Potential effect of fine fuel management by targeted cattle grazing on wildfire behavior
Leticia Varelas
L. Allen Torell
Mitchell B. Stephenson
Retta Bruegger
Larry D. Howery
Derek W. Bailey
Publication Year

Fine fuels are the driver carrying fire across the landscape, and targeted grazing (TG) is a fuel treatment that can be used to reduce fine fuel loads. Grazing trials in the Santa Rita Mountains (SRM) near Tucson AZ and the Chihuahuan Desert Range Research Center (CDRRC) near Las Cruces, NM demonstrated that cattle grazing can successfully be used to reduce standing herbaceous crop on targeted grazing areas. With 10 days of TG, herbaceous standing crop was reduced by about 675 kg/ha at the SRM site and by about 785 kg/ha at the CDRRC site (27 kg/ha/day averaged across both sites). Only on the SRM site was stubble height significantly reduced. The fire models BehavePlus and FlamMap were used to evaluate how the reductions in herbaceous fuels and fuel bed depth would be expected to alter fire intensity and behavior, assuming a 60.7 ha targeted grazing area.

Additional Information
Leticia Varelas1, L. Allen Torell1, Mitchell B. Stephenson1, Retta Bruegger2, Larry D. Howery2, Derek W. Bailey1 --- 1New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, USA, 2University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA