Monday, 17 November 2003: 1:30 PM
Fuel loading in the Central Hardwoods
We collected fuel loading data in the Southeast Missouri Ozarks to determine if aspect (protected, exposed, and ridge) has an effect on fuel loading in stands that will receive either thinning, prescribed fire, both prescribed fire and thinning, or no management (control). Stands chosen for the study had no management or documented fire for at least 30 years. Results indicate that total fuel loading varied between 1.42 and 2.24 kg/m2 with higher total fuel loadings being typically observed on protected slopes. Most of the variation in total fuel loading between aspects occurred in the 1000-hour timelag class. There were no significant differences in 1, 10, 100-hour, and 1000-hour solid fuels between aspects indicating that a single fuel loading value for each size category may reliably be used to predict fire behavior on any aspect. There was, however, a significant difference in 1000-hour solid fuels between aspects. With exception to 1000-hour solid, a single fuel loading value for each timelag class may be reliably used for fire behavior predictions on any aspect. Since finer fuels have the greatest effect on fire behavior total fuel loading measures may not accurately depict fire danger.