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Fire Severity and Intensity During Spring Burning in Natural and Masticated Mixed Shrub WoodlandsAuthor(s): Tim Bradley; Jennifer Gibson; Windy Bunn
Source: In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 419-428
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (315 B)
DescriptionFire risk is an ever present management concern in many urban interface regions. To mitigate this risk, land management agencies have expanded their options beyond prescribed fire to include vegetation mastication and other mechanical fuel treatments. This research project examined fire severity and intensity in masticated and unmanipulated units that were burned in spring in a Northern California mixed shrub woodland. Mastication treatments significantly altered the fuel profile, resulting in an approximate 200 percent average increase in woody fuel cover for 1-hr and 1000-hr TLFM size classes, and greater than 300 percent average cover increase in 10-hr and 100-hr TLFM size classes. The mean flame length (29 vs. 10 inches/ 74 vs. 25 cm) and flame zone depth (20 vs. 6 inches/ 51 vs. 15 cm) were significantly greater (P<0.001) in masticated units than in unmanipulated units as were the mean temperatures at the litter surface (657°F vs. 219°F/ 347°C vs. 104°C) and 1.64 ft (0.5 m) above the litter surface (277°F vs. 59°F/ 136°C vs. 15°C) (P<0.001). Greater flaming and heat release in the masticated units led to increased mortality of overstory and pole-sized oaks and conifers posing conflicts with the management objective of retaining overstory vegetation.
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CitationBradley, Tim; Gibson, Jennifer; Bunn, Windy. 2006. Fire Severity and Intensity During Spring Burning in Natural and Masticated Mixed Shrub Woodlands. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 419-428
Keywordsfire, fire ecology, fuels management, fire severity, fire intensity, vegetation mastication, mechanical fuel treatments
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