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Project ID: 05-2-1-20

Year: 2005

Date Started: 05/12/2005

Date Completed: 04/30/2008

Title: Masticated Fuel Beds: Custom Fuel Models, Fire Behavior, and Fire Effects

Project Proposal Abstract: In the foothill and mountain regions of California and southern Oregon, dense flammable vegetation and seasonally extreme fire weather present a daunting fuel management challenge. Mastication is an increasingly popular means of treating ladder fuels to reduce wildfire hazard, yet little is known about how masticated fuels in this vegetation type burn. Managers are hampered in making predictions about fire behavior and effects by the lack of information on appropriate model inputs. We propose to thoroughly characterize fuel beds composed of masticated shrubs and small trees at multiple sites in California and southern Oregon, determining fueled depth, bulk density, and the proportion of fuel in different time lag size classes. Because the masticated pieces are often highly fractured and not readily categorized by size, we will additionally estimate ’effective’ size by developing moisture loss curves. Small replicated burns of masticated fuel beds will be conducted under controlled conditions in the laboratory to test differences in above- and below-ground heating among fueled types, fueled compaction levels, and soil moisture levels. Observations of fire behavior will be compared with fire model outputs for existing and custom fuel models, and correction factors developed when warranted. Accuracy of these custom model inputs in predicting fire behavior and effects will be validated by replicated prescribed burns in the field. Products generated from this proposed research will assist managers in estimating fire hazard reduction and developing strategies for prescribed burning that minimizes tree mortality and adverse soil heating impacts.

Principal Investigator: Eric E. Knapp

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Matt D. Busse

Forest Service

PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Co-Principal Investigator

Carl N. Skinner

Forest Service

PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Co-Principal Investigator

Morgan J. Varner III

Mississippi State University

Department of Forestry

Federal Cooperator

Eric E. Knapp

Forest Service

PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Project Locations




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
view or print   1518 Government Publication Variability in Loading of Mechanically Masticated Fuel Beds in Northern California and Southwestern Oregon
view or print   3186 Journal Article International Journal of Wildland Fire
view or print   252 MS Thesis Fuel Loading and Vegetation Response to Mechanical Mastication Fuels Treatments (J.M. Kane)
    1972 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Fire Behavior and Soil Heating Impacts with Prescribed Burning in Masticated Fuel Beds
    1973 Invited Paper/Presentation Ecological Effects of Fuels Treatments and on Fire Behavior and Effects When Burning Masticated Fuels
    1974 Invited Paper/Presentation Fire Behavior and Effects When Burning Masticated Fuels
    1975 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Alternatives to Fire for Fuel Reduction at California’s Forest/Urban Interface
  go to website 4273 Website  
view or print   6255 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Behavior and Short-Term Effects of Fire in Masticated Fuel Beds
view or print   6256 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Initial Understory Vegetation Response to Mechanical Mastication Fuel Treatments: Balancing Biodiversity and Fire Hazard Reduction
view or print   6257 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Lethal Soil Heating During Burning of Masticated Fuels: Effects of Soil Moisture and Texture
    6258 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Understory Vegetation Response to Mechanical Mastication Treatments: Evidence for Increasing Resilience to Wildfire in a Young Ponderosa Pine Forest
    5431 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Soil Heating and Potential Biological Damage During Burning of Masticated Residues
    5432 Invited Paper/Presentation Mechanical Fuel Treatments Using Mastication: An Evaluation of Fuel Loading, Fire Behavior, and Fire Effects

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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