Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel L. Manzello

Fuel Continuity

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51727-8_239-1



Fuel continuity is the degree or extent of continuous or uninterrupted distribution of fuel particles in a fuel bed thus affecting a fire’s ability to sustain combustion and spread. This applies to ladder fuels as well as surface fuels (NWCG 2018).


All vegetative biomass is potentially fuel for wildfires. The physical characteristics of vegetative biomass or fuels that influence wildfire behavior and effects are the total quantity of fuel available to burn, the size (diameter) of the fuels, the moisture content or fuel moisture of the fuels, and how the fuel is distributed. Fuels are distributed both vertically and horizontally; the vertical and horizontal distribution of the fuels is commonly referred to as fuel continuity.Continuous fuels are necessary for fire to spread across the landscape or from the forest floor into the canopy. Fuel continuity is such a fundamental concept in...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PSW Research StationUSDA Forest ServiceDavisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sara McAllister
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA Forest ServiceRMRS Missoula Fire Sciences LaboratoryMissoulaUSA