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Monday, January 29 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Impacts of Prescribed Fire Intensity and Seasonality on Woody Vegetation

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AUTHORS. Nathan Holoubek, Jed Meunier - Wisconsin Department on Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Prescribed burning in the Midwest is primarily done with the goals of suppressing woody vegetation, promoting native herbaceous vegetation, and restoring historical open habitat structure. While burning is a major component of land management, there has been little to no regional study on what factors increase the likelihood a burn meeting its objectives. In addition, prescribed burners often list lack of capacity (personnel/equipment) and insufficient burn windows (weather and season) as the main barriers to accomplishing their goals in both burn quality and quantity. Using data from over 56 prescribed burns throughout Wisconsin, we evaluate the differential effects that fire behavior, especially flame temperature and residence time, have on woody vegetation top-kill and re-sprout suppression. Using live and dead fuel loading measurements, we describe the discrepancies between our Midwest fuel metrics and those often used in fire behavior modeling. We further investigate how weather, site characteristics (e.g. fuel loading), and plant physiology (i.e. season) interplay to alter fire behavior and brush suppression.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm CST