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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Miguel G. Cruz; Martin E. Alexander
Publication Date: 2012

Two evaluations were undertaken of the regression equations developed by M. Cruz, M. Alexander and R. Wakimoto (2003, International Journal of Wildland Fire 12, 39-50) for estimating canopy fuel stratum characteristics from stand structure variables for four broad coniferous forest fuel types found in western North America. The first evaluation involved a random selection of 10 stands each from the four datasets used in the original study. These were in turn subjected to two simulated thinning regimes (i.e. 25 and 50% basal area removal). The second evaluation involved a completely independent dataset for ponderosa pine consisting of 16 stands sampled by T. Keyser and F. Smith (2010, Forest Science 56, 156-165). Evaluation statistics were comparable for the thinning scenarios and independent evaluations. Mean absolute percentage errors varied between 13.8 and 41.3% for canopy base height, 5.3 and 67.9% for canopy fuel load, and 20.7 and 71% for canopy bulk density. Bias errors were negligible. The results of both evaluations clearly show that the stand-level models of Cruz et al. (2003) used for estimating canopy base height, canopy fuel load and canopy bulk density in the assessment of crown fire potential are, considering their simplicity, quite robust.

[This publication is referenced in the "Synthesis of knowledge of extreme fire behavior: volume I for fire managers" (Werth et al 2011).]

Citation: Cruz, Miguel G.; Alexander, Martin E. 2012. Evaluating regression model estimates of canopy fuel stratum characteristics in four crown fire-prone fuel types in western North America. International Journal of Wildland Fire 21(2):168-179.

Cataloging Information

Fire Behavior    Fuels    Models
Partner Sites:
  • average stand height
  • basal area
  • canopy base height
  • canopy fuel load
  • CBD - canopy bulk density
  • coniferous forests
  • crown fires
  • Douglas-fir
  • FIA - Forest Inventory and Analysis
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • lodgepole pine
  • mixed conifer
  • overstory
  • Pinus contorta
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • ponderosa pine
  • population density
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • size classes
  • stand characteristics
  • stand density
  • statistical analysis
  • thinning
  • wildfires
Tall Timbers Record Number: 27147Location Status: In-fileCall Number: Journals - IAbstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission
JFSP Project Number(s):
  • 09-S-03-1
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 11861

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by Tall Timbers and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of Tall Timbers.