Document


Title

Grassland fire effects on steel fence posts
Document Type: Journal
Author(s): John R. Weir ; Heath D. Starns
Publication Year: 2019

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
grasslands; infrastructure; Oklahoma; range developments; wildfires; wood fencing
Region(s):
Record Maintained By:
FRAMES Staff; catalog@frames.gov
Record Last Modified: January 15, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 57106

Description

Rangeland fire effects on flora, fauna, soils, and water have been studied widely. Fire effects information is limited on rangeland developments such as fencing. Fencing is an integral part of rangeland infrastructure and receives much attention when there is a wildfire or even discussion about conducting prescribed fires. Due to known fence age and fire history, we conducted a study on the Oklahoma State University Research Range located near Stillwater, Oklahoma. Five randomly selected individual metal T posts were sampled from a common fence line of known age and fire treatment. The T posts ranged from 4 to 35 yr since fence construction, with fire activity of 0, 1, 3, or 12 prescribed fires and 0, 1, or 2 wildfire occurrences. Each T post was tested in situ at 40 cm, 80 cm, and 120 cm above ground level for hardness and paint adhesion as set forth by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International standards for hot wrought metal fence posts. Our results found no differences in post hardness, with all posts tested being higher than the ASTM minimum standard of 83 Rockwell B Hardness Scale. We also found that paint adhesion between burned and unburned T posts did not vary, with age of post being the only significant predictor variable for adhesion. Overall, our results provide evidence that T posts exposed to numerous fires and fire types did not suffer negative effects. This shows that concerns about wildfire and prescribed fires in grasslands having negative effects on metal T posts are unfounded.

Online Link(s):
Citation:
Weir, John R.; Starns, Heath D. 2019. Grassland fire effects on steel fence posts. Rangeland Ecology & Management online early.