Fire regime parameters and their relationships with topography in the east side of the Southern Oregon Cascade Range Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/r207tt61p

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  • The fire regimes of a 9,000 hectare study area on the east side of the Southern Oregon Cascades are described. Fire regime parameters included are frequency, extent, and predictability of fire return interval. Severity of two fires is mapped by type of evidence. Changes in fire regime due to fire suppression are assessed by analysis of the cumulative distribution. The study area spans a range of elevation that includes high frequency, low severity fire regimes (in the ponderosa pine/white fir zone) to low frequency, high severity fire regimes (in the mountain hemlock zone). The relationships between topography, and frequency and extent are modeled with multiple linear regressions. The fire history reconstructed from scar evidence is compared to the reconstruction from cohort evidence. Regressions are developed predicting fire frequency in three vegetative zones. Scar-based frequency and cohort-based frequency are predicted comparably by the same set of topographic variables (elevation, solar radiation, and slope). Variability of fire return interval is predicted by slope, aspect and their interaction. Extent of fire is predicted by aspect. Exposure is most predictive of fire frequency in the white fir zone. Elevation and slope are most predictive in the red fir zone. Slope position is most predictive of fire frequency in the mountain hemlock zone. Over the 9000 ha study area, fire extent shows a change in fire regime due to fire suppression better than fire frequency shows the change. Data on the effects of fire suppression will be used to develop watershed management plans, silvicultural treatments and prescribed and natural fire plans for the RNA and the adjacent Sky Lakes and Mountain Lakes Wilderness Areas.
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