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Effects of bark beetle attack on canopy fuel flammability and crown fire potential in lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce forestsAuthor(s): Wesley G. Page; Martin E. Alexander; Michael J. Jenkins
Source: In: Keane, Robert E.; Jolly, Matt; Parsons, Russell; Riley, Karin. Proceedings of the large wildland fires conference; May 19-23, 2014; Missoula, MT. Proc. RMRS-P-73. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 174-180.
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (504.55 KB)
DescriptionLarge wildland fires in conifer forests typically involve some degree of crowning, with their initiation and propagation dependent upon several characteristics of the canopy fuels. Recent outbreaks of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. var. latifolia E ngelm.) forests and spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis Kirby) in Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm.) forests have affected vast areas across western and northern North America, which have subsequently produced forests containing relatively large amounts of dead or "bark beetle-altered" canopy fuel. Given that the transition to crowning represents an important threshold in terms of large fire growth and wildland firefighter safety and effectiveness, a better understanding of the potential role of bark beetle-altered foliage in altering crown fire initiation and spread is needed. This paper summarizes a recently completed research project dealing with the measurement and characterization of the changes in crown fuel flammability caused by recent bark beetle attacks and consequently the implications of these changes on crown fire potential in these affected forest types.
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CitationPage, Wesley G.; Alexander, Martin E.; Jenkins, Michael J. 2015. Effects of bark beetle attack on canopy fuel flammability and crown fire potential in lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce forests. In: Keane, Robert E.; Jolly, Matt; Parsons, Russell; Riley, Karin. Proceedings of the large wildland fires conference; May 19-23, 2014; Missoula, MT. Proc. RMRS-P-73. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 174-180.
Keywordsfire ecology, fire behavior, smoke management, fire management, social and political consequences
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