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Hayman Fire case study: summary

Author(s): Russell T. Graham
Year Published: 2003

This publication summarizes the findings in the 400-page companion document, Hayman Fire Case Study, Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-114. This summary document's purpose is to convey information quickly and succinctly to a wide array of audiences. In 2002 much of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado was rich in dry vegetation as a result of fire exclusion and the droughty conditions that prevailed in recent years. These dry and heavy fuel loadings were continuous along the South Platte River corridor located between Denver and Colorado Springs on the Front Range. These topographic and fuel conditions combined with a dry and windy weather system centered over eastern Washington to produce ideal burning conditions. The start of the Hayman Fire was timed and located perfectly to take advantage of these conditions resulting in a wildfire run in 1 day of over 60,000 acres and finally impacting over 138,000 acres. The Hayman Fire Case Study, involving more than 60 scientists and professionals from throughout the United States, examined how the fire behaved, the effects of fuel treatments on burn severity, the emissions produced, the ecological (for example, soil, vegetation, animals) effects, the home destruction, postfire rehabilitation activities, and the social and economic issues surrounding the Hayman Fire. The Hayman Fire Case Study revealed much about wildfires and their interactions with both the social and natural environments. As the largest fire in Colorado history it had a profound impact both locally and nationally. The findings of this study will inform both private and public decisions on the management of natural resources and how individuals, communities, and organizations can prepare for wildfire events.

Citation: Graham, Russell T. 2003. Hayman Fire case study: summary. General Technical Report. RMRS-GTR-115. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Ogden, UT. 32 pp.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Soils
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
Hot Topic(s): Post-fire Debris Flows
NRFSN number: 16315
FRAMES RCS number: 5766
TTRS (Tall Timbers Research Station) Number: 20115
Record updated: Dec 26, 2017