These reports cover fuel load and how it influences fire behaviour. This research is beneficial to fire managers by improving the basic models used nationwide to determine fire behaviour and danger.
Veronica Clifford & Grant Pearce
This study aimed to improve understanding of fire hazard in tussock grasslands by investigating fuel load recovery with time-since-fire.
Published Online - Mar 2009.
This study aimed to improve understanding of fire hazard in tussock grasslands by investigating fuel load recovery with time-since-fire. Knowledge on the rates of biomass recovery following fire is needed to improve estimates of fire behaviour for fire management of tussock grasslands. Very few studies have investigated the recovery of fuel loads (biomass) following fire in tussock grasslands. A method was developed and tested for determining biomass accumulation following fire in tussock grasslands at the Waiouru Army Training Ground, in the central North Island. Results were also compared with current fuel load models. Significant findings were that fuel loads at Waiouru recovered to 19% of the unburned biomass within 6-12 months and to 50% by 4-7 years after fire. Total biomass for tussock grasslands was best predicted by the "tussock all" model.
Veronica Clifford, Thomas Paul & Grant Pearce
This report was prepared for the New Zealand Fire Service Commission Contestable Research Fund. This project aims to provide improved knowledge for fire and land managers on the growth and geographical spread of wilding conifers, and of the impacts of wildings and their control on risk of fires and the potential fire behaviour in the high country.
Published Online - 31 Jul 2013.
The effects of wilding spread and their control on fire behaviour have not been previously studied in New Zealand. There is a noticeable lack of research to date on how fire hazard changes over time with wilding invasions, or comparing fire behaviour pre and post wilding control.
A wilding invasion present problems not only for land managers in controlling the spread of these wildings, but also has implications for fire fighters and fire managers. Wildfires in these areas could exhibit more extreme fire behaviour, be more difficult to suppress, and present greater threats to lives and property.
It has also been suggested that wilding control methods could increase the fire risk and fire hazard, and threaten life and property in rural-urban communities, key recreational areas for tourism, conservation land, plantations and farmland.
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Senior Fire Scientist, Rural Fire Research