NGCRP Contribution to the Project
This research will develop a more responsive fire danger rating
system specific to the New Jersey Pine Barrens by focusing on the
interaction between climate, fire and vegetation. The 1.1 million
acres of the Pine Barrens represents 22% of the land area of New
Jersey. It is characterized by highly volatile fuels, historically
having a fire return cycle of 25 years, with large 100,000+ acre
fires common prior to fire suppression practices.
The existing fire danger rating system does not meet the needs
of the wildfire managers in this part of the U.S. This may be due
to several possible factors; the unique characteristics of the vegetation,
low water holding capacity of the soil, and high humidity levels
from the maritime influence.
We will take a multi-discipline approach to improve this fuel model.
This includes enhancing the fire weather monitoring for the region,
analysis of historic fire climate records, sensitivity analysis
and modeling of component indices in the NFDRS, and experimental
monitoring of prescribed burns over a range of climate and humidity
conditions. Carbon loss and fire emissions will be monitored as
part of this study.
A network of fire weather stations and towers for monitoring fire
weather conditions as well as prescribed burns, will produce detailed
measurements for the region to determine the processes that are
distinctive for the Pine Barrens.
Out: Fire Issues
Unique to the Northeastern Area of the United States (.pdf)
Rating Fire Danger in the Pine Barrens. A new study getting
underway in New Jersey's Pine Barrens may help reduce the risk of
fire in that valuable and volatile ecosystem.