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Fuel Model Selection for BEHAVE
in Midwestern Oak Savannas


BEHAVE can be used as a prescribed fire planning tool. When using BEHAVE it is important to pick a fuel model that characterizes the entire area. Established Midwestern oak savanna fuels are a heterogeneous mix of four fuel models, Fuel Models 1, 2, 3, and 9, but overall fuel conditions are best described by Fuel Model 2. The makeup of the 1 hr fuel matrix in oak savannas exerts a significant influence on fire behavior. The combination of fine grassy fuels and cured oak leaf litter create a complex fuel bed with 1 hr fuel particles varying greatly in size and shape. BEHAVE reliably predicts prescribed fire mean ROS in established Midwestern oak savannas when the appropriate fuel model is selected and accurate information is input into BEHAVE. The potential consequences of underestimating ROS cannot be overstated, particularly if inadequate or marginal preparations have been made by the fire management team. BEHAVE is a tool that provides information regarding potential fire behavior that can assist in prescribed fire planning.
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