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    The assessment teams who make post-fire stabilization and treatment decisions are under pressure to employ more effective and economic post-fire treatments, as wild fire activity and severity has increased in recent years across the western United States. Use of forest-native wood-based materials for hillslope mulching has been on the rise due to potential environmental, erosion control efficacy, and economic incentives. One concern regarding use of woody materials prepared on or near burned sites is the wide range in the size distribution of the shredded materials. We tested three blends of shredded woody materials, each blend containing different amounts of fine (less than 2.5 cm in length) woody particles. The blends (AS IS with 24% fines, MIX with 18% fines, and REDUCED with 2% fines) were applied at 50 and 70% ground cover to 5-m2 plots containing burned soil placed at 40% slope and evaluated through simulated rain events which consisted of a rain only, a rain plus low flow, and a rain plus high flow period. The REDUCED blend was the optimum for both runoff and sediment concentration reduction under conditions of rainfall and rainfall plus concentrated flow. There was no difference between application rates of 50 and 70% for either of the rainfall plus concentrated flows tested. Our recommendation was that 50% ground cover of the REDUCED blend was adequate for both rainfall and sediment reduction compared to a bare soil. The other two blends were effective in reducing runoff but not sediment concentration compared to a bare soil. The wood shred manufacturing and blending process resulted in two statistically different relationships between application rate and ground cover; relationships were controlled by the amount of fines.

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    Foltz, R. B.; Wagenbrenner, N. S. 2010. An evaluation of three wood shred blends for post-fire erosion control using indoor simulated rain events on small plots. Catena. 80: 86-94.


    burned soil, wood shreds, erosion control, forest fire, rainfall simulation

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