Fire severity, changing scales, and how things hang together
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Albert J. Simard
Publication Year: 1991

Cataloging Information

  • burn severity
  • climatology
  • disturbance
  • drought
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire danger
  • fire danger rating
  • fire intensity
  • fire models
  • fire severity
  • habitat types
  • seasonal activities
  • severity models
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildfire
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 4, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 5159
Tall Timbers Record Number: 236
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-I
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.


The paper describes attributes of space, time, and process in terms of their relations to wildland fire. It then presents a generic framework, based on eight interrelated scale classes for space, time, and process. The effects of changing scales are discussed in a wildland fire context. A five-layered (society, management, systems, fire, and weather), three-dimensional structure for wildland fire is presented. The paper also discusses inefficiencies and inadequacies inherent in systems with inconsistent scales. It then focuses on the effects of scale differences between fire behavior and fire danger and on an acceptable scale range suggested by the natural evolution of these two systems. The paper then defines fire severity and proposes two types of severity models รน situation and extended. Finally, it discusses fundamental differences between situational and extended severity and appropriate space, time, and process attributes for both types of severity models.

Online Link(s):
Simard, Albert J. 1991. Fire severity, changing scales, and how things hang together. International Journal of Wildland Fire 1(1):23-34.