A spread index for crown fires in spring
Document Type: Book
Author(s): C. E. Van Wagner
Publication Year: 1974

Cataloging Information

  • Canada
  • coniferous forests
  • crown fires
  • crowns
  • energy
  • fine fuels
  • fire management
  • flammability
  • foliage
  • fuel moisture
  • heat
  • ignition
  • moisture
  • Ontario
  • overstory
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • rate of spread
  • surface fires
  • surface fuels
  • temperature
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 39220
Tall Timbers Record Number: 13859
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: CAN DOCS Information Report PS-X-55 DDW
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.


This Report describes the construction of an index of the relative rate of spread of crowning forest fires during spring and early summer. It depends on the proposition that conifer crowns are more flammable during this period because the moisture content of their foliage is lower then than during mid-summer. The calculations are based on heat transfer theory and on the energy required to heat moist fuel to ignition temperature, and are supported by some field evidence. The starting point is the Initial Spread Index, a component of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index.

Van Wagner, C. E. 1974. A spread index for crown fires in spring. Information Report PS-X-55. Chalk River, Ontario, Environment Canada, Forestry Service, Petawawa Forest Experiment Station.