Broadcast burning of sagebrush in the winter
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Leon F. Neuenschwander
Publication Year: 1980

Cataloging Information

  • Artemisia tridentata
  • biomass
  • broadcast burning
  • cover
  • dominance
  • fire control
  • fire size
  • fire weather
  • firing techniques
  • Idaho
  • ignition
  • overstory
  • population density
  • range management
  • rangelands
  • rate of spread
  • sagebrush
  • season of fire
  • wind
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 19215
Tall Timbers Record Number: 656
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-J
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy 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 the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Sagebrush-grass vegetation occupies about 5.5 million hectares of Idaho rangelands. Rangeland productivity has decreased as presettlement sagebrush densities have increased. Prescribed burning of such rangeland has proven to be an efficient and economic tool to reclaim sagebrush-dominated areas, but firing techniques and weather prescriptions for fire use have not been developed. Feasibility of winter burning with snow or ice on the surface of the soil was tested with the following restrictions: (1) sagebrush was dense, with a canopy cover about 50%, and (2) distance between plants cannot exceed 50% of their average height. With these restrictions, fire carried through sagebrush canopies when effective wind speed was above 8 km/hr (5 mph) and winter ignition index was Y1> or =29. Under the above prescription, only small areas burned. Winter burning might be impractical in most areas because of imposed stand limitations and the 10~ number of days with proper burning conditions. However, winter broadcast burning is possible, inexpensive, and completely safe when snow or ice is present, and requires no fire control preparation or mop-up.

Online Link(s):
Neuenschwander, Leon F. 1980. Broadcast burning of sagebrush in the winter. Journal of Range Management 33(3):233-236.