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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 22(5)

Fuel properties and fire behaviour characteristics of prescribed fire in pine-dominated forests at Nam Nao National Park, Thailand

K. Wanthongchai A B E, V. Tarusadamrongdet C, K. Chinnawong C and K. Sooksawat D

A Department of Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Chatuchak, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand.
B Center for advanced studies in Tropical Natural Resources (NRU-KU), Kasetsart University, Chatuchak, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand.
C Graduate School, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Chatuchak, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand.
D National Park Office, Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand.
E Corresponding author. Email address: kobsak.w@ku.ac.th

International Journal of Wildland Fire 22(5) 615-624 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF11183
Submitted: 24 January 2012  Accepted: 6 November 2012   Published: 29 January 2013

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Anthropogenic burning has become a common phenomenon throughout Thailand’s pine-dominated ecosystems. This study investigated fuel loads and experimental fire behaviour characteristics in a degraded pine forest (PF) and a pine–oak forest (O-PF), at Nam Nao National Park, Thailand in three replicate 50 × 50-m plots of each forest type. Pre-burn fuel loads, fire behaviour descriptors, fire and soil temperature, the residues left after burning and post-burn fuel recovery for 1 year were investigated. The aboveground fuel load in PF (1.29 kg m–2) was significantly higher than in O-PF (0.87 kg m–2). The main fuel components in the PF stand were grass (45%) and litter (44%), whereas leaf litter was the predominant fuel in the O-PF stand (55%). The fire behaviour characteristics in the PF stand were significantly greater than those in the O-PF stand. Burning at the O-PF and the PF was respectively classified as low (48 kW m–1) and medium intensity (627 kW m–1). During the burning experiment, the surface soil temperatures at all sites were higher than 250°C. However, fire did not cause temperature changes in the deeper soil layers. In the pine forest the post-burn fuel loads 1 year after the fire remained lower than the pre-burn level. These results may imply that a pine forest at Nam Nao National Park requires more than 1 year of fire-free period to recover back to the pre-burn conditions.

Additional keywords: degraded pine forest, fuel loads, pine–oak forest, soil temperature.


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