Reducing crown fire hazard in fire-adapted forests of New Mexico
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Carl E. Fiedler; Charles E. Keegan III
Editor(s): Philip N. Omi; Linda A. Joyce
Publication Year: 2003

Cataloging Information

  • crown fire
  • FIA - Forest Inventory and Analysis
  • hazard reduction
  • New Mexico
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • ponderosa pine
  • thinning
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: April 10, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 13190


Analysis of FIA data for New Mexico shows that 2.4 million acres of ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer forests rate high for fire hazard. A restoration treatment designed to address altered ecological conditions in these forests increased average crowning index (i.e., the wind speed necessary to maintain a crown fire) by 50 mph, compared to only 23 mph for a thin-from-below approach designed to reduce hazard. After we projected treated stands forward 30 years, only one-eighth of the acres receiving the thin-from-below treatment remained low hazard, compared to over half receiving the restoration treatment.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (10.3 MB; pdf)
Fiedler, Carl E.; Keegan, Charles E. 2003. Reducing crown fire hazard in fire-adapted forests of New Mexico. Pages 39-48. In: Omi, Philip N.; Joyce, Linda A. (technical editors). Fire, Fuel Treatments, and Ecological Restoration: Conference Proceedings: 16-18 April 2002: Fort Collins, Colorado. Proceedings RMRS-P-29. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.