Reducing fire potential in lodgepole pine by increasing timber utilization
Fuel and fire potential in clearcut lodgepole pine were compared after stands were logged to near complete and conventional utilization standards. After logging, material greater than 3 inches in diameter had been reduced threefold on the near complete units and had been increased threefold on the conventional units. Material smaller than 3 inches in diameter was slightly less plentiful on the near complete units than on the conventional units after logging; however, of this material, the conventional units retained 2.6 times more needles. Compactness of logging residue was twice as great on the near complete units as on the conventional units. Predictions of postlogging potential fire spread were 3 to 4.5 times greater and intensity almost 9 times greater on the conventional than on the near complete units. Fire hazard on the near complete units after logging was minimal and prescribed burning was impractical.