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An Assessment of Factors Associated with Damage to Tree Crowns from the 1987 Wildfires in Northern California

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Abstract:

Relationships between (1) degree of damage caused by the 1987 fires in northern California and (2) prior management activities, fuelbed characteristics, and site/stand factors were studied on the Hayfork Ranger District of the Shasta-Trinity National Forests. Postfire aerial photography was used to assess scorch and consumption of tree crowns (the selected measure of fire damage), and other data were obtained from existing records. Data were collected and analyzed separately for (1) plantations and (2) uncut and partial-cut stands. Ordinal logistic regression was the primary analytical technique used. Factors significantly related to degree of fire damage in plantations were cover of grasses, cover of forbs, elevation, site preparation method, and level of damage in the adjacent stand. Damage to uncut and partial-cut stands depended on stand treatment, primary tree species, and aspect. The variables that most strongly influenced fire damage tended to be those most directly related to management activities--site preparation method and damage in adjacent stand for plantations, and stand treatment for uncut and partial-cut stands. For. Sci. 41(3):430-451.

Keywords: Fire damage; fuels management; ordinal logistic regression; plantation protection; site preparation

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Geographer, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, 2400 Washington Ave., Redding, CA 96001

Publication date: August 1, 1995

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