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Ecological effects of the Hayman Fire - Part 1: Historical (pre-1860) and current (1860-2002) fire regimes

Posted date: September 27, 2007
Publication Year: 
2003
Authors: Romme, William H.; Veblen, Thomas T.; Kaufmann, Merrill R.; Sherriff, Rosemary; Regan, Claudia M.
Publication Series: 
General Technical Report (GTR)
Source: In: Graham, Russell T., Technical Editor. Hayman Fire Case Study. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-114. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 181-195
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

To address historical and current fire regimes in the Hayman landscape, we first present the concepts of “historical range of variability” and ”fire regime” to provide the necessary conceptual tools for evaluating fire occurrence, fire behavior, and fire effects. Next we summarize historical (pre-1860) fire frequency and fire effects for the major forest types of the Colorado Front Range, to illustrate and emphasize the key point that the ecological role of fire is dramatically different in the various forest types that are found in and around the area burned by the Hayman Fire. We consider the magnitude by which these different kinds of fire regimes in the Colorado Front Range have been altered (or not altered) by human actions, notably 20th century fire exclusion. Finally, we focus on the Hayman Fire itself, to evaluate the extent to which this large, severe fire can be regarded as either a “natural” or an “unprecedented” event in this ecosystem.

Citation

Romme, William H.; Veblen, Thomas T.; Kaufmann, Merrill R.; Sherriff, Rosemary; Regan, Claudia M. 2003. Ecological effects of the Hayman Fire - Part 1: Historical (pre-1860) and current (1860-2002) fire regimes. In: Graham, Russell T., Technical Editor. Hayman Fire Case Study. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-114. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 181-195