Skip to Main Content
Using field data to assess model predictions of surface and ground fuel consumption by wildfire in coniferous forests of CaliforniaAuthor(s): Jamie Lydersen; Brandon M. Collins; Carol Ewell; Alicia Reiner; Jo Ann Fites; Christopher Dow; Patrick Gonzalez; David Saah; John Battles
Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Download Publication (863.59 KB)
DescriptionInventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from wildfire provide essential information to the state of California, USA, and other governments that have enacted emission reductions. Wildfires can release a substantial amount of GHGs and other compounds to the atmosphere, so recent increases in fire activity may be increasing GHG emissions. Quantifying wildfire emissions however can be difficult due to inherent variability in fuel loads and consumption and a lack of field data of fuel consumption by wildfire. We compare a unique set of fuel data collected immediately before and after six wildfires in coniferous forests of California to fuel consumption predictions of the first-order fire effects model (FOFEM), based on two different available fuel characterizations. We found strong regional differences in the performance of different fuel characterizations, with FOFEM overestimating the fuel consumption to a greater extent in the Klamath Mountains than in the Sierra Nevada. Inaccurate fuel load inputs caused the largest differences between predicted and observed fuel consumption. Fuel classifications tended to overestimate duff load and underestimate litter load, leading to differences in predicted emissions for some pollutants. When considering total ground and surface fuels, modeled consumption was fairly accurate on average, although the range of error in estimates of plot level consumption was very large. These results highlight the importance of fuel load input to the accuracy ofmodeled fuel consumption and GHG emissions from wildfires in coniferous forests.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationLydersen, J.M.; Collins, B.M.; Ewell, C.M.; Reiner, A.L.; Fites, J.A.; Dow, C.B.; Gonzalez, P.; Saah, D.S.; Battles, J.J. 2014. Using field data to assess model predictions of surface and ground fuel consumption by wildfire in coniferous forests of California. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 119, 223-235.
Keywordsfuel consumption, wildfire emissions, fuel load model, greenhouse gas inventory, emissions modeling, California
- Evaluation of FOFEM fuel loading and consumption estimates in pine-oak forests and woodlands of the Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas, USA
- Intercomparison of Fire Size, Fuel Loading, Fuel Consumption, and Smoke Emissions Estimates on the 2006 Tripod Fire, Washington, USA
- A case study comparison of landfire fuel loading and emissions generation on a mixed conifer forest in northern Idaho, USA
XML: View XML