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Spatial characteristics of fire severity in relation to fire growth in a Rocky Mountain subalpine forest

Author(s): Calvin A. Farris, Ellis Q. Margolis, John A. Kupfer
Year Published: 2008
Description:

We compared the spatial characteristics of fire severity patches within individual fire "runs" (contiguous polygons burned during a given day) resulting from a 72,000 ha fire in central Idaho in 1994. Our hypothesis was that patch characteristics of four fire severity classes (high, moderate, low, and unburned), as captured by five landscape metrics, would vary with the size of the run (ranging from 1 to 6,200 ha). Our results indicated that high severity patches (i.e., crown fires) were typically larger and more complex in larger runs than in smaller runs. Moderate severity, low severity, and unburned patch characteristics were relatively insensitive to fire run size, with most metrics showing little or no trendIdaho in 1994. Our hypothesis was that patch characteristics of four fire severity classes (high, moderate, low, and unburned), as captured by five landscape metrics, would vary with the size of the run (ranging from 1 to 6,200 ha). Our results indicated that high severity patches (i.e., crown fires) were typically larger and more complex in larger runs than in smaller runs. Moderate severity, low severity, and unburned patch characteristics were relatively insensitive to fire run size, with most metrics showing little or no trend

Citation: Farris, Calvin A.; Margolis, Ellis Q.; Kupfer, John A. 2008. Spatial characteristics of fire severity in relation to fire growth in a Rocky Mountain subalpine forest. In: Narog, Marcia G., tech. coord. Managing fire and fuels in the remaining wildlands and open spaces of the Southwestern United States, conference proceedings. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-189. Albany, CA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. p. 175-184.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - First Order, Fire Intensity / Burn Severity, Patch Size, Fire Regime, Fire and Landscape Mosaics
Ecosystem(s): Subalpine wet spruce-fir forest, Subalpine dry spruce-fir forest, Montane wet mixed-conifer forest, Montane dry mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Conference Proceedings, Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 11485
FRAMES RCS number: 12880
Record updated: May 23, 2018