What is live fuel moisture: a new look at the combustion of living plants
Presenter: Matt Jolly, PhD, USFS Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory
Meeting: December 20, 2012 Webinar
Recording: Webinar Recording (wmv; 861 MB -or- mp4; 105 MB), or view on YouTube
Live fuel moisture is measured frequently throughout the country as an indicator of potential fire behavior but little is known about the primary factors that drive their seasonal variations. Dr. Matt Jolly delves into the interactive factors that
control live fuel moisture and discusses some of the potential implications of these factors on seasonal variations in the fire potential of living plants. He shows how the interactions between the water content of the foliage and seasonal changes in the leaf's dry weight combine to influence calculated live fuel moisture and ultimately, its flammability. Co-hosted by Alaska and Great Lakes Regional Consortia
The Joint Fire Science Program and the National Interagency Fuels Coordination Group developed the IFT-DSS in collaboration with fuels specialists to encourage scientific collaboration across agencies, control ong-term costs, and improve the quality of data analysis. This webinar will provide an introduction to the IFTDSS and discuss the workflow scenarios that have been developed to address common goals and objectives in fuels treatment planning.
The southwest Yukon is currently experiencing a widespread outbreak of spruce bark beetle, creating an extensive area of standing dead trees. With the increased level of fire risk, monitoring fuel treatment effectiveness, especially in terms of reducing crown fire spread, has become an important part of an adaptive management approach. This presentation presents some key fire hazard attributes and a fire model for exploring treatment effectiveness.
Workshop attendees were incouraged to share what fuels related projects were going on in their area or zone, the goals of the projects, and any interesting or helpful lessons learned.
The Nenana Ridge Experimental Fuels Treatment Project is designed to quantify the effects of fuels reduction treatments (thinning and shearblading) on fire behavior and post-fire vegetation dynamics in Alaska black spruce. On June 17th, 2009, one unit within the Nenana Ridge Project was successfully ignited. Key results showed that the crown fire was indeed brought down to a surface fire upon impact of the thinned treatment.
Fire proof camera boxes and sensor packages (designed to collect data on air temperature, heat energy transfer, and air flow) were installed to monitor fire behavior for the Nenana Ridge Research Burn. Aerial infrared images (used to sense heat) were also collected from a helicopter. Preliminary fire behavior results from this experiment showed that the active crown fire was brought down to a surface fire.
Fuel moistures samples along with along with duff (forest floor) consumption measurements were collected before and after the Nenana Ridge Prescribed Research Burn. These results are important as forest floor biomass and moisture are key components of fire in boreal ecosystems and often drive fire behavior. The amount of duff or forest floor consumption directly impacts smoke, permafrost melting, erosion and vegetation succession.
The Nenana Ridge Experimental Fuels Treatment Project was funded by the Joint Fire Science Program and designed to quantify the effects of fuels reduction treatments on fire behavior and post-fire vegetation dynamics in Alaska black spruce. This project began in 2006 with installation of four 1-acre treatment blocks.
The 2009 Nenana Ridge Prescribed Burn proved to be a successful but complex operational and logistical accomplishment. Lessoned learned from the fire management perspective include effectiveness of the treatments, specifications for future fuel treatments, operational improvements, and sufficient funding needed for ideal burn implementation and the highest probability of success.
NPS Hazard Fuels Projects
Presenter: Jennifer Barnes
Meeting: FETG 2009 Spring Meeting
Download: Presentation Slides (pdf; 2.7 MB)
The National Park Service in Alaska has several hazardous fuels projects that are being monitored for successional changes and potetial fuel break effectiveness. Lessons learned from these projects are discussed in this presentation.
Through a unique multi-agency partnership, the Village of Tanacross was able to implement a shaded fuel break around the community in 2001. In May of 2010, this fuels treatment was put to the test by the Eagle Trail Fire. Although the fuel break was not impacted directly by the head fire, it played a key role in operational decisions and resource allocations.