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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Joint Fire Science Program
Contributor(s): Roger D. Ottmar
Publication Date: 2009

Detailed information on fuel consumption and emissions from wildland fire in Alaska's boreal forests has been in short supply. Research has been limited by reliance on prescribed burns for data collection in a region where weather, freezing and thawing permafrost and limited resources make controlled fire very challenging to accomplish. For this study, researchers tried a different approach: rapidly deploying and sampling on active wildfires. They were richly rewarded when the study period coincided with the record-setting fire season of 2004 when over six million acres burned in Alaska. With so many fires, many conveniently burning along the state's few highways, researchers were able to far exceed their original goals. The result is a model that uses upper forest floor fuel moisture content and pre-burn forest floor depth to project consumption and emissions for boreal forest types, now incorporated into Consume 3.0. Roger Ottmar is the contributing scientist.

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Link to this document (507 KB; pdf)
Citation: Joint Fire Science Program. 2009. Chasing flame: gauging smoke production and forest floor consumption in boreal ecosystems. JFSP Fire Science Brief. December 2009(84):1-6.

Cataloging Information

  • Alaskan boreal forest
  • Consume 3.0
  • FERA - Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team
  • forest floor consumption
  • Rapid Response Research
  • smoke characterization
JFSP Project Number(s):
  • 03-1-3-08
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 8377