Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a common coastal species in The Netherlands that potentially burns with extreme energy levels. In this region of Europe that is experiencing increases in wildfire events, the need to gain a greater understanding of energy released when this species burns will improve fire behavior predictions. The objective of this study was to conduct an initial investigation into the foliage flammability of sea buckthorn to a common southern United States native shrub known for its flammability, yaupon (Ilex vomitoria), and two common dominant shrub species in California chaparral, chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum), and manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.). Flammability parameters were evaluated using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and oxygen bomb calorimetry to estimate relative spontaneous ignition temperature (RSIT), gas-phase maximum mass loss rate (GP-MMLR), gas-phase combustion duration (GP-CD), volatile matter%, fixed carbon%, ash%, and net heat content (NHC). Sea buckthorn exhibited similar ignitability (<RSIT) with the other species, as well as similar combustibility (>GPMMLR) to yaupon. Sea buckthorn and yaupon shared similar NHC values and subsequent fire behavior outputs. Proximate analysis for VM% and FC% were varied, but low ash% values correlated with slightly lower RSIT’s for sea buckthorn and chamise. Anecdotal information from a 2019 prescribed burn along the coast of The Netherlands highlighted significant fire behavior, and shows similarities with these species in two North American ecosystems.
Published Date: 2020-08-10; Received Date: 2020-07-23