Direct and indirect effects of wildfire on a Douglas-fir forest: a case study of the 2013 Knife Creek Wildfire
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Lori D. Daniels
Publication Year: 2017

Cataloging Information

  • British Columbia
  • Canada
  • Douglas-fir
  • Knife Creek Fire
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: April 19, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 57702


On September 12, 2013 a wildfire was reported on the Knife Creek block of the Alex Fraser Research Forest owned and managed by the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. The fire was initiated by a lightning strike during a thunderstorm two weeks prior to detection. The fire smouldered below ground, with above-ground flaming combustion during warm and dry conditions in mid-afternoon. Although mostly a surface fire, it developed into a crown fire at its center. Parts of three stands that had been pre-commercially thinned in 2012, 1994, and 1989 burned. Surface fuels and coarse wood were abundant in the area treated in 2012. From the point of ignition, the fire burned mostly in the 2012 treatment before spreading into the 1994 and 1989 treatments. Although the weather was warm and dry, wind speed remained low, so the fire spread to only 6.1 hectares in size. It was suppressed on September 15th by a BC Wildfire Service ground crew supported by a water tanker; 40 mm of rain on September 16 ensured the fire was extinguished. This study, conducted one month after the fire, quantified the immediate, direct effects of the 2013 wildfire. We established permanent sample plots that were re-measured in early summer 2014 to quantify lagged tree mortality following fire and the indirect effects of bark beetle colonization of the trees.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (1.9 MB; pdf)
Daniels, Lori D. 2017. Direct and indirect effects of wildfire on a Douglas-fir forest: a case study of the 2013 Knife Creek Wildfire. Technical Report to the Alex Fraser Research Forests, Williams Lake, BC. September 2017. 68p.