Mapping fire regime condition class: a method for watershed and project scale analysis
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Wendel J. Hann
Editor(s): R. Todd Engstrom; Krista E. M. Galley; William J. de Groot
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • agriculture
  • Arizona
  • Artemisia
  • Bromus tectorum
  • catastrophic fires
  • Centaurea
  • Colorado
  • condition class
  • coniferous forests
  • conifers
  • Cronartium ribicola
  • deserts
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire control
  • fire danger rating
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire regimes
  • FRCC
  • fuel loading
  • fuel management
  • fuel models
  • fuel types
  • GIS
  • grasslands
  • hydrology
  • Idaho
  • introduced species
  • invasive species
  • Juniperus
  • land management
  • landscape ecology
  • Montana
  • National Fire Plan
  • national forests
  • national parks
  • native species (plants)
  • natural range of variability
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Picea
  • Pinus contorta
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • sampling
  • shrublands
  • site treatments
  • statistical analysis
  • subalpine forests
  • succession
  • surface fires
  • US Forest Service
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • water
  • watershed management
  • western United States
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildlife refuges
  • Wyoming
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: March 19, 2021
FRAMES Record Number: 42444
Tall Timbers Record Number: 17519
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Tall Timbers shelf
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


Fire regime and associated condition class mapping have provided key data for development of cohesive strategies for restoration of fire-adapted ecosystems and for the National Fire Plan within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service and U.S. Department of Interior land management agencies. Fire regime condition class (FRCC) provides data that can be used to infer risk to ecosystem sustainability and risk of uncharacteristic wildland fire behavior and effects. These spatial data when combined with human community locations can be used to identify communities at risk from uncharacteristic wildland fire. When combined with spatial data on air, native species, and water, opportunities for fuel management and fire use can be identified that benefit local communities and minimize risk or potentially enhance resources and sustainability. Scenarios of spatial prioritization, fire use and fuel management levels, and associated resource and risk reduction effects can be evaluated by combining these data with tools to model future outcomes. In combination with vegetation composition and structure, understanding of FRCC provides the framework for design of projects on the ground.A method for coarse-scale (1-km2) mapping of FRCC and associated fire management data across the conterminous U.S. has been developed and applied. However, no method had been developed and applied for finer-scale (30-m) watershed and project mapping of FRCC and associated prioritization and planning data. The study described in this paper used data from selected landscapes in the western U.S. to develop a method for FRCC analysis at watershed and project scales. Results indicate that the definitions and methods for mapping and understanding fire regime condition classes should change with scale of application. At a coarse scale, such as that used for national, regional, and state levels of prioritization and planning, the variation of fire regime frequency and severity can be collapsed into broad categories, and condition class departure can be assigned via rule sets. The large pixel area accounts for natural variation within and between fire regimes and condition classes that occurs across multiple stands or patches. At the finer scales (<1 km2) of watershed assessment and project analyses, any one of a number of the vegetation-fuel classes characteristic of the natural or historical system can occur. Methods at this finer-scale focus on determination of the composition of characteristic classes and the associated variation in fire interval and severity. Standardized steps were developed, which combine available information with ground reconnaissance, and integration with the 'box model.' © 2004, Tall Timbers Research, Inc.

Hann, W. J. 2004. Mapping fire regime condition class: a method for watershed and project scale analysis, in Engstrom, R. T., Galley, K. E. M., and de Groot, W. J., Proceedings 22nd Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: Fire in temperate, boreal, and montane ecosystems. Kananaskis Village, Alberta, Canada. Tall Timbers Research, Inc.,Edmonton, Alberta, Canada [Imperial Printing Ltd.]. p. 70-87,