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Project ID: 01C-3-3-21

Year: 2003

Date Started: 07/29/2003

Date Completed: 09/14/2008

Title: Characterizing Moisture Regimes for Assessing Fuel Availability in North Carolina Vegetation Communities

Project Proposal Abstract: This study will address local knowledge gaps in characterizing soil and live fuel moisture trends in North Carolina vegetation complexes that are of significant concern to fire management plan development and implementation (Task 3). Compared to Western species, live fuels of the Southeastern region have received little attention and few historical short-term studies have illustrated moisture trends within Southeastern live fuel species. While recent studies have examined moisture and combustion limits within organic soils, multiple year moisture trends in the fuel/soil complex have not been described or linked to weather or satellite remotely sensed data. This field project will directly measure moisture contents in live surface fuels, root mat and organic soils in coastal plain sites and in live surface fuels and organic and/or mineral soils of upland piedmont and mountain sites. Water table wells and moisture sensors will be used to quantify moisture gradients within deep organic soils. Daily weather and radiometric measurements will be collected from representative weather stations and used to estimate midday dead fuel moisture contents and potential evapotranspiration. Vegetation greenness will be monitored using satellite remote sensing. Understanding yearly moisture trends in the live fuel/soil complex will identify fuel availability within these vegetation types. Linking identified combustion limits with estimated soil and leaf moistures will improve the effectiveness of prescribed fire use, fire preparedness planning and suppression by providing information not currently available in commonly used drought indices. The best methods for monitoring fuel availability will be identified and shared with fire managers through publications and workshops. Sampled and remotely sensed data will be displayed throughout the study via a website.

Principal Investigator: Roberta A. Bartlette

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Gary M. Curcio

North Carolina

DFR-Ralph Winkworth Forestry Center

Co-Principal Investigator

James J. Reardon

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Federal Cooperator

Roberta A. Bartlette

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

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Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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