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Influences of stand structure and fuel treatments on wildfire severity at Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest, northeastern CaliforniaAuthor(s): Julie N. Symons; Dean H. K. Fairbanks; Carl N. Skinner
Source: The California Geographer 48: 1-23
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionThis study utilizes forest stand structures and fuel profiles to evaluate the influence of different types of silvicultural treatments on fire severity in the Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest (BMEF), located within Lassen National Forest of northeastern California. We compare the severity of fire, assessed based on tree crown and bole scorch on 100 ha experimental treatment plots, following a wildfire started on adjacent national forest lands. Non-parametric statistical testing showed that selective thinning combined with prescribed surface fuel burning is the most effective method for preventing crown fire and minimizing fire severity in an interior Pinus ponderosa forest. These results also suggest that various combinations of the silvicultural treatments assessed can be effective at reducing the potential for severe fire spreading into wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas (supporting defensible space CA law PRC 4291), while suggesting approaches for U.S. Forest Service lands that can result in more resilient ecosystems in similar western U.S. forests treated with similar silvicultural methods.
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CitationSymons, Julie N.; Fairbanks, Dean H. K.; Skinner, Carl N. 2008. Influences of stand structure and fuel treatments on wildfire severity at Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest, northeastern California. The California Geographer 48: 1-23
Keywordsfire ecology, fire management, fuels management, silviculture, fire severity
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