Fire history and stand structure in the Huachuca Mountains of Southeastern Arizona
|Title||Fire history and stand structure in the Huachuca Mountains of Southeastern Arizona|
|Year of Publication||1998|
|University||University of Arizona|
Historically, wildfires in mixed conifer forests of Southwestern sky islands were frequent events. Dendrochronological methods were used to reconstruct fire regimes and stand age structures in the Huachuca Mountains of Southeastern Arizona. Pre-settlement (i.e., before ca. 1870) fire intervals ranged from 4 to 10 years, with many fires spreading over the entire sample area. Stand age distributions show an increase in more shade-tolerant tree species. Although ponderosa pine is still the dominant overstory tree species, recent recruitment is predominantly southwestern white pine and Douglas-fir. Establishment of Ft. Huachuca in 1877 was a precursor to extensive use of timber, mineral, range and water resources in the Huachuca Mountains. The fire regime was altered at this time, with only one subsequent widespread surface fire recorded in 1899. Settlement era land-use practices may be responsible for changes in stand structure and composition.