What affects fire behavior more, climate or fuels? Research Brief

The authors examined the relationship between fuels and fire behavior by examining how fire suppression has affected fire severity in different forest ecosystems in California. The authors tested the hypothesis that fire behavior is limited by fuel availability in some California forests where climatic conditions during the fire season are nearly always conducive to burning and the primary limiting factor for fire ignition and spread is the presence of sufficient fuel.
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Steel, Z. L., H. D. Safford, and J. H. Viers. 2015. The fire frequency-severity relationship and the legacy of fire suppression in California forests. Ecosphere 6(1):8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00224.1