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Characterizing fire-on-fire interactions in three large wilderness areas

Casey C. Teske, Carl A. Seielstad, Lloyd P. Queen


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors assessed fire-on-fire interactions in three wilderness areas to see how past fire area burned and fire severity affect subsequent fire.

Publication findings:

The authors found that low- or moderate-severity fires generally regulated subsequent fires to similar severities, similar to historical patterns of frequent, low-severity fires in dry coniferous forest systems. Smaller burns created openings in both the understory and overstory vegetation, which adds diversity to the landscape, provides mechanisms for plant succession, and promotes differential tree establishment. In contrast to small burns, they found that large burns may create a homogeneous setting of burned areas which may not enhance species diversity following fire. Finally, the authors suggest that although typically previous fires kept the spread of subsequent fires in check most of the time, climate and weather can override fuel limitations and spread into recently burned landscapes.

Climate and Fire Linkages

The authors suggest that although typically previous fires kept the spread of subsequent fires in check most of the time, climate and weather can override fuel limitations and spread into recently burned landscapes.

The authors suggest that although typically previous fires kept the spread of subsequent fires in check most of the time, climate and weather can override fuel limitations and spread into recently burned landscapes.

Fire and Ecosystem Effects Linkages

The authors found that low- or moderate-severity fires generally regulated subsequent fires to similar severities, similar to historical patterns of frequent, low-severity fires in dry coniferous forest systems. Smaller burns created openings in both the understory and overstory vegetation, which adds diversity to the landscape, provides mechanisms for plant succession, and promotes differential tree establishment. In contrast to small burns, they found that large burns may create a homogeneous setting of burned areas which may not enhance species diversity following fire. Finally, the authors suggest that although typically previous fires kept the spread of subsequent fires in check most of the time, climate and weather can override fuel limitations and spread into recently burned landscapes.

The authors found that low- or moderate-severity fires generally regulated subsequent fires to similar severities, similar to historical patterns of frequent, low-severity fires in dry coniferous forest systems. Smaller burns created openings in both the understory and overstory vegetation, which adds diversity to the landscape, provides mechanisms for plant succession, and promotes differential tree establishment. In contrast to small burns, they found that large burns may create a homogeneous setting of burned areas which may not enhance species diversity following fire. Finally, the authors suggest that although typically previous fires kept the spread of subsequent fires in check most of the time, climate and weather can override fuel limitations and spread into recently burned landscapes.