Quantifying physical characteristics of wildland fuels using the Fuel Characteristic Classification System
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): C. L. Riccardi; S. J. Prichard; D. V. Sandberg; R. D. Ottmar
Publication Year: 2007

Cataloging Information

  • Abies concolor
  • Acer grandidentatum
  • Canada
  • carbon
  • coniferous forests
  • crown fires
  • dead fuels
  • fire danger rating
  • fire exclusion
  • forest management
  • fuel loading
  • fuel management
  • fuel types
  • fuelbeds
  • litter
  • moisture
  • Picea engelmannii
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Populus tremuloides
  • post fire recovery
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Quercus gambelii
  • shrubs
  • size classes
  • statistical analysis
  • surface fires
  • wildland fuels
  • wildlife
  • wildlife habitat management
  • woody fuels
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 46442
Tall Timbers Record Number: 22178
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-C
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.


Wildland fuel characteristics are used in many applications of operational fire predictions and to understand fire effects and behaviour. Even so, there is a shortage of information on basic fuel properties and the physical characteristics of wildland fuels. The Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS) builds and catalogues fuelbed descriptions based on realistic physical properties derived from direct or indirect observation, inventories, expert knowledge, inference, or simulated fuel characteristics. The FCCS summarizes and calculates wildland fuel characteristics, including fuel depth, loading, and surface area. Users may modify fuelbeds and thereby capture changing fuel conditions over time and (or) under different management prescriptions. Fuel loadings from four sample fuelbed pairs (i.e., pre- and post-prescribed fire) were calculated and compared by using FCCS to demonstrate the versatility of the system and how individual fuel components, such as shrubs, nonwoody fuels, woody fuels, and litter, can be calculated and summarized. The ability of FCCS to catalogue and summarize complex fuelbeds and reflect dynamic fuel conditions allows calculated results to be used in a variety of applications including surface and crown fire predictions, carbon assessments, and wildlife habitat management. © 2007 National Research Courcil of Canada, NCR Research Press. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Riccardi, C. L., S. J. Prichard, D. V. Sandberg, and R. D. Ottmar. 2007. Quantifying physical characteristics of wildland fuels using the Fuel Characteristic Classification System. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, v. 37, no. 12, p. 2413-2420. 10.1139/X07-175.