Mixed-Severity Fire Regimes in the Northern Rocky Mountains: Consequences of Fire Exclusion and Options for the Future
Proceedings: Wilderness science in a time of change conference
USDA Forest Service
Findings from fire history studies have increasingly indicated that many forest ecosystems in the northern Rocky Mountains were shaped by mixed-severity fire regimes, characterized by fires of variable severities at intervals averaging between about 30 and 100 years. Perhaps because mixed-severity fire regimes and their resulting vegetational patterns are difficult to characterize, these regimes have received limited recognition in wilderness fire management. This paper presents examples of mixed-severity fire regimes in Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and discusses how suppression and fire management policies have affected them. It suggests possible management actions to return a semblance of the historical mixed-severity fire regimes to these and other natural areas.
Arno, S.F., Parsons, D.J., Keane, R.E., 2000. Mixed-severity fire regimes in the northern Rocky Mountains: Consequences of fire exclusion and options for the future. In: Wilderness science in a time of change conference. USDA For. Serv. RMRS-P-15-Vol-5, pp. 225-232