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Title: Assessing mitigation of wildfire severity by fuel treatments - An example from the coastal plain of Mississippi

Author: Martinson, Erik J.; Omi, Philip N.;

Date: 2006

Source: In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 429-439

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

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Description: Fuel treatments such as prescribed fire are a controversial tenet of wildfire management. Despite a well-established theoretical basis for their use, scant empirical evidence currently exists on fuel treatment effectiveness for mitigating the behavior and effects of extreme wildfire events. We report the results of a fire severity evaluation of an escaped prescribed fire that burned into an area previously treated with repeated prescribed fires. We observed significantly lower scorch heights, crown damage, and ground char in the treated area. We attribute the moderated fire severity in the treated area to a significantly altered fuel profile created by the repeated prescribed fires. Though our results represent just one treatment area in a single wildfire, they add to a depauperate database and bring us a step closer to defining the conditions under which fuel treatments are an effective pre-suppression strategy.

Keywords: fire, fire ecology, fuels management, fuel treatments, fire severity evaluation, prescribed fire, pre-suppression strategy

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Martinson, Erik J.; Omi, Philip N. 2006. Assessing mitigation of wildfire severity by fuel treatments - An example from the coastal plain of Mississippi. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 429-439

 


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