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Type: Report
Author(s): Alicia L. Reiner; Carol M. Ewell
Publication Date: 2018

This report documents information gathered via Terrestrial Lidar Scans (TLS), and fire behavior observations made on the 2018 Ferguson Fire. Due to limited resources, the standard FBAT plot setup was not possible for data collection. The Ferguson Fire started on the evening of July 13th in the Sierra National Forest in the Merced River canyon from a vehicle contacting roadside vegetation, and grew to over 9,000 acres by the morning of July 16th. The Ferguson Fire area is largely grass and shrub fuels at lower elevations and timber/grass/shrub fuels at higher elevations including tree mortality fuels. The Energy Release Component1 (ERC) early in the fire was slightly below the 80th percentile and began a sharp climb toward the higher percentiles typically found August through mid-September. Long lasting daily inversions were common during this fire (at the time of this report, 7/31) and fire growth was generally moderate and steady. Faster rates of spread were found in the grass and brush at lower elevations on the fire, namely the fire spread clocked at 90 chains/hr (using drone imagery) on 7/21 in Ned Gulch, as the fire spread up the Merced canyon walls and sub-gulches on a south/southwest aspect onto the Stanislaus NF.

Online Links
Link to this document (3.5 MB; pdf)
Citation: Reiner, Alicia L. et al. 2018. 2018 Ferguson Fire, Sierra National Forest: Fire Behavior Assessment Team (FBAT) Report. USDA Forest Service Fire Behavior Assessment Team. 8 p.

Cataloging Information

  • 2018 Ferguson Fire
  • California
  • Mariposa County
  • Sierra National Forest
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 65708