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Title: A fuel treatment reduces potential fire severity and increases suppression efficiency in a Sierran mixed conifer forest

Author: Moghaddas, Jason J.;

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. 441-449

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

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Description: Fuel treatments are being widely implemented on public and private lands across the western U.S. While scientists and managers have an understanding of how fuel treatments can modify potential fire behavior under modeled conditions, there is limited information on how treatments perform under real wildfire conditions in Sierran mixed conifer forests. The Bell Fire started on 9/22/2005 on the Plumas National Forest, CA. This fire burned upslope into a 1-year old, 390-acre mechanical fuel treatment on private land. Prior to impacting the fuel treatment, the main fire ignited spot fires 400 feet into the treated area. Within the treated area, loadings of 1, 10, and 100-hour fuels averaged 5.2 tons per acre. Stand density averaged 73 trees per acre, with a live crown base of 30 feet, and 36% canopy cover. This fuel treatment resulted in: 1) increased penetration of retardant to surface fuels, 2) improved visual contact between fire crews and the IC, 3) safe access to the main fire, and 4) quick suppression of spot fires. This treatment was relatively small and isolated from other fuel treatments but resulted decreased severity, suppression costs, and post fire rehabilitation needs leading to cost savings for local public and private land managers.

Keywords: fire, fire ecology, fuels management, fuel treatments, Bell Fire

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Moghaddas, Jason J. 2006. A fuel treatment reduces potential fire severity and increases suppression efficiency in a Sierran mixed conifer forest. 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. 441-449

 


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