1.5. Topography Copy

Jeff Co



The most influential topographical factor
Increasing slope has exponential effect on fire spread rate

Terrain/ Landform

The “lay of the land”, and specific features.
Flat vs gently rolling vs rugged. Narrow valley, canyons, gullies.
Channels winds, air flow.
Create local weather conditions and fire behaviour.


Elevation is the height of a point of land, above sea level.
Affects fuels, usually less dense as you go higher.
Affects weather, usually cooler as you go higher, however inversions often occur.
Inversions can affect smoke venting.


Thermal Belts


Any form of moisture that comes from the atmosphere.
QUANTITY and DURATION are important.
Light rain will not materially affect moisture content of large logs but will affect fine fuels, such as lichen.
Precipitation sometimes does not moisten the underside of fuels.