The ChaRoFlux Project: A new quantitative fire severity metric?


Reducing the impact of wildfires on wildland areas is a core goal of management practices that seek to protect the provision of ecosystems services and natural biodiversity.

The different nature of fires means that different fire behaviours are expected to have various influences on fire severity.

It is difficult to quantitatively link fire behaviour to fire severity because we cannot usually be present to measure the heat distribution imparted by a fire across a wildland area.

Charcoal is one of the most abundant products remaining at a site following a wildfire. If charcoals were able to record the signature of the fire, they might be able to inform us about the energy experienced by the ecosystem.

Interestingly charcoals are known to exhibit different reflective properties when photometric measurements of the incident light radiation reflected from samples are taken.

The ChaRoFlux project is building an understanding of relationships between fuel and fire properties and their influence on charcoal reflectance using state-of-the-art laboratory experiments coupled to instrumented field scale wildfires.

ChaRoFlux aims to develop charcoal reflectance as a novel quantitative metric that can provide information about fire behavior, energy exchanges and fire severity.

wildFIRE Lab Researchers:

Key contact: c.belcher[at]