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A Device for Instantaneously Estimating Duff Moisture Content Is also Effective for Grassland Fuels

Author(s): Devan A. McGranahan
Year Published: 2019
Description:

Fine-fuel moisture is an important variable in the wildland fire environment, but measuring live fuel moisture is time-consuming. There is a strong incentive to develop technologies that provide instantaneous measurements of fine-fuel moisture. Campbell Scientific, Inc. markets a device that uses dielectric permittivity to measure the moisture content of duff fuels in forests; this Duff Moisture Meter (DMM600) might also be applied to herbaceous grassland fuels but its effectiveness has not been tested. This paper describes how grassland fuel samples collected for the DMM600 do well to represent the broader fuelbed, and that the dielectric permittivity values of the DMM600 correlate well with the actual moisture content of uncured grassland fuels. Results suggest the DMM600 can effectively estimate moisture content in uncured grassland fuels, including the overall fuelbed as well as live herbaceous fuels and well-aggregated samples of the grassland litter layer. Calibration equations and tips to ensure representative data are provided.

Citation: McGranahan DA. 2019. A Device for Instantaneously Estimating Duff Moisture Content Is also Effective for Grassland Fuels. Fire 2(1), 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2010012
Topic(s): Fuels, Fuels Inventory & Monitoring
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 19056
Record updated: Mar 18, 2019