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

Projects

Prescribed Fire & Fuel Treatment Effectiveness & Effects Monitoring Program

Since the Fall of 2000, the Pacific Southwest Region Fire and Aviation Management has conducted systematic monitoring of fire effects and effectiveness of fuel treatments across the region. Forty-three projects on every national forest in California have been monitored as of Fall, 2004. This includes a variety of prescribed fire and mechanical fuel treatment projects in chaparral, forested, and mixed shrub/forested ecosystems.

The objectives of the monitoring include:   collecting baseline information on fuels, wildlife habitat, and vegetation composition and structure before treatments, gathering and assessing changes in fuels, wildlife habitat and vegetation after treatment, and development of a cost-effective approach to address common questions on effectiveness of fuel treatments, appropriate fuel models for post-treatment conditions, and improved tree mortality projections. Emphasis was placed on interagency coordination by using similar methodology as the National Park Service, which has a long history of monitoring in California.

To date 179 plots have been collected pre-treatment, 51 plots first year post-treatment, and 25 plots second year post treatment. Analysis is currently underway on data collected this summer and will greatly expand the ability to compare pre- and post-treatments. A report on the latest findings is expected next spring.

 

Figures 1-3 represent a succession of pre-treatment, treatment, and post-treatment photos for the same mixed conifer forest project in Northern California. Fuels were masticated before the prescribed fire treatment.

Figure 1. pre-treatment masticated fuels in a mixed-conifer forest type
Figure 1. pre-treatment masticated fuels in a mixed-conifer forest type
Figure 2. prescribed fire burning in masticated fuels for a mixed-conifer forest type
Figure 2. prescribed fire burning in masticated fuels for a mixed-conifer forest type
Figure 3. post-fire effects 3.5 months after a prescribed burn
Figure 3. post-fire effects 3.5 months after a prescribed burn


Figures 4-5 represent pre- and post-treatment chaparral in Southern California.

  Figure 4. pre-treatment chaparral plot.
Figure 4. pre-treatment chaparral plot.
  Figure 5. post-treatment chaparral plot.
Figure 5. post-treatment chaparral plot.

The 2012 Chips Fire, California: A Case Study of Fire Behavior. 2012 Jo Ann Fites, Carol Ewell, Ryan Bauer.

Abstract (pdf)
Full Report (pdf)

The Effectiveness and Limitations of Fuel Modeling Using the Fire and Fuels Extension to the Forest Vegetation Simulator. 2013.
Erin K. Noonan-Wright, Nicole M. Vaillant, and Alicia L. Reiner
Report (pdf)

Prescribed fire effects on field-derived and simulated forest carbon stocks over time. 2013. Nicole M. Vaillant, Alicia R. Reiner, Erin K. Noonan-Wright
Report (pdf)

Effect of Fuel Treatments on Fuels and Potential Fire Behavior in California, USA , National Forests. 2013. Nicole M. Vaillant, JoAnn Fites-Kaufman, Alicia L. Reiner, Erin K. Noonan-Wright, and Scott N. Dailey.
Report (pdf)

PROJECT INFO

Prescribed Fire & Fuel Treatment Effectiveness & Effects Monitoring Pilot— Fuels, Vegetation and Wildlife Habitat

2003 Detailed Report
2003 Summary Report
Map of Prescribed Fire Effects Monitoring
Fuel Treatment Effectiveness and Effects Monitoring in the Pacific Southwest Region 1999-2006 (2008)
  (Reports in PDF Format)

 

 

USDA Forest Service - Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Unit
Last Modified: Monday, 24 February 2014 at 11:23:19 CST