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Project ID: 03-2-3-15

Year: 2003

Date Started: 07/29/2003

Date Completed: 09/01/2006

Title: Initial Post-Fire Avian Response to High Fire Severity

Project Proposal Abstract: Failure to adequately reduce fuel build-up and fire hazard at the urban-wildland interface in southern California has led to inadvertent ignitions and undesirable stand replacing fires over large portions of the landscape during the fire season of 2002. This year, wildfires exhibiting extreme fire behavior consumed in excess of 90 percent of the vegetation on thousands of acres. Fire is a fundamental component of these ecosystems, but uncontrolled fires can be costly in terms of suppression resources, property loss, resource damage, and lives. Prescribed burning for fuel reduction is often relegated to small size and within small windows of opportunity when there is low fire risk. Consequently, land in need of fuel reduction remains untreated, or worse-- succumbs to accidental ignitions that grow into uncontrollable fires that burn intensely and completely. Prescribed burn goals serve multiple needs. One of the goals of prescribed burning is to improve wildlife habitat. Habitat improvement usually requires vegetation to be burned in a mosaic of age classes. However, little research has been done on post-fire use by fauna of large tracts of burned habitat--particularly in chaparral. Interestingly, research: radio-tracking large mammals; studying sensitive riparian species; and monitoring bird occurance and behavior had been established within the perimeter of the Pines Fire located in San Diego, California prior to its ignition. A 5-year bird survey was conducted from 1997 to 2002 to develop a bird atlas of San Diego County. Large sections of these studies were burned in the 61,645-acre fire during July 2002. This project will document post-fire changes in bird density and diversity. Results will determine how the local avi-fauna respond to a large, high severity fire. It will complement the other aforementioned faunal research programs that also will continue to gather post-fire data. This information will be valuable for developing future perimeter size and intensity levels for fire prescriptions used to reduce fuel loading and support wildlife resources, particularly in chaparral. Results will be disseminated through electronic reports, journal articles, and public presentations.

Principal Investigator: Marcia G. Narog

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PSW-Forest Fire Lab-Riverside

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Jan L. Beyers

Forest Service

PSW-Forest Fire Lab-Riverside

Co-Principal Investigator

Philip Unitt


San Diego Natural History Museum

Federal Cooperator

Marcia G. Narog

Forest Service

PSW-Forest Fire Lab-Riverside

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.")

  ID Type Title
    1038 Government Publication Progress Reports and presentations
    1083 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Several Presentations Were Done on Project
    1378 Invited Paper/Presentation Effects on Birds of San Diego County’s Wildfires of 2002-2003
    1379 Invited Paper/Presentation Effects on Birds of San Diego County’s Wildfires of 2002-2003
    1439 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Effects on Birds of 2002-2003 Wildfires in San Diego County
    1440 Invited Paper/Presentation Effects on Birds of 2002-2003 Wildfires in San Diego County
    5818 Invited Paper/Presentation Effects on Birds of San Diego County’s Wildfires of 2002-2003

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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