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Table 2 Vegetation fire-severity class descriptions, modified from National Park Service Fire Effects Monitoring Handbook (USDI National Park Service 2003).

From: Prescribed Fire in Grassland Butterfly Habitat: Targeting Weather and Fuel Conditions to Reduce Soil Temperatures and Burn Severity

Category Visual description
5 = Unburned Not burned
4 = Scorched Foliage scorched
3 = Lightly burned Grasses with approximately two inches of stubble; foliage and smaller twigs of associated species partially to completely consumed; some plant parts may still be standing; bases of plants are not deeply burned and are still recognizable
2 = Moderately burned Unburned grass stubble usually less than two inches tall, and mostly confined to an outer ring; for other species, foliage completely consumed, plant bases are burned to ground level and obscured in ash immediately after burning; burns tend to be uniform
1 = Heavily burned No unburned grasses above the root crown; for other species, all plant parts consumed leaving some or no major stems or trunks, any left are deeply charred; this severity class is uncommon due to the short burnout time of grasses