Fuel load [Fuel loading]

n. The amount of fuel that is potentially available for combustion (van Wagtendonk 2006).


  • Discussion


Fuel load is usually quantified numerically as total mass per unit area. One of the more commonly used field methods for estimating fuel load in forest ecosystems was developed by Brown (1974).  


  • Units


    Preferred units for fuel load are kg/m2 in technical reports and papers. Fire Management in the United States still uses the English units t/ac. See the following fuel load units conversion table for conversion factors.


  • See Also

  • References

    • Brown, J.K.  1974.  Handbook for inventorying downed woody material.  Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-16. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.  24p.

    • van Wagtendonk, J.W.  2006.  Fire as a physical process.  In: Sugihara, N.G.; van Wagtendonk, J.W.; Shaffer, K.E.; Fites-Kauffman, J.; Thode, A.E., eds. Fire in California’s ecosystems. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press: 38-57.


  • Notes

    • Author 

      Eric Knapp, Research Ecologist

      Pacific Southwest Research Station