Fire is a natural element of the mixed conifer ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. Historical records have indicated the prevalence of fires in the past. The present study shows that prescribed fires can be used to simulate natural fires.
The key to using prescribed fire is the recognition of the fact that fires behave differently under varying fuel type and fuel moisture conditions. Fire characteristics and fire effects on fuel and vegetation can be controlled by the resources manager by using the refined prescriptions developed in this study. Aided by an inventory map of understory fuel types, the manager can decide when and how to burn to meet his specific objectives. It is felt that the prescriptions would be generally applicable to the lower portion of the mixed conifer zone in the central and southern Sierra for hazard reduction and vegetative manipulation work.
Last Updated: 01-Mar-2005