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The ecological importance of severe fire - Site visits to Lolo Creek and Blue Mountain burned areas

Author(s): Corey L. Gucker
Year Published: 2014
Description:

Dr. Dick Hutto, professor of Organismal Biology and Ecology at the University of Montana, took participants of the May 2014 Large Wildland Fires Conference to recently burned sites to discuss fire effects. Hutto was enthused and excited about “the magical biology” occurring on recently burned sites. Magical biology includes regeneration and decay that are critical to ecosystem maintenance and health in dry conifer forests such as those surrounding the Missoula, Montana, area. The first stop was six miles east of Lolo, Montana, in a ponderosa pine-Douglas fir (Pinus ponderosa-Pseudotsuga menziesii) forest that burned in the August 2013 Lolo Complex fire. The next stop was in the same forest type in the Blue Mountain Recreation Area, which burned 11 years earlier in the 2003 Black Mountain fire. Both fires burned with mixed severity, producing mosaics of lightly to severely burned patches, which produced a diversity of postfire plant regeneration and wildlife use. 

 

Citation: Gucker, Corey L. 2014. The ecological importance of severe fire- Site visits to Lolo Creek and Blue Mountain burned areas. Northern Rockies Fire Science Network Field Trip Summary No. 3: Large Wildland Fires Conference. 2014 May 19-23. Missoula, MT.
Topic(s): Fire Ecology, Resilience, Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Plants, Wildlife, Fire & Wildlife, Birds
Ecosystem(s): Montane dry mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Research Brief or Fact Sheet
NRFSN number: 12652
Record updated: Apr 11, 2018