Use of fire behaviour models to support silvicultural and fuel management decision making in industrial pine plantations (conference abstract)
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Miguel G. Cruz; Martin E. Alexander
Publication Year: 2011

Cataloging Information

  • active crown fire
  • CFIS - Crown Fire Initiation and Spread System
  • crown fire potential
  • decision making
  • fire behavior models
  • fuel management
  • onset of crowning
  • passive crown fire
  • pine plantations
  • Pinus radiata
  • PPPY - Pine Plantation Pyrometrics
  • pruning
  • radiata pine
  • rate of spread
  • stand flammability
  • surface fire
  • thinning
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Record Last Modified: December 13, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 10973


Fire behaviour associated with the stand structure of a particular pine plantation is the result of multiple interactions between climate and weather conditions, physical characteristics of the fuel complex, the micrometeorological environment (i.e., wind, fuel moisture and temperature), and fire - available fuel dependence synergies. The use of fire behaviour models or model systems allows one to assess stand flammability by integrating the large number of variables and interactions into a small number of fire behaviour potential metrics (e.g., threshold wind speeds required for the onset of crowning, fire rate of spread and intensity). Here we demonstrate the use of a model system that allows for the prediction of potential fire behaviour over the full range of burning conditions in industrial pine plantations in order to gauge the effectiveness of a combination of silvicultural and fuel management operations in mitigating the level of fire behaviour possible in young to mature radiata pine plantations. Pine Plantation Pyrometrics (PPPY) is a new modeling system developed to predict fire behaviour in industrial pine plantations over the full range of burning conditions in relation to proposed changes in fuel complex structure from fuel treatments. The system comprises a series of sub-models, developed by the authors and by others, that describe surface fire characteristics and crown fire potential in relation to the surface and crown fuel structures, fuel moisture contents, and wind speed. A case study application of the PPPY modeling system has highlighted the complex interactions associated with fuel treatments such as pruning and thinning have on surface and crown fire behaviour potential. It is also noteworthy that no definite reduction and/or increase in rate of spread was identified. While a direct evaluation of the system's overall performance has yet to be undertaken, its main components have been evaluated against independent datasets. The PPPY system has also been used in the simulation of crown fire dynamics.

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Cruz, M. G.; Alexander, M. E. 2011. Use of fire behaviour models to support silvicultural and fuel management decision making in industrial pine plantations (conference abstract). In Proceedings of the 5th International Wildland Fire Conference, 9-13 May 2011, Sun City, South Africa. 2 p.