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Title: Forest fuel characterization using direct sampling in forest plantations

Author: García, Eva Reyna Esmeralda Díaz; Tagle, Marco Aurelio González; Pérez, Javier Jiménez; Garza, Eduardo JavierTreviño; Flores, Diana Yemilet Ávila;

Date: 2013

Source: In: González-Cabán, Armando, tech. coord. Proceedings of the fourth international symposium on fire economics, planning, and policy: climate change and wildfires. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-245 (English). Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 396-405.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: One of the essential elements for a fire to occur is the flammable material. This is defined as the total biomass that has the ability to ignite and burn when exposed to a heat source. Fuel characterization in Mexican forest ecosystems is very scarce. However, this information is very important for estimating flammability and forest fire risk, fire behavior, environmental impact assessment and critical decision making related to fire management practices. The aim of this study was to determine the fuel load in a Eucalyptus sp. plantation, which has not been given any kind of management over the past 20 years in order to suggest actions and management tools for preventing wildfires. The fuel load estimation was carried out by using the planar intersections technique described by James. K Brown (1974) and adapted by Sánchez and Zerecero (1983). In this work, the study area was divided into five sites, each of them with a control point at its center and from there a series of 20-m long sampling lines were established towards the four cardinal points. At these points, the firewood fuel inventory information was recorded as well as their interceptions according to their delay time. Additionally, using depth and weight parameters, the organic layer or light fuel layer was measured. Along the sampling lines, four quadrants of 0.25 m² each were distributed every 5, 10, 15, and 20m where the depth was measured and material contained in 1² was collected; the weight was registered in situ and dry weight in the laboratory. As for data processing, it was done using the formulas from the technique described above. The results indicate that the total forest fuel load for the plantation was 53.65 ton/ha; wood fuels accounted for 70% of this accumulation with 39.62 tons/ha and the organic layer contributed with 16.81 ton/ha representing 30% of the total fuel load. This large accumulation is mainly due to the lack of plantation management. We recommend implementing management strategies to maintain fuel accumulations at a minimum level while protecting the soil so that the risk of forest fires can be highly reduced.

Keywords: Forest fuels, forest fires, fuel inventory

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García, Eva Reyna Esmeralda Díaz; Tagle, Marco Aurelio González; Pérez, Javier Jiménez; Garza, Eduardo JavierTreviño; Flores, Diana Yemilet Ávila. 2013. Forest fuel characterization using direct sampling in forest plantations. In: González-Cabán, Armando, tech. coord. Proceedings of the fourth international symposium on fire economics, planning, and policy: climate change and wildfires. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-245 (English). Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 396-405.

 


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