Second-order fire effects

n. Fire impacts on the environment that occur after a certain amount of time has passed.


  • Discussion


Second-order fire effects, sometimes referred to as “indirect” fire effects, occur after a certain amount of time has passed after a fire (within days of or even up to years after, according to Ryan and Elliot 2005) and are often caused by interaction of fire-caused stress with other factors, such as postfire weather, animal use, or fungal infection. Second-order fire effects include soil erosion, delayed plant and animal mortality, changes in site productivity, plant regeneration, and succession (Reinhardt and others 2001; Ryan and Elliot 2005). Contrast with “first-order fire effects.”


  • See Also

  • References

    • Reinhardt, Elizabeth D.; Keane, Robert E.; Brown, James K. 2001. Modeling fire effects. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 10: 373-380.

    • Ryan, Kevin; Elliot, William J. 2005. Fire effects and soil erosion models. In: Neary, Daniel G.; Ryan, Kevin C.; DeBano, Leonard F., eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: effects of fire on soils and water. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-vol. 4. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 171-177.


  • Notes

    • Author 

      Jane Kapler Smith, Ecologist

      Rocky Mountain Research Station