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Title: Fuel treatment effects on modeled landscape level fire behavior in the northern Sierra Nevada

Author: Moghaddas, J.J.; Collins, B.M.; Menning, K.; Moghaddas, E.E.Y.; Stephens, S.L.;

Date: 2010

Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research 40, 1751-1765

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Across the western United States, decades of fire exclusion combined with past management history have contributed to the current condition of extensive areas of high-density, shade-tolerant coniferous stands that are increasingly prone to high-severity fires. Here, we report the modeled effects of constructed defensible fuel profile zones and group selection treatments on crown fire potential, flame length, and conditional burn probabilities across 11 land allocation types for an 18 600 ha study area within the northern Sierra Nevada, California. Fire modeling was completed using FlamMap and FARSITE based on landscape files developed with high-resolution aerial (IKONOS) imagery, ground-based plot data, and integrated data from ARCFUELS and the Forest Vegetation Simulator. Under modeled 97th percentile weather conditions, average conditional burn probability was reduced between pre- and post-treatment landscapes. A more detailed simulation of a hypothetical fire burning under fairly severe fire weather, or “problem fire”, revealed a 39% reduction in final fire size for the treated landscape relative to the pre-treatment condition. To modify fire behavior at a landscape level, a combination of fuel treatment strategies that address topographic location, land use allocations, vegetation types, and fire regimes is needed.

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Moghaddas, J.J.; Collins, B.M.; Menning, K.; Moghaddas, E.E.Y.; Stephens, S.L. 2010. Fuel treatment effects on modeled landscape level fire behavior in the northern Sierra Nevada. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 40, 1751-1765.

 


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