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Unit 1: The Changing Fire Environment

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Weather

Weather changes over time and space.

Time

  • Changes frequently, frontal passage
  • Time of the year (summer, winter)

Space

  • Elevation, aspect
  • Microclimates
  • Leeward, windward mountainsides

Fire as a local heatsource

Another force of nature which must be considered here is the fire itself and how it affects its own environment. Below, we see how fire as a local heat source affects its environment. First, fire can directly modify local weather, the extent depending upon fire size and intensity. This is done in several ways. Intense heat can modify or produce local winds in the vicinity of the fire. It can also contribute to atmospheric instability, cumulus cloud development, and sometimes even precipitation. And, of course, fire directly affects temperatures and moisture contents of adjacent fuels. The effects of fire on its own environment will be discussed in more detail later.

  • Can modify or produce local winds in vicinity of fire due to indrafts. Can contribute to atmospheric instability, cumulus cloud development, and sometimes precipitation.
  • Affects temperatures and moisture content of adjacent fuels.
Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, September 27). Unit 1: The Changing Fire Environment. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/Forest__Range__and_Wildlife_Sciences/Wildland_Fire_Management_and_Planning/Unit_1__The_Changing_Fire_Environment_3.html. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License