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Project ID: 14-1-01-23

Year: 2014

Date Started: 08/01/2014

Ending Date:  09/01/2017

Title: Effects of fuels management on fire intensity, rate of spread, severity, and resultant forest structure within the 2013 Rim Fire landscape

Project Proposal Abstract: The 255,000 acre 2013 Rim Fire in the Sierra Nevada created a unique, real-world opportunity to study fuels treatment effects across a large landscape. Nearly two-thirds of the total burned area was in mixed-conifer forest, which was fairly evenly divided between Yosemite National Park (YOSE) and the Stanislaus National Forest (STF). A considerable portion of the mixed-conifer dominated area was treated for fuels reduction/restoration (~ 18,863 ac. within YOSE and 17,222 ac. within STF). This project leverages several existing datasets and on-going research for a comprehensive investigation on how fuel treatments affect fire intensity, rate of spread, severity, and resulting forest structure. This project also will provide critical information on mitigating effects of large wildfires that will compliment much of the previous work which has been based primarily on fire modeling. This information will be particularly valuable for informing the design of fuels treatment projects, which are being called for at greater pace and scale in dry forest types throughout the western United State. The Rim Fire was the third largest in California history, and the largest ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada. It began 17 August, was contained 13 September, but continued burning well into October, encompassing a wide range of fuel, weather, and topographic conditions which can be evaluated to determine the relative effects of past fuels treatments and other covariates on fire intensity, spread rates, severities, resultant forest structure. Anecdotal evidence and observations indicated that fire behavior ranged from extreme, including two days of very large fire growth (37,625 and 51,793 ac), to relatively moderate. Initial burn severity maps suggest that as much as 35% of the fire burned with stand-replacing fire effects, and that much of that area was aggregated in contiguous patches as large as 15,000 ac.

Principal Investigator: Brandon M. Collins

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PSW-Sierra Nevada Research Center


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Brian T. Hanlon

Forest Service

PSW-Pacific Southwest Research Station

Budget Contact

Alicia R. Poquiz

Forest Service

Willamette National Forest

Co-Principal Investigator

Matthew L. Brooks

USGS-Geological Survey

WERC-Yosemite Field Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Douglas (Gus) F. Smith

NPS-National Park Service

Yosemite National Park

Collaborator/Contributor

Becky L. Estes

Forest Service

PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Collaborator/Contributor

Van R. Kane

University of Washington

School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

Collaborator/Contributor

Jon E. Keeley

USGS-Geological Survey

WERC-Sequoia & Kings Canyon Field Station

Collaborator/Contributor

Malcolm P. North

Forest Service

PSW-Sierra Nevada Research Center

Collaborator/Contributor

Hugh D. Safford

Forest Service

PSW-Univ of CA-Davis

Collaborator/Contributor

Scott L. Stephens

University of California-Berkeley

Department of Environmental Sciences-Policy & Management

Collaborator/Contributor

Jan W. Van Wagtendonk

USGS-Geological Survey

WERC-Yosemite Field Station


Project Locations

Consortium

California


Level

State

Agency

Unit

STATE

CA

FS

Stanislaus National Forest

STATE

CA

NPS

Yosemite National Park


Project Deliverables

There is no final report available for this project.
There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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