Crown fire behaviour in a northern jack pine-black spruce forest
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Brian J. Stocks; Martin E. Alexander; B. Michael Wotton; C. N. Stefner; Michael D. Flannigan; Stephen W. Taylor; Nathalie Lavoie; J. A. Mason; G. R. Hartley; M. E. Maffey; George N. Dalrymple; T. W. Blake; Miguel G. Cruz; Rick A. Lanoville
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • Betula glandulosa
  • black spruce
  • boreal forest
  • Canada
  • CFIS - Crown Fire Initiation and Spread System
  • climatology
  • coniferous forests
  • crown fires
  • diameter classes
  • field experimental fires
  • fire behavior characteristics
  • fire danger rating
  • fire exclusion
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • fuel consumption
  • fuel loading
  • fuel management
  • fuel moisture
  • headfires
  • heat
  • ICFME - International Crown Fire Modeling Experiment
  • jack pine
  • litter
  • needles
  • Northwest Territories
  • overstory
  • Picea mariana
  • Pinus banksiana
  • population density
  • post-fire recovery
  • rate of spread
  • sampling
  • season of fire
  • size classes
  • surface fuels
  • understory vegetation
  • wildfires
  • woody fuels
  • International
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Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 16, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 5234
Tall Timbers Record Number: 17363
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-C
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.


This paper reports on the behaviour of 10 experimental crown fires conducted between 1997 and 2000 during the International Crown Fire Modelling Experiment (ICFME) in Canada's Northwest Territories. The primary goal of ICFME was a replicated series of high-intensity crown fires designed to validate and improve existing theoretical and empirical models of crown fire behaviour. Fire behaviour characteristics were typical for fully developed boreal forest crown fires, with fires advancing at 15-70 m/min, consuming significant quantities of fuel (2.8-5.5 kg/m2) and releasing vast amounts of thermal heat energy. The resulting flame fronts commonly extended 25-40 m above the ground with head fire intensities up to 90,000 kW/m. Depth of burn ranged from 1.4-3.6 cm, representing a 25%-65% reduction in the thickness of the forest floor layer. Most of the smaller diameter (<3.0 cm) woody surface fuels were consumed, along with a significant proportion of the larger downed woody material. A high degree of fuel consumption occurred in the understory and overstory canopy with very little material less than 1.0 cm in diameter remaining. The documentation of fire behaviour, fire danger, and fire weather conditions carried out during ICFME permitted the evaluation of several empirically based North American fire behaviour prediction systems and models.

[This publication is referenced in the "Synthesis of knowledge of extreme fire behavior: volume I for fire managers" (Werth et al 2011).]

Online Link(s):
Stocks, Brian J.; Alexander, Martin E.; Wotton, B. Mike; Stefner, C.N.; Flannigan, Michael D.; Taylor, Stephen W.; Lavoie, N.; Mason, J. A.; Hartley, G. R.; Maffey, M.E.; Dalrymple, George N.; Blake, T.W.; Cruz, Miguel G.; Lanoville, Rick A. 2004. Crown fire behaviour in a northern jack pine-black spruce forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 34(8):1548-1560.