Characterizing Canopy Fuels to Predict Fire Behavior in Pitch Pine Stands
Authors: Duveneck, Matthew J.; Patterson, William A.
Source: Northern Journal of Applied Forestry, Volume 24, Number 1, March 2007 , pp. 65-70(6)
Publisher: Society of American Foresters
Abstract:Destructive sampling of 31 pitch pine (Pinus rigida P. Mill) trees ranging in dbh from 2.7 to 42.5 cm and in height from 4.1 to 23.8 m provided a complete inventory of needles and small-diameter branch weights used to characterize canopy fuels to predict fire behavior in pitch pine stands. Regression equations using dbh as an independent variable predict canopy bulk density with an r 2 > 0.93. The results provide managers with a method of evaluating the effectiveness of thinning operations in reducing crown fire potential in well-stocked stands. To demonstrate the application of the method, we calculated the wind speed (Crowning Index [CI]) needed to sustain an active crown fire in thinned and unthinned pitch pine stands in Montague, Massachusetts. Thinning to 2.8 m2/ha basal area increased the CI from 34 to 98 km/hour.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2007
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