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Type: Report
Author(s): Matthew B. Dickinson; Kevin Osborne; Nicole M. Vaillant; Eric E. Knapp; Scott N. Dailey; Carol M. Ewell; Noah Hirsch; Ian Woodruff; Christina Barba
Publication Date: 2021

The Fire Behavior Assessment Team (FBAT) sampled fuels, vegetation, fire behavior, and fire effects on 5 plots in the Plummer Creek drainage on the Klamath National Forest on the eastern side of the 2020 Red Salmon Complex. The plots were installed within and outside of the footprint of the 1987 Hotelling wildfire, the only recorded wildfire in an area with no other treatment history. Severity of the 1987 fire was low in the drainage as mapped using Landsat satellite imagery by the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity program. Based on plot sampling and re-mapped severity, effects of fire on vegetation and substrate in the drainage 33 years later during the Red Salmon Complex were also modest. Based on limited plot data, effects of the Hotelling Fire were apparent in reduced shrub and tree seedling cover and increased loadings of downed woody material and standing Douglas fir snags. In the 4 plots that burned during the Red Salmon Complex, surface fire intensities were low and spread was patchy under moderate fire weather, but downed woody material was dry and often consumed. Our data suggest that the ecological effects of the Red Salmon Complex in the Plummer Creek Drainage will be to maintain the woodland character of open grass-dominated stands on serpentine parent material because they reduced the cover of shrubs and tree seedlings. A considerable proportion of the area within the perimeter of the Red Salmon Complex, particularly areas on the periphery, were coded as “very low/unburned” to “low” severity on the Soil Burn Severity map produced to guide Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER). We suggest that fire effects like those we observed open opportunities for future fire management in fire-dependent woodland systems, including wildfire management for resource benefit and prescribed fire application. Beneficial effects of the Red Salmon Complex build on legacies of a long history of fire, including fire management by Karuk, Tsnungwe (Hoopa), and other indigenous peoples.

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Link to this document (2.3 MB; pdf)
Citation: Dickinson, Matthew B. et al. 2021. Fire Behavior Assessment Team (FBAT) Report: 2020 Red Salmon Complex - Fuels, Vegetation, Fire Behavior, and Fire Effects in the Plummer Creek Drainage, Klamath National Forest. USDA Forest Service Fire Behavior Assessment Team. 32 p.

Cataloging Information

  • 2020 Red Salmon Complex
  • California
  • Klamath National Forest
  • Siskiyou County
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 62888