Fire Potential in the Spruce Budworm-Damaged Forests of Ontario
The Forestry Chronicle
An experimental burning program was carried out in Ontario between 1978 and 1982 to document quantitatively fire behavior in balsam fir killed by spruce budworm. Forest fire potential in budworm killed balsam fir stands was shown to be significantly higher for a number of years following stand mortality. Crown breakage and windthrow, with resultant fuel complex rearrangement and increased surface fuel loads, peaked 5-8 years after mortality. Fire potential was greatest during this period, decreasing gradually as balsam fir surface fuels began to decompose and understory vegetation proliferated. Fires occurring prior to "green-up" in the spring behaved explosively with continuous crowning, high spread rates, and severe problems with downwind spot fires. Summer fires int he fuel type did not spread at all in the early years following mortality; however, sufficient woody surface fuel accumulation 4-5 years after mortality permitted summer fire spread.
Stocks, B. (1987). Fire potential in the spruce budworm-damaged forests of Ontario. Forestry Chronicle, 63(1): 8-14.