus there was concern regarding hillslope erosion and sedimentation in the reservoirs.

Fire severity and changing composition of forest understory plant communities

Publications Posted on: December 05, 2019
Gradients of fire severity in dry conifer forests can be associated with variation in understory floristic composition. Recent work in dry conifer forests in California, USA, has suggested that more severely burned stands contain more thermophilic taxa (those associated with warmer and drier conditions), and that forest disturbance may therefore accelerate floristic shifts already underway due to climate change.

Severe wildfire has long-term consequences for stream water quality

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 24, 2018
Severe wildfires remove vegetation and organic soil layers and expose watersheds to erosion which can transport large quantities of soil and ash to nearby rivers and streams. But once the burned areas have stabilized, do severe wildfires have any longer-lasting effects on watersheds or water quality? This study follows the Hayman Fire, 2002, Colorado, and shows that yes, there are long-term effects.

Overstory structure and surface cover dynamics in the decade following the Hayman Fire, Colorado

Publications Posted on: March 22, 2018
The 2002 Hayman Fire burned with mixed-severity across a 400-ha dry conifer study site in Colorado, USA, where overstory tree and surface cover attributes had been recently measured on 20 0.1-ha permanent plots. We remeasured these plots repeatedly during the first post-fire decade to examine how the attributes changed through time and whether changes were influenced by fire severity.

Mixed-severity fire fosters heterogeneous spatial patterns of conifer regeneration in a dry conifer forest

Publications Posted on: March 22, 2018
We examined spatial patterns of post-fire regenerating conifers in a Colorado, USA, dry conifer forest 11-12 years following the reintroduction of mixed-severity fire. We mapped and measured all post-fire regenerating conifers, as well as all other post-fire regenerating trees and all residual (i.e., surviving) trees, in three 4-ha plots following the 2002 Hayman Fire.

Stream water quality concerns linger long after the smoke clears - learning from Front Range wildfires

Documents and Media Posted on: April 07, 2017
Large, high-severity wildfires alter the ecological processes that determine how watersheds retain and release nutrients and affect stream water quality. These changes usually abate a few years after a fire, but recent studies indicate they may persist longer than previously expected. Wildfires are a natural disturbance agent, but due to the increased frequency and extent of high-severity wildfires predicted for western North America, it is important to better understand their consequences on surface water. Document Type: Other Documents

Stream water quality after a fire

Projects Posted on: April 07, 2017
Wildland fires in the arid west create a cause for concern for many inhabitants and an area of interest for researchers. Wildfires dramatically change watersheds, yielding floods and debris flows that endanger water supplies, human lives, and valuable fish habitats.

Did the 2002 Hayman Fire, Colorado, USA, burn with uncharacteristic severity?

Publications Posted on: January 05, 2017
There is considerable interest in evaluating whether recent wildfires in dry conifer forests of western North America are burning with uncharacteristic severity - that is, with a severity outside the historical range of variability. In 2002, the Hayman Fire burned an unlogged 3400 ha dry conifer forest landscape in the Colorado Front Range, USA, that had been the subject of previous fire history and forest age structure research.

Was the 2002 Hayman Fire, Colorado, an uncharacteristically severe event?

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 18, 2016
In 2002, the Hayman Fire burned across the unlogged Cheesman Lake landscape, a 3,400 hectare dry-conifer forest landscape in Colorado that had been the subject of previous fire history and forest structure research. We opportunistically leveraged pre-existing fire history and forest structure to provide insight into whether the Hayman Fire burned more severely than historical ones.