U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Fire Science Brief, Issue 68, September 2009


US government work.


This project took advantage of pre-fire data gathered within the perimeter of Colorado’s 2002 Hayman Fire. Researchers studied the unique fire regime of Front Range ponderosa pine forests, and fire effects on understory-plant communities and American Three-toed Woodpeckers. Results confi rmed that historically, the diverse structure of these forests was maintained by a mixed-severity fi re regime that included large areas of severe fire. In addition, researchers found that much of the burn meets habitat requirements for American Three-toed Woodpeckers, and that understory plant species that were present before the fire returned afterward, with only a slight increase in the number of exotic species.