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Issues arising from fire in Aspen cutblocks during the House River Fire





Greg Baxter (Lead)

Other Collaborator(s):
Advisory Member(s):

At least 100 cutblocks were involved in the House River Fire and fire managers on-site believe these blocks contributed to containment difficulties. The cutblocks included pine, spruce and aspen areas. Harvesting aspen has become common only recently in Alberta. Little is known about fire behaviour in aspen cutblocks. This case study investigated (1) the fire behaviour exhibited in the cutblocks, based on the debris arrangement and (2) the overnight fire behaviour attributable to the fuel arrangement. The House River Fire was important to Alberta, as the fire behaviour was somewhat unanticipated. The fire pointed out previously unknown and unstudied facets of fire behaviour in aspen areas. This case study aimed to answer whether fire behaviour in aspen slash different than in pine or spruce slash.

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