Joint Fire Science / Red Mountain Mastication Study
» Project Objectives
Objective 1. Determine the effectiveness of using mastication alone or mastication
in combination with prescribed burning to meet resources objectives while modifying wildfire behavior and
improving fire suppression opportunities under 80th, 90th, and 97th percentile weather conditions.
Hypotheses associated with this objective fall into two groups:
- Fuel Conditions: How does mastication alone and with prescribed burning affect
fuel conditions such as amount, size, and configuration compared to the control?
- Mastication will reduce abundance of the 1000 and 100 hour fuels and increase the 10 and 1 hour
- Mastication will decrease canopy bulk density (CBD), and increase canopy base height (CBH), due
to small tree removal.
- Mastication will reduce fuel bed depth.
- Fire Behavior: Determine if mastication alone is sufficent to significantly
reduce wildfire behavior under 80th, 90th , and 97th percentile weather conditions. This question
will be addressed through a series of hypotheses on fire behavior characteristics, including rate of
spread, fire type, fire intensity and resistance to control:
- Mastication alone is enough to reduce fire behavior model predictions of rate of spread compared
to model predictions for unmasticated sites.
- According to model prediction, mastication combined with prescribed burning will result in shorter
flame lengths and lower fire intensities of shorter duration compared to predictions for unburned,
masticated units and unmasticated sites.
- Mastication with follow-up underburning will provide the greatest decrease in firefighting
resistance to control.
Objective 2. Tree Mortality: Through this study, AMSET will
quantify effects of mastication and mastication with prescribed burn treatments on tree mortality. This
issue will be addressed through the following hypotheses:
- Fire-related mortality will be higher than targeted resource objectives in masticated units.
- Pulling masticated slash away from boles will significantly decrease prescribed burn related