Composite fire interval
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- number of years between fires that scarred one or more trees within a given area (dieterich 1980), usually displayed as in the figure below. Often indicates the number of years between fires that scarred at least one tree in the area (for example, heyerdahl and others 2001), but may describe number of years between fires that scarred a certain proportion of trees in the area (for example, stephens and others 2003). The criterion (single tree, 2 or more, 10% or more, etc.) must be specified. The composite fire interval is estimated from a pool of trees within an area, and is intended to account for the likelihood that not every tree will be scarred by every fire that occurs in the area (patton 2007). See also fire-return interval and point fire interval.
Composite fire interval for limestone flats, long valley experimental forest, arizona. Time span: 110 years; fire years: 51; composite fire interval: 1.8 years (dieterich 1980).