Age of rough

n. Time since last fire in a southern rough fuelbed.


  • Discussion


Age of rough is a significant determinant of potential fire behavior in southern rough. Southern rough regrows very quickly after fire, so the fuel load changes significantly with each year after a fire. In general, southern rough areas are usually available to burn six months to one year after a fire, and a reburn within this period usually has mild fire effects. On the other hand, after two to three years, fire can be severe in high fire danger conditions. Southern rough over the age of five years may be considered to be a hazardous fuel situation under any burnable condition.




Vegetation height may be used as a surrogate for age of rough. Tables exist to approximate fuel loads for various ages or heights of rough (see McNab and Edwards 1976 and Hough and Albini 1978).


  • Units


    Age of rough is measured in years.


  • See Also

  • References

    • Bucher, Margit. 2006. [Personal communication]. June 20, Durham, NC: The Nature Conservancy, North Carolina Field Office.

    • Frost, Cecil C. 2006. [Personal communication]. June 20. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, Department of Biology, Curriculum in Ecology.

    • Hough and Albini. 1978. Predicting fire behavior in Palmetto-Galberry Fuel Complexes.  Res. Pap. SE-174. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeast Forest Experimental Station. 44 p.

    • McNab and Edwards 1976.  Weight prediction for 10 tinderstory species in central Georgia.  Res. Note SE-235.  Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeast Forest Experimental Station.

    • Noble, Caroline. 2006. [Personal communication]. October 10. Tallahassee, FL: National Interagency Fire Center, DOI National Park Service.

    • Schafale, Michael. 2006. [Personal communication]. July 10. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources.


  • Notes

    • Author 

      Diane Gerke, Spatial Fire Behavior Analyst

      Systems for Environmental Management