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Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
Research Topics Fire Science
About this Research:
Contributing Scientists and Collaborators
Masticated Fuels Research
Fire behavior and above-ground fire effects
Masticated wood is typically very fragmented with high surface area: volume ratio, which would tend to increase fire-line intensity and reduce the duration of combustion. On the other hand, masticated fuel beds are also compact, which would tend to reduce fire-line intensity and increase the duration of combustion. When we initiated the study, there were some concerns that fires might have long residence times, causing greater than desired soil heating and the potential for cambium and root damage to standing trees.
Among our objectives was to conduct prescribed burns and estimate fire behavior in order to calibrate existing fuel models or develop custom fuel models for predicting fire behavior and fire effects in masticated fuel beds. We also wanted to better understand mechanisms of tree mortality when masticated fuel around them was burned.
Prescribed burns were conducted at two sites (Challenge Experimental Forest – May/June 2005, Whitmore – June 2006) in four replicate one acre units per site. Prior to the burns, fuels around a randomly selected subset of trees were removed from around the base in order to investigate if mortality was due mostly to bole charring, root damage, or crown damage. Ignition was accomplished using strip head fires, or backing fire when fire-line intensity became too great. Flame length and rate of spread were estimated during the burns and fire damage to individual trees (crown scorch height, percentage of crown volume scorched, bark char height etc.) measured after the burns.
|Last Modified: Aug 29, 2016 10:59:33 AM|