UBC Undergraduate Research

Vaseux Lake Canadian Wildlife Service burn Erasmus, Hans


This study was done to quantify the intensity and severity of the Vaseux Lake Canadian Wildlife Service prescribed burn in March 2013. Onsite measurements of fuel moisture content were compared to predicted Fire Weather Indices (FWI) for the Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC) and Drought Moisture Code (DMC). Fire intensity was determined from the thermocouple temperature profiles. Fire severity was quantified through consumption of large woody fuels (diameter ≥ 2.6 cm) and change in basal area, mortality, bole char, uphill char height, and crown scorch on trees. We found that the fire weather indices indicated an FFMC of 85 and a DMC of 116. Peak fire temperatures ranged from 38ºC to 762ºC, and burn times above ambient temperature ranged from 10 to 600 minutes. Fire consumption reduced the fuel load by 41.2%. The 100hr fuels (2.6-7.5cm) made up the largest proportion of woody fuels, of which 29% were totally consumed. Tree mortality was limited to 3 ponderosa pines and 5 Douglas-fir. Tree indicators included 82.5% average charring around the circumference of the base, 193cm average uphill char height, and 32.7% average crown scorch. This imperial data can be used as a baseline for long-term monitoring of the site and to prescribe future fire treatments.

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