Fire & the forest

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Fire & the forest

  1. 1. FIRE & THE FOREST
  2. 2. TERMS Wildfire-the uncontrolled burning of fire Incendiary-the unlawful & intentional setting of fire Debris burning-burning of trash Prevention-any action associated with stopping a wildfire before it is started
  3. 3. Justification: Wildfires in Montana and Idaho …
  4. 4. Justification: Wildfires in Florida and Georgia …
  5. 5. Justification: Wildfires in California …
  6. 6. Justification: Wildfires in Arizona …
  7. 7. Justification: Wildfires in Arizona …
  8. 8. Low severity wildfires …
  9. 9. … versus high severity wildfires.
  10. 10. Pre-suppression-any action associated with being ready in case a wildfire occurs Suppression-any action associated with stopping a wildfire Prescribed burning-the controlled use of fire.
  11. 11. Origin-where a fire starts Perimeter-the outmost area of the blaze including the head, flank & rear Relative humidity-the amount of moisture in the air Alidade-an instrument used in locating fires
  12. 12. Wind velocity—the speed of the wind measured in miles per hour Psychrometer—an instrument that measures temperature & relative humidity Heavy fuels—contains a high percentage of thick material such as logs, large limb & tree tops
  13. 13. Medium fuels—contains light materials such as limbs & tree tops less than 4” in diameter Light fuels—grass, leaves, small limbs & twigs Duff—forest litter & other organic debris in various stages of decomposition on top of the mineral soil
  14. 14. Ignite—to burn or burst into flames Mortality—death or destruction of forests due to fires Fire Season—the period of the year which fires are likely to occur
  15. 15. Mixing height—height the smoke mixes with the wind, should be at least 1500 feet Transport wind speed—speed of the wind at mixing height, should be at least 9 mph
  16. 16. Effects of Wildfires 1. Destroy or reduce value of standing timber 2. Destroy young seedlings 3. Reduce the growth rate 4. Reduce the water holding capacity of watershed & cause erosion
  17. 17. 5. Pollute local streams & ponds 6. Kill or injure wildlife as well as the habitat 7. Encourage insects & disease in the stand 8. Can effect local & state economy
  18. 18. Causes of Wildfires 65% of fires caused by: 40% escaped debris burning fires 25% woods arson Average size wildfire in the Southeast is 19 acres per fire Ga. Average wildfire is 4.7 acres
  19. 19. Requirements for a Fire 1. Fuel-wood or other plant material 2. Oxygen-air is the main supply 3. Heat Source-sparks, lightning, cigarettes A fire is like a 3-legged stool, remove one leg & the fire goes out
  20. 20. Types of Forest Fires Ground Fire-fires that burn the organic materials beneath the surface litter of the forest floor Surface Fire-fires that burn surface litter of loose debris on the forest floor & small vegetation Crown Fires-fires that burn from top to top of trees or shrubs
  21. 21. Fire Behavior Fire is affected by a wide range of conditions 1. Air movement-both horizontal & vertical movement of air as well as wind speed 2. Fire season-for Georgia is fall & spring of the year 3. Topography-slope of an area affects the rate of a fire, generally the steeper the slope the faster the fire
  22. 22. Weather conditions that reduce the rate of spread 1. Rain on the fire 2. Wind reversal 3. Increases in relative humidity
  23. 23. Types of fuels The two basic fuel types are: Ground fuels-fuels found on the surface of the soil Aerial fuels-fuels include all burnable materials located in the canopies above 6 feet from the ground
  24. 24. Fire Control Divided into 2 main headings 1. Prevention-things done to prevent a fire from happening 2. Suppression-things done to stop a fire once it has begun
  25. 25. Prevention The most effective & least expensive method of control Prevention Measures include: Clear all fuel back several feet from trash, camp or warming fires Never leave fires unattended Have suppression tools & methods available Keep fires small
  26. 26. Avoid burning during dry spells, windy days or when RH is low Maintain fire equipment in safe running condition Extinguish all matches & smokes before discarding Use prescribed fires to reduce or eliminate fuel
  27. 27. Pre-suppression: Preparations made before a fire starts to more effectively control it. Methods 1. Be familiar with the property & the best way to get equipment to each area under all conditions 2. Locate firebreaks & keep them maintained
  28. 28. 3. Know your neighbors & ask them to report you on any unusual smoke in your area 4. Keep your fire fighting equipment in a handy, known location 5. Know how to contact the County Forest Ranger; 478-934-3124
  29. 29. Suppression: action necessary to extinguish a fire after it has started. Basic jobs of fire suppression: 1. Rob the fire of fuel 2. Reduce the fire’s temperature 3. Cut off the oxygen from the fire.
  30. 30. Major parts of a Fire Head: the portion of the fire toward which the air is moving; the fastest moving part of a fire Rear: the portion of the fire which air is moving away; slowest part of a fire Flank: the sides of the fire
  31. 31. Methods of attack in suppressing a fire Direct: fighting the fire at the head of the flames. Used when the flames are not too intense & moving slowly. Indirect: Used where heat & rate of spread will not permit a direct attack
  32. 32. Additional control methods Mop-up: making sure that all fire & smoking material is out or safe inside the fire breaks. Patrol: Periodic inspections made over the area until the fire is “dead out”
  33. 33. Beneficial Uses of Fire 1. Hazard Reduction-Reducing the forest litter & undergrowth 2. Hardwood Control-Hardwoods under 2” dbh can be controlled with fire. Summer burns give the best results
  34. 34. 3. Site Preparation-the most economical tool to provide conditions for re-establishment of forests. Reduces competition & provides suitable seedbed. 4. Wildlife Habitat-Reduces predator cover, exposes hidden seeds & produces fresh low browse for wildlife.
  35. 35. 5. Disease control-Only practical method of controlling Brown Spot Needle Blight. Burns away infected needles without killing the well protected bud. Litter reduction seems to reduce the incidence of Annosus Root Rot. No know control for this disease once established.
  36. 36. 6. Improved AccessibilityImproves accessibility & visibility for marking & cruising timber. Also helps for harvesting operations. Can improve recreational & aesthetic values.

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