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Fire-return intervals in mixed-conifer forests of the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project areaAuthor(s): Catherine Phillips
Source: In: Verner, Jared, tech. editor. Proceedings of a Symposium on the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Project: Progress and Current Status. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-183, Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 31-36
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: View PDF (540 KB)
DescriptionFire-return intervals were studied on six 1.4-ha plots in a 2,070-ha study area in the Dinkey Creek watershed. Stumps in mixed-conifer forest were examined for fire scars created from 1771 to 1994, with 1873 chosen as the end of the pre-Euro-American settlement period because the rate of fire events decreased on most plots after about that year. Mean intervals from 1771 to 1873 ranged from 3.19 to 5.44 years, maximum intervals ranged from 6 to 12 years, and minimum intervals ranged from 1 to 2 years. Differences between plot means were not significant during that period, and the data showed no influence of aspect, elevation, or slope position on return intervals. Plot means were shorter than those reported in other mixed-conifer areas of the central Sierra Nevada. Archived fire records for the study area, on file at the Sierra National Forest, revealed a high rate of lightning-caused fires—an average of one fire requiring suppression every 1.36 years between 1911 and 1965. This contrasts with an average of only one lightning-caused fire requiring suppression every 9 years during a similar period in mixed-conifer forests at Redwood Mountain and Bearskin Creek, 40-50 km south of Dinkey Creek, suggesting that local factors strongly influence fire events.
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CitationPhillips, Catherine. 2002. Fire-return intervals in mixed-conifer forests of the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project area. In: Verner, Jared, tech. editor. Proceedings of a Symposium on the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Project: Progress and Current Status. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-183, Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 31-36
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