Fuel consumption and fire behavior associated with prescribed fires in sagebrush ecosystems
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): David B. Sapsis; J. Boone Kauffman
Publication Year: 1991

Cataloging Information

  • Agropyron spicatum
  • Artemisia tridentata
  • big sagebrush
  • biomass
  • energy
  • Festuca idahoensis
  • field experimental fires
  • fine fuels
  • fire danger rating
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire intensity
  • flame length
  • fuel loading
  • fuel moisture
  • heat
  • John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
  • land management
  • moisture
  • Oregon
  • rangelands
  • rate of spread
  • season of burn
  • season of fire
  • soils
  • statistical analysis
  • topography
  • woody plants
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 19279
Tall Timbers Record Number: 8830
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
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.


Total aboveground biomass (fuels), fuel moisture content, weather conditions at the time of burning, fire behaviour, and quantities of biomass consumed by fire were measured in Artemisia tridentata subsp. tridentata dominated ecosystems at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon, USA. Two fire treatments were investigated: an early autumn burn (Sep. 1987, n = 4 plots), and a late spring burn (May 1988, n = 5 plots). Fires in the autumn treatment plots had greater flame length (4.1 m compared with 1.7 m in spring units), rate of spread (1.6 compared with 0.3 m/s), fireline intensity (6400 compared with 880 kW/m), and total heat load (18-120 compared with 9270 kJ/m²). Reaction intensity and heat-per-unit-area were not significantly different. The mass of fuel consumed was significantly greater in the autumn burn units (9.8 compared with 5.2 t/ha). However, percentage consumption was not significantly different; 93% in autumn units compared with 84% in spring units. It was concluded that there are fundamental differences in fire behaviour and fuel consumption between spring and autumn burning. Differences in parameters associated with active flaming were interpreted to be largely a result of differences in fuel moisture, while differences in fuel consumption and total energy were thought to be related to fuel availability.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (594 KB; pdf)
Sapsis, David B.; Kauffman, J. Boone. 1991. Fuel consumption and fire behavior associated with prescribed fires in sagebrush ecosystems. Northwest Science 65(4):173-179.