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Using Airborne Laser Altimetry to Determine Fuel Models for Estimating Fire Behavior

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Airborne laser altimetry provides an unprecedented view of the forest floor in timber fuel types and is a promising new tool for fuels assessments. It can be used to resolve two fuel models under closed canopies and may be effective for estimating coarse woody debris loads. A simple metric–obstacle density–provides the necessary quantification of fuel bed roughness to make these measures possible. This work highlights the need for more research in the application of laser technology to fuels mapping.

Keywords: environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; mapping; natural resource management; natural resources; remote sensing

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Fire/Fuels Analyst School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, 59812-0576, 2: Professor School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, 59812-0576,

Publication date: June 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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