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Influence of harvesting and residues on fuels and fire management

Author(s): James K. Brown
Year Published: 1980

Fuel and fire behavior potential in clearcut lodgepole pine and in Douglas-fir/larch under clearcutting, group selection, and shelterwood silvicultural systems were compared after logging to near-complete and conventional utilization standards. Fuels and fire behavior potentials were unaffected by silvicultural systems but varied substantially by utilization standards and method of skidding. Predicted rates of spread on conventional units were 3-4 times greater than on near complete units. Predicted fireline intensities were 6-10 times greater on the conventional units. Conventional utilization left fireline intensities exceeding capabilities for direct fire control for 3-5 years up to 20 years or more. Whole tree skidding without slashing reduced hazard to acceptable levels by trampling and transporting material from the site. Fuel less than 0.25 inches in diameter was reduced to 0.4 of that created by cutting while all fuel less than 3 inches in diameter was reduced to 0.7 of that created by cutting. Whole tree skidding coupled with slashing left unacceptable hazards for 3-5 years. Near-complete utilization left acceptable levels of hazard but also left insufficient fuel for prescribed burning. Methods with which land managers can appraise fuel and fire behavior potentials on specific cutting units are presented. Deciding "how much fuel is acceptable" is discussed.

Citation: Brown, J.K. 1980. Influence of harvesting and residues on fuels and fire management. In: Environmental consequences of timber harvesting in Rocky Mountain coniferous forests, Symposium proceedings. 1979 Sept. 11-13. Missoula, MT. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-90. p. 417-432.
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Fire Prediction, Fuels, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Mechanical treatments, Fuels Inventory & Monitoring
Ecosystem(s): Montane wet mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 13134
TTRS (Tall Timbers Research Station) Number: 2814
Record updated: May 24, 2018