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Project Manager(s):
Host Agency:
  • US Forest Service, Fire and Environmental Research Applications (FERA) Team
Funding Source(s):
  • Joint Fire Science Program

Land managers needed a tool to accurately and efficiently estimated the biomass of hand-piled fuels as pile burning becomes a more widespread and common method for treating high fire hazard areas with heavy surface fuels. Past pile characterization research dealt only with large, crane-constructed and tractor-built piles which have different physical properties and contain larger fuel particles (tree boles and large limbs). In this study, we: (1) Measured and weighed hand-constructed piles to determine the relationships between pile composition, pile size and pile biomass, and (2) sampled different vegetation types and pile sizes to develop equations for estimating hand-pile biomass. The calculated developed by this project allows land managers to more accurately assess biomass in hand piles, leading to better smoke production estimates, improved burn scheduling, and more accurate compliance with the maximum allowable emissions limits as determined by various state smoke management plans. Enhancements have been made to to (1) incorporate machine-pile algorithms present available in Consume 3.0; (2) add the ability to batch process multiple pile inputs for biomass and emissions estimates, and (3) provide a standalone version for users who require access to the calculator when Internet access is unavailable.

Cataloging Information

Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    National
  • emission estimates
  • FERA - Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team
  • FFT - Fuel and Fire Tools
  • fuel treatments
  • hand-pile biomass
  • pile burning
JFSP Project Number(s):
  • 07-2-1-57
  • 10-S-02-2
  • 11-1-8-4
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 16823