Skip to Main Content
Surface to crown transitionAuthor(s): David Weise; J Cobian-Iniguez; M. Princevac
Source: Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires
Publication Series: Miscellaneous
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionWildland fires are generally classified into three categories: ground fires, surface fires, and crown fires (Fig. 1). Soils are described worldwide by the various layers that have formed or been deposited on top of bedrock or other parent material. In wildland areas, the layer closest to the surface is composed of organic material deposited by plants (Foth 1978). The organic layer is divided into two parts – the O1 layer at the surface and the O2 layer which forms under the O1 layer. Ground fires burn the matted and decomposed organic material that forms the O2 layer. Surface fires burn the surface litter (O1 layer), other loose debris, and small vegetation. Crown fires burn through the living foliage and branches of trees and shrubs independently or coupled to a surface fire. Because the fire environment consisting of vegetative fuels, weather, and topography is complex and dynamic, these fire types often occur simultaneously within a wildland fire, and transitions between the fire types occur as fuels, weather, and topography change.
- 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.)
CitationWeise, D.R.; Cobian-Iñiguez, J.; Princevac, M. 2018. Surface to crown transition. In: S. L. Manzello, ed. Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, Cham. 5 p.
Keywordsfireline intensity, surface fire, crown fire, fire dynamics
- Science basis for changing forest structure to modify wildfire behavior and severity
- Vegetation clearance distances to prevent wildland fire caused damage to telecommunication and power transmission infrastructure (2)
- Wildland fire emissions, carbon, and climate: Modeling fuel consumption
XML: View XML