UBC Undergraduate Research

Fire history near Cranbrook, British Columbia : historical reconstruction using tree-ring evidence Villemaire-Côté, Olivier


In this study, I used dendrochronology to create high-resolution annually-resolved fire chronologies for two sites (CRN2 and CRN4) located near Cranbrook, BC. The CRN2 site included eight fires over 252 years, with a mean fire interval of 34.1 years and a time since last fire of 56 years. The CRN4 site included 13 fires over 269 years, with a mean fire interval of 19.7 years and a time since last fire of 130 years. Low-severity fires have burned through both sites in 1718 and 1869, and fire intervals are consistent with other regional studies. Other fires identified in this study also burned in the Cranbrook area in 1665, 1718, 1751, 1802, 1831, 1869 and 1910. The 1910 fire is clear at CRN2, and appears as a stand replacing fire in CRN4. These chronologies reinforce the regional fire history knowledge and will be used to validate paleoecological work done in the neighbouring lakes. Combining dendrochronological and paleoecological data allows the creation of fire chronologies going back thousands of years. This study contributes to knowledge of historical fire regimes needed to understand the effects of climate change and fire suppression on the landscape, both important for future land management decisions.

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