Threshold requirements for burning downed honey mesquite



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


Forty-one headfires were burned in west Texas in the spring of 1984. Environmental and fine fuel characteristics (independent variables) were described prior to burning. Discriminant analysis was used to compare ignition and sustained combustion of 1,260 mesquite stems to independent variables. Multiple regression analysis was used to regress percent consumption of mesquite debris against independent variables.

Critical variables for predicting ignition and sustained combustion were windspeed, stem moisture content, stem diameter, and proportion of green fuel in the fuel bed. Threshold values for ignition occurred at 6 km/hr windspeed, 6% surface stem moisture content, 5 cm stem diameter, and 15% green:total fine fuel. Threshold values for sustained combustion occurred at 15 km/hr windspeed, 6 cm stem diameter, and 6% stem moisture content at 1.25 cm below the stem surface. A predictive model for percent consumption of mesquite debris was developed. Windspeed and fine fuel moisture content accounted for 59% of the variability. A prescription for burning downed honey mesquite was developed.



Mesquite -- Control, Fire ecology, Prescribed burning