Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Biscuit Fire tests effectiveness of forest thinning and prescribed burning practices

recently published study in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research indicates that fuel reduction treatments should simultaneously take place in the overstory, understory, and on the ground to adequately reduce fire severity.
A Thinning trees without treating surface fuels does not reduce mortality adequately because mortality can occur from hot fires on the ground, as well as fires that burn through the tree crowns.

The study, "Fuel Treatments Alter the Effects of Wildfire in a Mixed-Evergreen Forest, Oregon, USA," is co-authored by Crystal Raymond, University of Washington and David L. Peterson, Pacific Northwest Research Station/USDA Forest Service.

The 2002 Biscuit Fire in southwestern Oregon impacted forest resources, threatened lives, and costs millions of dollars to suppress. It also provided a rare opportunity to study previous fuel treatments (thinning of forest stands and underburning of surface fuels) to see which projects actually reduced tree damage when the Biscuit Fire burned through.

The research team measured the effects of fuel treatments in a Douglas-fir--tanoak forest. Scientists were fortunate to have data collected before the Biscuit Fire with which to directly quantify the relationship between forest structure and fire severity. The effectiveness of two fuel treatments at reducing tree damage and mortality was measured by comparing treated and untreated forests that burned in the fire.

"The number of trees killed in the Biscuit Fire was highest in the thinned areas we studied, most likely due to slash left after the thinning treatment," Raymond explains. "Overstory tree mortality was lowest in sites that were thinned and then underburned, and moderate in sites that were not treated prior to the Biscuit Fire. Thinning ladder fuels is just the first step in effective fuel treatment for most forests." Ladder fuels are the small trees that carry fire from the ground to the overstory tree crowns.

Fuel treatments intended to minimize damage to the overstory are more effective if fine fuels on the ground are reduced following removal of understory trees. "We have known this in principle for many years," says Peterson, a research biologist at the Station, "and the Biscuit Fire gave us a chance to validate the effectiveness of on-the-ground fuel treatments."

Federal agencies are mandated to reduce fuel accumulations in dry forests throughout the West. However, studies like the one conducted by Raymond and Peterson that validate the effectiveness of fuel treatments are rare. "Data from the Biscuit Fire provide new scientific evidence that will help improve techniques for treating fuels. As more wildfires burn through treated areas, we will have additional opportunities to document how well those treatments are working," adds Peterson.

Sherri Richardson Dodge | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth
23.03.2018 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht “How trees coexist” – new findings from biodiversity research published in Nature Communications
22.03.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>