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Project ID: 06-3-3-04

Year: 2006

Date Started: 07/07/2006

Date Completed: 07/28/2010

Title: Fuel Reduction Treatment Longevity and Crown Response in Interior Ponderosa Pine Forests of Northern California

Project Proposal Abstract: This proposal is drafted in response to the Joint Fire Science 2006 Announcement for Proposals Number 3, Task 3. The project will address three of the primary focus areas of the task: an evaluation of treatment longevity, scheduling of treatments, and a comparison of computer forecasts, specifically those from the Fire and Fuels Extension of the FVS simulator. The site for the proposed project is Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest in northeastern California. With increasing interest in fuels treatments to address the high risk of severe fires in the western United States, there is an attendant need to quantify the effectiveness of such treatments. In addition to the immediate effect of reducing levels of combustible material and the attendant impact on fire intensity, resource managers also need to quantify or forecast the longevity of such treatments. Treatments that produce significant, but short-lived reductions in risk of severe wildfire may not be meeting the goals and objectives of managers. This temporal component needs further study and is the subject of this proposal. There are three components to the project: (1) Quantify the change in fuels in the first five years following combinations of thinning and prescribed fire treatments in ponderosa pine stands. This will be done using data obtained from the Blacks Mountain Ecological Research Project (Oliver 2000). The second portion of the study will involve a destructive sample from three sites on the Experimental Forest. We will estimate the crown weight (foliage biomass) for trees in stands at Blacks Mountain thinned in 2000, another stand treated in 2005, and an untreated stand. Using the derived biomass relationships, we will quantify the temporal change in stand-level foliage biomass for the Blacks Mountain treatments. The third element of the study is to use the FVS Fire and Fuels Extension, to simulate the change in fuels and compare (validate) with the observed values derived from the observations in the Blacks Mountain Ecological Research Project. This project builds on an existing ecological research project established at Blacks Mountain between 1996 and 2000 (Oliver 2000). As such, much of the data required for execution of FVS and the Fire and Fuels Extension has already been obtained (the last block is scheduled for sampling in 2006). Additional field work will be needed to develop allometric foliage biomass equations that distinguish between recently thinned trees and those having had time to build leaf area in response to increased growing space. The results from this study will contribute to our knowledge of rates of fuel accumulation over time and thus the longevity of fuels treatments. It will also provide data on the reliability of the Fire and Fuels Extension for FVS and possible adjustments to the model.

Principal Investigator: Martin W. Ritchie

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Carl N. Skinner

Forest Service

PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Co-Principal Investigator

Jianwei W. Zhang

Forest Service

PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Federal Cooperator

Hao Tran

Forest Service

PSW-Pacific Southwest Research Station

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network









Lassen National Forest

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   2459 Journal Article Canadian Journal of Forest Research

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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