USDA Forest Service

Adaptive Management Services


United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Enterprise

United States Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Service Enterprise - Reinvention Lab


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:

  1. Fuel Conditions:  How does mastication alone and with prescribed burning affect fuel conditions such as amount, size, and configuration compared to the control?

    1. Mastication will reduce abundance of the 1000 and 100 hour fuels and increase the 10 and 1 hour fuels.
    2. Mastication will decrease canopy bulk density (CBD), and increase canopy base height (CBH), due to small tree removal.
    3. Mastication will reduce fuel bed depth.

  2. 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:

    1. Mastication alone is enough to reduce fire behavior model predictions of rate of spread compared to model predictions for unmasticated sites.
    2. 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.
    3. 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:

    1. Fire-related mortality will be higher than targeted resource objectives in masticated units.
    2. Pulling masticated slash away from boles will significantly decrease prescribed burn related tree mortality.


Project Overview
Study Site Description
Map of Study Site
Project Objectives
Data Collected for Fuels and Tree Mortality
Data Collected for Fire Behavior
Prescribed Burn Treatment
What's Next?
Mastication Studies
Sequoia National Forest
Joint Fire Science Program


USDA Forest Service - Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Unit
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:19:00 CST