Publication Details

Initial results from a field experiment to support the assessment of fuel treatment effectiveness in reducing wildfire intensity and spread rate

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Mueller, Eric; Skowronski, Nicholas; Clark, Kenneth; Kremens, Robert; Gallagher, Michael; Thomas, Jan; El Houssami, Mohamad; Filkod, Alexander; Butler, Bret; Hom, John; Mell, William; Simeoni, Albert

Year Published

2015

Publication

In: Keane, Robert E.; Jolly, Matt; Parsons, Russell; Riley, Karin. Proceedings of the large wildland fires conference; May 19-23, 2014; Missoula, MT. Proc. RMRS-P-73. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 305-308.

Abstract

Hazardous fuel reduction treatments conducted both through prescribed fire and mechanical means are a critical part of the mitigation of wildland fire risk in the United States. The US Federal Government has spent an average of $500t million each year on fuel reduction, from 2002-2012 (Gorte 2011). At present, however, rigorous experimental measurement of the effectiveness of such efforts, as they impact wildfire intensity and spread rate, has been limited. The project presented here is aimed at addressing this knowledge gap by taking a combined experimental and numerical modeling approach to quantifying fuel treatment effectiveness in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. In particular, this project deals with prescribed fire as a fuel treatment, and it involves the observation and measurement of fire spread rate, fuel consumption, and environmental conditions during two experimental prescribed fires. Given measurements of the pre-fire fuel characteristics and the environmental conditions, a detailed description of the measured fire behavior can be used to evaluate the link between the fire characteristics and the achieved fuel reduction. Such information can also be extrapolated to understand how a subsequent fire might be affected by prefire fuel loading.

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Citation

Mueller, Eric; Skowronski, Nicholas; Clark, Kenneth; Kremens, Robert; Gallagher, Michael; Thomas, Jan; El Houssami, Mohamad; Filkod, Alexander; Butler, Bret; Hom, John; Mell, William; Simeoni, Albert. 2015. Initial results from a field experiment to support the assessment of fuel treatment effectiveness in reducing wildfire intensity and spread rate. In: Keane, Robert E.; Jolly, Matt; Parsons, Russell; Riley, Karin. Proceedings of the large wildland fires conference; May 19-23, 2014; Missoula, MT. Proc. RMRS-P-73. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 305-308.

Last updated on: January 11, 2018