Southwest Fuels Guide Photo Series

This photo series was compiled by NMFWRI to show different wood fuels residues specifically in Southwest mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, and piñon-juniper. Since 2007, NMFWRI has taken data on nearly 1600 FFI/FIREMON plots across New Mexico. Beginning in 2008, Brown’s transects were included in monitoring which allowed the assessment of surface fuels levels (litter, duff, 1-hour, 10-hour, 100-hour, and 1,000-hour fuels). The photos associated with these Brown’s transects have been compiled into series.

For mixed conifer, ponderosa and PJ forest types, we have set up two fuels series. One is ordered based on the tons/acres of 1000-hour fuels only (more likely what would be found in a “natural” setting) and the other is ordered based on the total tons/ acre (1-hour to 1,000 hour fuels) which reflect higher levels of slash associated with thinning or other management practices. Amounts of fuels recorded are provided for all photos, as well the location in and date on which they were taken. Litter and duff are not reported because they are not identifiable in photographs, nor are stumps included in fuels estimates. This photo guide can be used for rapid estimation of surface fuel loading for managers in the Southwest lacking the time or budget to perform more intensive assessments. A quantitative estimate can be obtained by simply finding the photo or photos that mostly closely match the characteristics seen in the field.