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5 March 2019 Grassland Fire Effects on Steel Fence Posts
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Abstract

Rangeland fire effects on flora, fauna, soils, and water have been studied widely. Fire effects information is limited on rangeland developments such as fencing. Fencing is an integral part of rangeland infrastructure and receives much attention when there is a wildfire or even discussion about conducting prescribed fires. Due to known fence age and fire history, we conducted a study on the Oklahoma State University Research Range located near Stillwater, Oklahoma. Five randomly selected individual metal T posts were sampled from a common fence line of known age and fire treatment. The T posts ranged from 4 to 35 yr since fence construction, with fire activity of 0, 1, 3, or 12 prescribed fires and 0, 1, or 2 wildfire occurrences. Each T post was tested in situ at 40 cm, 80 cm, and 120 cm above ground level for hardness and paint adhesion as set forth by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International standards for hot wroughtmetal fence posts. Our results found no differences in post hardness, with all posts tested being higher than the ASTM minimum standard of 83 Rockwell BHardness Scale. We also found that paint adhesion between burned and unburned T posts did not vary, with age of post being the only significant predictor variable for adhesion. Overall, our results provide evidence that T posts exposed to numerous fires and fire types did not suffer negative effects. This shows that concerns about wildfire and prescribed fires in grasslands having negative effects on metal T posts are unfounded.

© 2018 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
John R. Weir and Heath D. Starns "Grassland Fire Effects on Steel Fence Posts," Rangeland Ecology and Management 72(2), 411-413, (5 March 2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2018.10.007
Received: 4 May 2018; Accepted: 22 October 2018; Published: 5 March 2019
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