Fire Management Considerations
Fuel buildup occurs very rapidly in unmanaged bluegum eucalyptus stands
in California [1,33]. Fuel reduction programs can reduce wildfire
hazard, as can the establishment of fuelbreaks [1,31].
In December, 1972, the San Francisco Bay Area experienced a severe cold
snap, resulting in extensive frost damage to bluegum eucalyptus trees
[6,18]. Frost-killed leaves and twigs increased bluegum eucalyptus
litter ten-fold. By early 1973, following a particularly hot, dry
summer and autumn, the litter combined with standing dead and damaged
bluegums constituted a major fire hazard [1,6,18]. Several fuel
reduction methods were proposed: mechanical removal of trees, thinning
of present stands, and prescribed fire. The first two alternatives are
commonly applied now in freeze-killed or damaged stands. Broadcast
fires have been used with success in undisturbed areas under reasonably
moist (13-19% fuel moisture) weather conditions. Spring fires have
reduced fuel loads up to 87 to 96 percent without damage to overstory
trees. Prescribed burning has been widely applied to eucalyptus forests
in Australia to reduce fuel loads and prevent wildfires .
- 1. Agee, J. K.; Wakimoto, R. H.; Darley, E. F.; Biswell, H. H. 1973. Eucalyptus fuel dunamics, and fire hazard in the Oakland Hills. California Agriculture. 27(9): 13-15. 
- 6. Bulman, Teresa L. 1988. The eucalyptus in California. Fremontia. 16(1): 9-12. 
- 18. Hamilton, W. Douglas; McHenry, W. B. 1982. Eucalyptus stump sprout contol. Journal of Arboriculture. 8(12): 327-328. 
- 31. Mortenson, Bryan G. 1984. Urban fuelbreak management plan, an integrated pest management approach. In: "Weeds on planet Earth": Proceedings, 36th annual California weed conference; 1984 January 16-19; Sacramento, CA. [Place of publication unknown]
- 33. Osterling, Ralph S. 1983. Managing a coastal bluegum (Eucalyptus globulus) forest. In: Standiford, Richard B.; Ledig, F. Thomas, technical coordinators. Proceedings of a workshop on Eucalyptus in California; 1983 June 14-16; Sacramento, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-69. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 93-94. 
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