n. A measure of the amount of moisture contained in a fuel particle.
Moisture content of wildland fuel is the mass of water within the particle expressed as a percentage of the particle’s oven-dry mass. Moisture content influences the rate of fuel consumption because the pre-heating and particle burning times are greater at higher fuel moisture levels (Nelson, 2001). Above a threshold moisture content, which varies according to the type of fuel, combustion is no longer possible because too much of the heat necessary to sustain combustion is being used to drive off the water. This threshold moisture level is known as moisture of extinction (van Wagtendonk 2006).