Canadian Forest Service Publications

Fire impacts and crowning in the boreal forest: study of a large wildfire in western Quebec. 2001. Kafka, V.; Gauthier, S.; Bergeron, Y. International Journal of Wildland Fire 10(2): 119-127.

Year: 2001

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 18571

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

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Abstract

Within the context of studying the ecological impacts of wildland fires in the boreal forest, a spatial analysis of a major wildfire was conducted. The fire covered nearly 500 km 2 in the north-western part of Quebec’s boreal forest in the summer of 1995. The spatial distribution of different fire impacts on the forest canopy was obtained using timber damage assessment maps. Fire impacts varied throughout the burned area, ranging from areas where trees had completely burned crowns (43%) to remaining patches of trees with green foliage (3%). The effects of local stand and site factors on crown fire, as assessed by the fire impacts, were evaluated using geographic information systems. Despite the large extent and high intensity of the wildfire created by extreme fire weather conditions, stepwise logistic regression and analysis by log–linear models indicated that variations in surface material, stand composition, and estimated stand age played a role in the presence or absence of crowning at the stand level. However, it appears that height and density of stand, as well as topography, did not have a significant influence. Our study presents the variability of fire impacts and its implications, and it provides a better understanding of the relationships between landscape components and fire crowning.