The Effects of Brush Cutting and Burning on Fuel Beds and Fire Behavior in Pine-Oak Forests of Cape
Department of Natural Resources Conservation University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
FOREST 698: PRACTICUM
Pine-oak forests comprise 46% of the vegetation of Cape Cod National Seashore. Flammable ericaceous shrubs, especially Gaylussachia baccata, dominate the understories and combined with heavy litter fuel loads increase the probability of intense surface fires. Past research has evaluated the use of brush cutting and prescribed burning to reduce fire hazard and to construct custom fuel models to predict fire behavior. Results suggest that the two treatments combined will better accomplish this goal than when they are applied separately. The goal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of combined treatments.