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Title: Novel fuelbed characteristics associated with mechanical mastication treatments in northern California and south-western Oregon, USA

Author: Kane, Jeffrey M.; Varner, J. Morgan; Knapp, Eric E.

Date: 2009

Source: International Journal of Wildland fire, 18(6): 686-69

Publication Series: Journal/Magazine Article (JRNL)

Description: Mechanically masticated fuelbeds are distinct from natural or logging slash fuelbeds, with different particle size distributions, bulk density, and particle shapes, leading to challenges in predicting fire behavior and effects. Our study quantified some physical properties of fuel particles (e.g. squared quadratic mean diameter, proportion of non-cylindrical particles) and surface fuel loading with planar intercept and plot-based methods in 10 mechanically masticated sites in northern California and south-western Oregon.Totalwoody fuel load differed among masticated sites, ranging from 15.3 to 63.4Mgha−1, with the majority of the load concentrated in the 10-h (53.7%) and 1-h (29.2%) time-lag classes. Masticated fuels were densely packed, with total depths ranging from 4.6 to 8.0 cm and fuelbed bulk densities ranging from 45.9 to 115.3 kgm−3. To accurately quantify loading in masticated fuelbeds, we recommend using a hybrid methodology, where 1-h and 10-h fuel loadings are estimated using a plot-based method and 100-h and 1000-h fuel loadings are estimated using the standard planar intercept method. Most masticated fuelbeds differed in loading by fuel class and fuelbed depth, when compared with existing natural and slash-based fuelbeds, suggesting new fire behavior fuel models specific to masticated fuelbeds may be warranted.

Keywords: Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, fuel loading, fuels management, mechanical fuels treatment

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Kane, Jeffrey M.; Varner, J. Morgan; Knapp, Eric E. 2009. Novel fuelbed characteristics associated with mechanical mastication treatments in northern California and south-western Oregon, USA. International Journal of Wildland fire, 18(6): 686-69

 


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