Fire history on a desert mountain range: Rincon Mountain Wilderness, Arizona, USA

C. H. Baisan, T. W. Swetnam

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241 Scopus citations


Modern fire records and fire-scarred remnant material collected from logs, snags, and stumps were used to reconstruct and analyze fire history in the mixed-conifer and pine forest above 2300 m within the Rincon Mountain Wilderness of Saguaro National Monument. The fire regime was dominated by large scale (>200 ha), early-season (May-July) surface fires. Mean fire interval over the Mica Mountain study area for 1657-1893 was 6.1 yr with a range of 1-13 yr for larger fires. Mean fire interval for the mixed-conifer forest type (1748-1886) was 9.9 yr with a range of 3-19 yr. Thirty-five major fire years between 1700-1900 were compared with a tree-ring reconstruction of the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI). Mean July PDSI for 2 yr prior to fires was higher (wetter) than average, while mean fire year PDSI was near average. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1559-1569
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Ecology

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