Archaeological sites and fire-induced changes
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): Clay Johnson
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • archaeology
  • Ashley National Forest
  • BAER - Burned Area Emergency Response
  • cultural resources
  • Mustang Fire
  • Utah
Partner Site(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 9, 2015
FRAMES Record Number: 15387


The 2003 Mustang Fire required Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) treatment and monitoring of archaeological sites on Ashley National Forest in northeastern Utah. The fire burned over 20,000- acre area and nearly 300 known sites. Ashley Heritage staff performed archaeological reconnaissance, BAER site treatment, and monitoring of the treated sites. The fire and subsequent rainstorms transformed terrain, sites, and individual artifacts. This experience suggests that some changes provide valuable archaeological information. What archaeologists choose to document during survey and excavation, and how it is interpreted, can depend on identification of wildfire- induced patterns. Conversely, the observed presence (or absence) of fire-induced changes may reveal the past fire history of a site or an area.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (731 KB; pdf)
Johnson, Clay. 2004. Archaeological sites and fire-induced changes. In: Ancient and Historic Lifeways in North America's Rocky Mountains: Proceedings of the Rocky Mountain Anthropological Conference, Estes Park, Colorado. 16 p.