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Mapping relative fire regime condition class for the western United States

Author(s): James P. Menakis, Melanie Miller, Thomas Thompson
Year Published: 2004

In 1999, a coarse-scale map of Fire Regime Condition Classes (FRCC) was developed for the conterminous United States (US) to help address contemporary fire management issues and to quantify changes in fuels from historical conditions. This map and its associated data have been incorporated into national policies (National Fire Plan, Forest Health Initiative) and several General Accounting Office (GAO) reports concerning wildfire management issues. While this data layer has been invaluable for approximating changes in fuels conditions on forestlands overtime, it potentially underestimates these conditions for grasslands and shrublands. In order to address these underestimated fuel conditions, we incorporated finer-scale remotely sensed data into the process to create a new map of FRCC for the western US. In the mapping process, we relativized FRCC classes by calculating the percentage of their composition over a geographic area and then assigning color ramps to these percentages (shades of green for FRCC 1, blue for FRCC 2, and red for FRCC 3), to create a map that reflects degrees of the departure from historical conditions. This color shading may portray a more realistic view of FRCC because it takes into account the historical range of variability and compositional differences.

Citation: Menakis, James P.; Miller, Melanie; Thompson, T. 2004. Mapping relative fire regime condition class for the western United States. In: Greer, Jerry Dean, ed. Remote sensing for field users, proceedings of the tenth Forest Service remote sensing applications conference. 2004 April 5–9; Salt Lake City, UT.
Topic(s): Fire History, Fire Regime, Fire Intensity / Burn Severity, Fire and Landscape Mosaics, Patch Size, Fire Return Intervals, Mapping, Fuels, Fuels Inventory & Monitoring
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
NRFSN number: 10991
FRAMES RCS number: 2739
Record updated: Jun 27, 2018