|Title||Reconstruction and Interpretation of Historical Patterns of Fire Occurrence in the Organ Mountains, New Mexico|
|Year of Publication||1996|
|Academic Department||Department of Renewable Natural Resources|
|Degree||Master of Science|
|Number of Pages||144|
|University||University of Arizona|
|Keywords||dendrochronology, fillmore canyon, fire, Geography, historical, new mexico, organ mountains, reconstruction|
The purpose of this research was to reconstruct and interpret the history of fire in the Organ Mountains, New Mexico. I used dendrochronological techniques to date fire scars on 90 trees comprising ten sites within the Fillmore Canyon watershed. Two fire regimes were identified during the pre-settlement period. Fire Regime I, 1650-1805, was characterized by a high fire frequency (ca. once every two years) and a predominance of patchy fires. Fire Regime II, 1805-1874, was characterized by a lower fire frequency (ca. once every 3.5 years) and a predominance of widespread fires. During the post-settlement period fire was virtually non-existent. I hypothesize that Apache use-of-fire influenced patterns during the pre-settlement period, while Euro-American land use activities influenced patterns during the post-settlement period. Fire-precipitation associations suggest that low fuel moisture levels were a pre-condition for widespread fires.