Stand-replacing fire

n. A fire in which most or all overstory trees are killed.

 

  • Discussion

 

A stand-replacing fire is usually of high fireline intensity and may be a crown fire but is characterized more by its effect on vegetation than the physical character of the fire.  For example, a stand of thin-barked subalpine fir could be killed by basal girdling from a low-intensity fire, yet this would constitute a stand-replacing fire.  Because a stand-replacing fire kills most or all of the trees in the stand, it is defined as a high-severity fire. See Agee 1993 and Edmonds and others 2005 for further discussion.