Fuel Treatments & Effects
Fuels Inventory & Monitoring
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.