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    Author(s): David V. Sandberg; Cynthia L. Riccardi; Mark D. Schaff
    Date: 2007
    Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 37: 2456-2463
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.6 MB)


    The Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS) is a systematic catalog of inherent physical properties of wildland fuelbeds that allows land managers, policymakers, and scientists to build and calculate fuel characteristics with complete or incomplete information. The FCCS is equipped with a set of equations to calculate the potential of any real-world or simulated fuelbed to spread fire across the surface and in the crowns and consume fuels. FCCS fire potentials are a set of relative values that rate the intrinsic physical capacity of a wildland fuelbed to release energy and to spread, crown, consume, and smolder under known or benchmark weather and fuel moisture conditions. The FCCS reports eight component fire potentials for every fuelbed, arranged in three categories: surface fire behaviour (reaction intensity, spread rate, and flame length), crown fire potential (torching and active crown fire), and available fuel potential (flaming, smoldering, and residual smoldering). FCCS fire potentials may be used to classify or compare fuelbeds that differ because of location, structure, passage of time, or management action, based on expected fire behavior or effect outcomes. As a classification tool, they are offered as an objective alternative to categorizing bulk properties of fuelbeds or stylized model inputs.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Sandberg, David V.; Riccardi, Cynthia L.; Schaff, Mark D. 2007. Fire potential rating for wildland fuelbeds using the Fuel Characteristic Classification System. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 37: 2456-2463

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