Predicting sustained smouldering combustion in trembling aspen duff in Elk Island National Park, Canada
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): S. G. Otway; E. W. Bork; K. R. Anderson; M. E. Alexander
Publication Year: 2007

Cataloging Information

  • Alberta
  • Canada
  • Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System
  • combustion
  • coniferous forests
  • disturbance
  • droughts
  • duff
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • experimental fires
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • fuel moisture
  • ground fire
  • ground fires
  • ignition
  • moisture
  • national parks
  • plant communities
  • plant growth
  • Populus
  • Populus tremuloides
  • rate of spread
  • sampling
  • smoke management
  • statistical analysis
  • subsurface fire
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 46415
Tall Timbers Record Number: 22147
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-I
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.


Fire is one of the key disturbances affecting trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) forest ecosystems within western Canadian wildlands, including Elk Island National Park in central Alberta, Canada. Although prescribed fire is a tool available to modify aspen forests, a clear understanding of its potential impact is necessary to successfully manage this disturbance. Undesirable social and ecological consequences of severe, deep-burning ground fires include smoke generation and impaired vegetation regrowth. Data on the duff moisture conditions under which ground or subsurface fires may ignite and spread in aspen forest duff layers are presented, as well as experimental test fire results. Different topographic positions, plant communities and seasonality were factored into the research design. The Duff Moisture Code (DMC) and Drought Code (DC) components of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System were calculated and factors including duff moisture content, bulk density and inorganic content measured before ignition of experimental test fires. Probability of sustained smouldering combustion models were developed for the duff layer in the aspen forest fuel type in Elk Island National Park, with values of 27 for DMC and 300 for DC at the 50% probability level. © IAWF 2007. Reproduced from the International Journal of Wildland Fire (S.G. Otway, et al., 2007) with the kind permission of CSIRO PUBLISHING on behalf of the International Association of Wildland Fire.

Online Link(s):
Otway, S. G., E. W. Bork, K. R. Anderson, and M. E. Alexander. 2007. Predicting sustained smouldering combustion in trembling aspen duff in Elk Island National Park, Canada. International Journal of Wildland Fire, v. 16, no. 6, p. 690-701. 10.1071/.