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Fuel Loading

Fuel Temperature

Heat from the sun and radiant heat after ignition can cause the temperature of the fuel to rise. Fuels are usually between 400 degrees and 700 degrees F to ignite.

Fuel Moisture

is dependent upon the availability of water. It also varies according to plant species and the age of the plant. Older plants are usually drier than young plants. Live Fuels moisture is determined by the seasonal growth cycle and groundwater. Dead fuels depends on humidity, temperature, and solar radiation.

Fuel Position

is based on relation to the ground. This can be defined by three types of fuels: subsurface fuels, surface fuels, and aerial fuels.

Fuel Loading

or fuel volume is reported in tons of fuel available per acre. The higher the fuel loading, the more heat that will be produced during a fire.

Fuel Continuity

is the horizontal and vertical spacing of fuels. These are often referred to as continuous fuels or patchy fuels. The rate and direction of the fire is predictable with continuous fuels. Patchy fuels are difficult to calculate because the radiant heat may not be able to ignite the source.

Fuel Compaction

is the space between fuel particles. A tightly compacted fuel will burn with a low rate and intensity because of the supply of air. A stand of grass will be with a high rate of spread and intensity.