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Predicting Duff and Woody Fuel Consumption in Northern Idaho Prescribed Fires

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Abstract:

Experimental burns were conducted on 36 plots in mixed conifer logging slash in northern Idaho to investigate consumption of duff and woody fuel. Fires were conducted in spring and fall, in YUM (yarded unmerchantable material) and non-YUM dearcuts and seed-tree cuts. Preburn duff depth averaged 3.8 cm and consisted of a shallow layer of decomposing litter, averaging 2 cm, interspersed with deep pockets of rotten wood averaging 13 cm. Preburn total woody fuel quantities ranged from 63 to 193 t/ha. Regression relationships between fuel consumption and fuel characteristics were developed. Duff depth reduction was related to preburn duff depth and to a lesser extent, duff moisture content. Percent duff consumption and mineral soil exposure were related negatively to duff moisture and positively to large fuel (diameter > 7.6 cm) diameter reduction. Diameter reduction of large fuel pieces was positively related to preburn diameter and negatively related to measured moisture content. Consumption of rotten material was greater than that of sound material. These relationships were compared to other empirical fuel consumption models and a theoretical model in predicting our fuel consumption. The relationships presented here can be used to predict duff and woody fuel consumption from prescribed burning in logging slash in the mixed conifer type of the northern Rocky Mountains. For. Sci. 37(6):1550-1566.

Keywords: Fire effects; fuel moisture; logging slash

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Supervisory Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT 59807

Publication date: 1991-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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