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ENVIRONMENT. Millar Western Detailed Forest Management Plan Moving Towards Fire-Smart Forest Management. Kelvin Hirsch and Victor Kafka Canadian Forest Service. Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

ENVIRONMENT

Millar Western

Detailed Forest Management Plan

Moving Towards

Fire-Smart Forest Management

Kelvin Hirsch and Victor Kafka

Canadian Forest Service

Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles CanadaCanadian Forest Service Service canadien des forêts

slide2

Presentation Outline

1. Background information

2. Concept of fire-smart forest management

3. Round 1 assessments

4. Creating and evaluating fire-smart landscapes

5. Where to from here?

slide3

BACKGROUND

INFORMATION

slide4

Wildfires are a natural component of all boreal forest ecosystems and have played a major role in forming and maintaining:

  • ecosystem health
  • biodiversity
  • landscape patterns
slide5

Fire can be positive or negative depending on the land and resource management objectives.

  • Detrimental effects on:
      • timber supply
      • communities
  • Beneficial impacts on:
      • wildlife habitat
      • forest health
slide6

Frequent, small, low

intensity surface fires

Infrequent, large,

high intensity, crown fires

Fire Regime in Northcentral Alberta

slide7

It is neither economically possible nor ecologically desirable to eliminate fire from the ecosystem.

  • Forest management involves risk
      • Short-term socioeconomic impacts of fire
      • Longer-term ecological impacts of no-fire
  • Pro-active steps can be taken to reduce the potential for unwanted fire and increase opportunities for desirable fire.
slide9

Minimize

Area Burned

Forest Mgt

Fire Mgt

  • site preparation
  • regeneration
  • stand tending
  • harvest scheduling
  • block layout and design
  • roads
  • prevention
  • suppression

Fire-Forestry Relationship Under Sustained Yield

Maximize Fibre

Production

slide10

Fire-Smart Sustainable Forest Management

GOAL:

Create landscapes that are less prone to catastrophic wildfire but suitable for extensive use of prescribed fire

Working with nature to determine where and when to put/allow fire on the landscape while minimizing short- and long-term risk

slide11

Fire-Smart Sustainable Forest Management

  • Requires:
  • understanding of the historic role and ecological importance of fire
  • altering forest management planning and operations to
      • reduce ignition potential,
      • reduce fire behaviour potential,
      • increase suppression capability
  • creating opportunities for the use of prescribed fire by minimizing the risk of escape
slide12

Ignition potential

  • Suppression capability

Number of escape fires

Forest Mgt

  • site preparation
  • regeneration
  • stand tending
  • harvest scheduling
  • block layout and design
  • roads

Area Burned

Fire behaviour potential

Fuels

Fire-Smart Sustainable Forest Management

Weather

Topography

slide14

Understanding the Historic Role of Fire and the Future Potential for Fire

  • Ignition Potential
      • historic fire patterns
      • fire incidence
  • Fire behaviour potential
      • fuels
      • weather
      • topography
  • Suppression capability
  • Values-at-risk
slide17

FIRE BEHAVIOUR POTENTIAL

FOREST FUELS

Fuel types (and flammability)

Spruce-lichen woodland (moderate)

Boreal spruce (high)

Mature jack or lodgepole pine (moderate)

Immature jack or lodgepole pine (high)

Aspen (very low)

Boreal mixedwood (30% D) (moderate)

Boreal mixedwood (50% D) (low-moderate)

No data or fuel

Grass (moderate-high)

Ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir (low-moderate)

slide19

Fire Assessment of Round 1 Scenarios

  • Four Alternatives
    • Business as Usual
    • Adjusted Spatial Pattern
      • no limit on cutblock size, no species conversion
    • Intensive Two Pass
      • limits on cutblock size, species conversion
    • Enhanced Timber Production
      • no limit on cutblock size, species conversion
slide20

Fire Assessment of Round 1 Scenarios

  • General Observations
  • None of the alternatives significantly reduces the fire behaviour potential on the FMA
    • all have large components of C-2/C-4 fuel types (boreal spruce and immature pine) and have a reduction in D-1(aspen) over time
    • all have large amounts of grass which will create a spring/fall fire season
    • none have strategically located fuel changes that would limit multi-day fire spread
slide21

Business as Usual Scenario

  • Creates many small blocks but they are not large enough to influence fire spread
  • Widespread distribution of age classes over the FMA which may soften the impact of a future large fire on timber supply

BAU 2198

slide22

Adjusted Spatial Pattern

  • Creates large cutovers which become large continuous blocks of homogeneous fuel
  • Mixedwood composition remains intact but further modification is needed

ASP 2098

slide23

Intensive Two Pass

  • Similar block pattern as BAU
  • Significant reduction in mixedwoods leads to even more continuity of coniferous fuels
  • Effects of thinning on fuel type is evident but it is not strategically located on the landscape

I2P 2098

slide24

Enhanced Timber Production

  • Similar block pattern as ASP
  • Significant reduction in mixedwoods leads to even more continuity of coniferous fuels
  • Effects of thinning on fuel type is evident but it is not strategically located on the landscape

ETP 2148

slide25

Insights from the Round 1 Assessments

1. Spatially conscious fuels conversion and reduction is required to create “fire doors” and reduce the large fire spread potential.

2. Fuel changes/breaks must be large enough to slow forward fire spread (1 to 5 km in width).

3. Must break the historic large fire pattern resulting from runs in a NW/SE direction.

4. In deciduous dominated areas there may be an opportunity for the introduction of more conifer/mixedwood blocks to offset deciduous and mixedwood fuel breaks in conifer areas.

slide26

CREATING AND EVALUATING

FIRE-SMART LANDSCAPES

slide28

FUTURE WORK

  • 1. More comprehensive analysis of the effectiveness of fire-smart forest management at reducing the potential for large fires
  • 2. Quantifying the impact and/or return on investment from fire-smart forest management
      • -timber supply, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, (others?)
  • 3. Techniques for the spatial and temporal optimization of barriers to fire spread.
  • 4. Develop burn probability maps and evaluate the likelihood of “company ending events”.
slide29

ENVIRONMENT

Time for Questions

Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles CanadaCanadian Forest Service Service canadien des forêts