Fire Effects Monitoring Data
The NPS has established the Fire Management Handbook, a standardized protocol for collecting data (download it at http://www.nps.gov/fire/fire/fir_eco_mon_fmh.cfm). In general, the following data is collected before and after the fire:
In addition, weather and fire behavior are monitored during the burn. This includes such data as:
What are the monitoring results?
Although 80 monitoring plots along the Parkway have been installed, the datasets are not complete for all plots, and not all monitoring plots have been burned. Therefore, the sample size is too small to make definitive conclusions about the effects of fire. However, some trends in fuel load and small tree density reduction are evident. These trends are beneficial for the health of this ecosystem. Differences in the structure of the forest can be seen from photographs.