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Fire, fuels, and streams: the effects and effectiveness of riparian treatments

Author(s): Josh McDaniel
Year Published: 2015

Fire is an important disturbance in riparian systems—consuming vegetation; increasing light; creating snags and debris flows; altering habitat structure; and affecting stream conditions, erosion, and hydrology. For many years, land managers have worked to keep fire out of riparian systems through the use of buffers. A number of projects funded by the Joint Fire Science Program are shedding light on the dynamics of fire in riparian systems. Recent research and field practice have shown that (1) riparian treatments can be beneficial and are not as risky as previously thought; and (2) riparian treatments need the “Goldilocks” prescribed fire—not too hot and not too cold—to be beneficial.

Citation: McDaniel, Josh. 2015. Fire, fuels, and streams: the effects and effectiveness of riparian treatments. Joint Fire Science Program; Fire Science Digest. June 2015(21): 1-12.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Aquatic Life, Vegetation, Water, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Fuels
Ecosystem(s): Riparian woodland/shrubland
Document Type: Research Brief or Fact Sheet
NRFSN number: 13214
Record updated: May 24, 2018