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Title: Forest fuels and predicted fire behavior in the first 5 years after a bark beetle outbreak with and without timber harvest (Project INT-EM-F-11-04) [Chapter 12]

Author: Sieg, Carolyn; Allen, Kurt; Hoffman, Chad; McMillin, Joel;

Date: 2016

Source: In: Potter, Kevin M.; Conkling, Barbara L., eds. Forest health monitoring: national status, trends, and analysis 2015. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-213. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. p. 145-151.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

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

Description: Unprecedented levels of tree mortality from native bark beetle species have occurred in a variety of forest types in Western United States and Canada in recent decades in response to beetle-favorable forest and climatic conditions (Bentz 2009, Meddens and others 2012). Previous studies suggest that bark beetle outbreaks alter stand structural attributes and fuel profiles, and thus affect the fire environment and potential fire hazard (Jenkins and others 2008, 2014). A number of factors influence post-outbreak fire hazard, including the time since mortality, the proportion of trees killed, and the spatial pattern of dead trees (Hicke and others 2012; Hoffman and others 2012a, 2015; Linn and others 2013; Simard and others 2011). There is also a concern that accumulation of heavy woody fuels as dead trees fall to the ground can lead to large surface fuel loads that are higher than the recommended amounts for fireline construction, fire intensity, and sustaining ecosystem services such as soil protection and wildlife habitat (Brown and others 2003). In some forest types, post-outbreak logging (salvage) of dead trees has been used to recuperate the value of the trees and to potentially reduce fire hazard and enhance forest recovery (Collins and others 2011, 2012). Recent studies have explored post-outbreak stand structure, surface fuels, snag retention rates, and predicted fire behavior in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests (Chambers and Mast 2014, Hansen and others 2015, Hoffman and others 2012b), but the effects of post-outbreak timber harvest are largely unstudied in this drier forest type.

Keywords: forest fuels, fire behavior, bark beetle, timber harvest, tree mortality, ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa

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Sieg, Carolyn; Allen, Kurt; Hoffman, Chad; McMillin, Joel. 2016. Forest fuels and predicted fire behavior in the first 5 years after a bark beetle outbreak with and without timber harvest (Project INT-EM-F-11-04) [Chapter 12]. 2016. In: Potter, Kevin M.; Conkling, Barbara L., eds. Forest health monitoring: national status, trends, and analysis 2015. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-213. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. p. 145-151.

 


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