Sharon M. Hood, Ros Wu
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fuel Treatments & Effects
Mechanical treatments

NRFSN number: 20893
FRAMES RCS number: 2517
Record updated: March 25, 2020

Masticated fuel treatments that chop small trees, shrubs, and dead woody material into smaller pieces to reduce fuel bed depth are used increasingly as a mechanical means to treat fuels. Fuel loading information is important to monitor changes in fuels. The commonly used planar intercept method however, may not correctly estimate fuel loadings because masticated fuels violate the assumption that fuel particles are round. A sampling method was developed for estimating masticated fuel bed loadings using percent cover, average depth, and bulk density in three vegetation types: Jeffrey pine-white fir, ponderosa pine-Gambel oak, and pinyon-juniper. Masticated material, duff, and litter samples were collected to determine bulk densities. Loadings were calculated as the product of bulk density and depth. Total fuel median bulk densities equaled 129 (Jeffrey pine-white fir), 128 (ponderosa pine-Gambel oak), and 226 kg/m3 (pinyon-juniper). Correlations between loading and depth were best for the Jeffrey pine-white fir type. Bulk density was most variable in pinyon-juniper. Woody material loadings calculated from the cover-depth method were generally lower than the loadings calculated from the planar intercept method, while duff and litter loadings from the cover-depth method were higher than the loadings calculated from the vertical profile measurements on the planar-intercept transect.


Hood, Sharon M.; Wu, Ros. 2006. Estimating fuel bed loadings in masticated areas. Pages 333-340 In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W. (comps.). Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: International Association of Wildland Fire Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

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