Date of Award:

2015

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Forestry

Advisor/Chair:

Michael J. Jenkins

Abstract

Large fires (400 ha +) occur about every seven to ten years in the vegetation types located at US Army Garrison Camp Williams (AGCW) practice range located near South Jordan, Utah. In 2010 and 2012, wildfires burned beyond the Camp’s boundaries into the wildland-urban interface. The political and public reaction to these fire escapes was intense. Researchers at Utah State University were asked to organize a system of fuel treatments that could be developed to prevent future escapes. The first step of evaluation was to spatially predict fuel model types derived from a random forests classification approach. Fuel types were mapped according to fire behavior fuel models with an overall validation of 72.3% at 0.5 m resolution. Next, using a combination of empirical and semi-empirical based methods, potential fire behavior was analyzed for the dominant vegetation types at AGCW on a climatological basis. Results suggest the need for removal of woody vegetation within 20 m of firebreaks and a minimum firebreak width of 8 m in grassland fuels. In Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma (Torr.) Little), results suggest canopy coverage of 25% or less while in Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii Nutt.) stands along the northern boundary of the installation, a fuelbreak width of 60 m for secondary breaks and 90 m for primary breaks is recommended.

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