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What is Fire Severity?

 

FireMAP's research is concerned with the first-order effects of Fire Severity, also known as Burn Severity. Burn Severity takes into account what comes after the fire is out. First-order fire effects are determined by how much a fire has affected the immediate ecology. This could be injury to organisms or immediate mortality, fuel consumption, smoke production, or soil heating (Smith). 

 

Burn Severity is determined by two factors: Fireline Intensity and how resistant the ecosystem is to fire. For example, if a fire with the same fireline intensity hit some trees with thin bark then the amount burned would be greater than if the same fire hit trees with thick bark (Agee).



References

Agee, J.K. 2007.Fire Severity. In: FireWords: Fire Science Glossary [electronic]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).

Smith, Jane Kapler. 2007.First-Order Fire Effects. In: FireWords: Fire Science Glossary [electronic]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).