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Fire regimes of Northern Rocky Mountain ponderosa pine communities

Author(s): Janet L. Fryer
Year Published: 2016

Hundreds of articles are published about wildland fires in Northern Rocky Mountain ponderosa pine communities. The author of this FEIS synthesis reviewed over 300 publications on historical and contemporary fuel loads, stand structure, and fire regimes in ponderosa pine communities. Most studies found that prior to fire exclusion, low- to moderate-severity surface fires typically burned every 6 to 13 years, and stand-replacement surface or crown fires were less frequent. Since fire exclusion, many ponderosa pine communities are denser and multistoried, dominated by Douglas-fir, and have higher fuels loads than in presettlement times. Managing for resilience in these communities requires reducing fuel loads, restoring historical stand structure, and returning frequent fire to the landscape.

Citation: Fryer, Janet L. 2016. Fire regimes of northern Rocky Mountain ponderosa pine communities. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/fire_regimes/Northern_RM_ponderosa_pine/all.html [2016, September 20].
Topic(s): Fire Regime, Fire Intensity / Burn Severity, Fire and Landscape Mosaics, Patch Size, Fire Return Intervals, Restoration
Ecosystem(s): Montane dry mixed-conifer forest, Ponderosa pine woodland/savanna
Document Type: Synthesis, Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 14602
Record updated: May 23, 2018