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Fuel PARticle DYnamics (FPARDY)

January, 2016

The research project presented here, labeled FPARDY (Fuel PARticle DYnamics), is one of many new efforts to explore surface fuel characteristics at the particle, layer, and fuelbed levels across major forest ecosystem types in the United States Northern Rocky Mountains (NRM) to develop a set of products that integrate these findings into standard fuel applications. First, we will select stands that are representative of NRM forest vegetation types in composition and structure. We will then measure many fuel properties in situ using a nested sampling design. We will then collect some of the fuels and bring them back to the lab to measure many other physical and chemical characteristics. Once we have the physical and chemical characteristics of the particle, layer and fuelbed as a whole, we will then explore any relationships that can be detected by correlating management-oriented variables, such as loading, to a suite of other variables computed at the three scales in this study. We will also use using advanced statistical clustering and modeling to explore new ways of classifying and sampling fuels based on loadings. After we have thoroughly explored all possible relationships, we will start the development of new methods, protocols, technology, and applications for wildland fuel management. At a minimum, we will develop new sampling methods and new classifications for wildland fuels, and produce guidebooks on how to assign fuel characteristics to wildland fuelbeds.

Fore more information, please visit the complete project site at

Photo: A typical microplot from the FPARDY study
Photo: A typical microplot from the FPARDY study


Keane II, Robert E. ; Gray, Kathy ; Bacciu, Valentina , 2012
Lutes, Duncan C. ; Keane II, Robert E. ; Caratti, John F. ; Key, Carl H. ; Benson, Nathan C. ; Sutherland, Steve ; Gangi, Larry J. , 2006
Keane II, Robert E. ; Rollins, Matthew , 2006

Project Contact: 

Principal Investigators:
Research Staff:
Finn Leary - Missoula Fire Lab Research Staff
Charles Shane - Missoula Fire Lab Research Staff
Mike Reitz - Missoula Fire Lab Research Staff