Development of a photo guide for fuels in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Northeast Georgia and Western South CarolinaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Current methods of assessing the characteristics of forest fuels are time-consuming, expensive, and impractical in the mountainous terrain of the southeastern United States. A photo guide to fuels is being developed. It will be a quick, inexpensive, and easy-to-use tool for various management applications in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Fuels data and photos were taken at 250 sites in the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina and 250 sites in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. Eight major fuel types were identified for the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Using annual summary weather data from the two nearest airports, typical weather conditions were calculated for the season of greatest wildfire activity. The guide will have several example photos for each fuel type with descriptions of the fuel loads and type, vegetation, and terrain. It will also describe potential fire behavior in that fuel type on a day with specified weather conditions.