5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Monday, 17 November 2003: 3:30 PM
Fire Regime Condition Class: Scales and definitions
James Menakis, USDA Forest Service, Missoula, MT; and W. Hann, M. Miller, and D. Bunnell
Over the last couple of decades, we have seen a tremendous increase in the size, number, and intensity of wildfires in the United States, resulting in Congress implementing the National Fire Plan and Forest Service and Department of Interior writing Cohesive Strategies to implement this plan. In response of these events, Hardy and others (2001) developed several coarse scale spatial data layers to try to get an estimated of the extent of this problem. One of these layers Fire Regime Condition Classes (FRCC) proved very valuable for visualizing and estimating the fuels problems, as it relates to the departure from the Historical Natural Fire Regimes. Recently, different versions of FRCC have been produced with new data and at different scales (Menakis and others 2003, Hann and others 2002). Unfortunately, these new data and attempts to simplify the fuels management story have created a great deal of confusion about interpretation, scale, and acre estimates of FRCC for the nation. In this paper, we will hopefully address and clarify much of this confusion associated with FRCC and provide direction for the proper use and interpretation of FRCC at the appropriate scales.

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