Fire Science News for the Lake States Region - August 2014

In This Issue

Consortium Staff
Jack McGowan-Stinski
Program Manager

Administrative Committee
The Ohio State University
Charles Goebel, PI
David Hix, Co-PI
Eric Toman, Co-PI
Robyn Wilson, Co-PI
Michigan State University
Jessica Miesel, Co-PI 
Wayne State University
Dan Kashian, Co-PI 
Greg Corace, Co-PI
USFS Northern Research
Brian Palik, Co-PI
Randy Kolka, Co-PI
Matt Bumgardner, Co-PI

Advisory Committee

Jim Barnier, WDNR
Marty Casselius, BIA
Paul Charland, USFWS
Theresa Gallagher, USFS
Dave Heaman, OMNR
Andy Henriksen, NRCS
Doug MIedtke, MN DNR
Russ Reisz, TNC
Michele Richards MI NG
Mark Sargent, MI DNR
Scott Weyenberg, NPS

August 2014: Volume 5, Issue 8

A Fire Management Field Trip in SW MI
brought to you by 

Multiple Perspectives on Fire Sensitive Species in Fire Dependent Habitats
Friday, October 10, 2014 9:00 am to 3:30 pm
Field Trip Discussions:
  • How to optimize prescribed fire plans and operations for rare species conservation
  • Restoration of habitat and minimizing fire-induced mortality in small populations
  • Some Highlights: Oak Savanna, Prairie, and Prairie Fen Restoration; Invasive Plant Species removal; Prairie Vole, Eastern Box Turtle, and Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake considerations.
Explore the sites with land managers, fire officers, and researchers:
  • Michele Richards, National Guard
  • Jennifer Howell, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
  • Nate Fuller, SW MI Land Conservancy
  • Ryan Koziatek, Kalamazoo Nature Center
  • Tracy Swem, MSU graduate student
  • Alicia Ihnken, MI DNR
  • Bob Clancy, MI DNR
  • Glen Palmgren, MI DNR
  • Paul Rogers, MI DNR
The field trip is free and open to the public, but space is limited.
Register HERE by Friday, Oct. 3 to secure your spot

Regional Fire Science Consortia and LANDFIRE Webinars

LANDFIRE and the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) have developed a series of webinars that that are designed to help land managers and others understand and use data resources to assist them when making decisions regarding large landscape projects. Because the suite of LANDFIRE tools are based in vegetation history and current conditions, they can be applied in both fire and non-fire related activities and are particularly suited for running scenarios and considering management plans.

Each series of three webinars share the same components: an introduction to LANDFIRE (aka LANDFIRE 101), a look at a report or case study of how LANDFIRE products were and are being used on the ground, and a session on customizing data for specific landscapes. Each includes information that is based in the geographic area of the particular consortium. Because the components offer the same resource information, you are welcome to register for any of the sessions in any region.

All of the webinars are scheduled for noon, ET.  They are being recorded and will be posted online.

Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna, Lake States, and LANDFIRE 2014 Webinars

September 17: LANDFIRE 101 

Randy Swaty, Ecologist with The Nature Conservancy, offers a primer to LANDFIRE, aka “LANDFIRE 101,” that explains the suite of tools that are available those who need science-based data in order to restore/conserve/manage large landscapes in the U.S. Maps and application examples are focused on the Lake States, and Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna Fire Science Exchange regions. He will describe what LANDFIRE is, where to get the products, how you can use them, when and how often the data is updated, and who to contact to learn more -- all in 45 minutes or less. Though examples and maps refer to Midwest U.S. locations, information applies to all landscapes across the U.S. There will be time for Q & A.

Click Here to Register

October 8: Assessing Needs with Tracy Hmielowski, Wisconsin Fire Needs Assessment - Assessing Needs

Tracy Hmielowski presents, “Where should we burn? A Fire Needs Assessment for Wisconsin.” Given the limitations on prescribed fire resources, the Fire Science Consortia have developed a model, also known as the Fire Needs Assessment, to identify high priority areas for management with prescribed fire. They mapped fire dependent vegetation using the LANDFIRE Existing Vegetation Layer (EVT), and ranked management units based on the potential benefits, effort, and challenges associated with using prescribed fire on the landscape. Tracy will show how open access data and stakeholder involvement have shaped this project, and share the initial results of the Fire Needs Assessment.
Tracy is a Fire Information Specialist with the Tallgrass Prairie & Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium. She works at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
See more HERE

October 29: Customizing Data.

Don Helmbrecht, Wildland Fire Analyst, USDA Forest Service, TEAMS Enterprise Unit, presents "Updating LANDFIRE Data for Wildfire and Harvest Disturbance."

See more HERE

Lake States Fire Science Consortia contact: Jack McGowan-Stinski
TPOS contact: Tracy Hmielowski

Wisconsin Fire Needs Assessment Update

What are the priority areas for prescribed fire in Wisconsin?
The Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna and Lake States Fire Science Consortia, in collaboration with researchers in the SILVIS lab at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, have completed an initial Fire Needs Assessment (FNA) for the state of Wisconsin. The goal of this project was to identify priority areas for management with prescribed fire, with a focus on fire dependent ecosystems with fire return intervals of less than 50 years. Using vegetation data from LANDFIRE, the State Wildlife Action Plan, Wildland Urban Interface data, and input from numerous stakeholder groups, a cost benefit analysis was conducted. This cost benefit analysis used the spatial data to identify where the ecological benefits of using prescribed fire are likely to be greatest when accounting for the effort and challenges of conducting prescribed burns. 
The initial results show high priority areas in central and northwest Wisconsin, when summarized by subwatershed spatial units (above map). There are also priority areas in the northeast and southern portion of the state, reflecting the occurrence of rare community types such as tallgrass prairie and oak barrens. The Consortia hope to work with fire managers across the state to use this assessment as both a statewide planning tool and a starting point for fine scale analyses of fire needs.

You can view or download a two-page PDF version of the WI FNA summary results.

If interested in learning more about the project, contact Tracy Hmielowski with TPOS.

Fire Ecology Synthesis for Great Lakes Region Prairie and Savannas: Draft up for Review


Fire Information Specialist Dr. Tracy Hmielowksi, in collaboration with Dr. Gary Roloff at Michigan State University, has recently completed a literature review of fire effects in the savannas and prairies of the Great Lakes region. This review summarizes the findings of over 250 studies from the region to describe fire effects on vegetation, wildlife, and nutrient cycles.


The TPOS Consortium seeks your comments on the literature review through October 31, 2014. If you wish to make a comment about the synthesis, please utilize this FORM (also on TPOS website).

You may also contact the Tracy Hmielowski with comments via email

To review the complete document, you can view or download a PDF version of "Ecological effects of fire in Great Lakes savannas and prairies."

New Wildfire Science Shows That Small Steps Can Save Homes and Communities
from National Geographic

Click HERE to Read the full article

Each year more Americans move into what is called the wildland-urban interface: zones where human habitation meets forests or grasslands. Many wildfires start in such places; under the right conditions, flames or embers can easily spread to nearby homes. Fortunately, there are ways to make a house in those zones less vulnerable to fire, from the choice of building materials to the landscaping decisions. More information is available at

Improve the Roof
Fire-resistant ceramic tiles, slate or composition shingles, and metal sheets provide better protection than wood.

Seal Off Openings
Put metal screens over vents and other openings to block embers. 

Prune Branches
Flames can jump from branches hanging over the roof of the house.

Mow the Lawn
Keep grass short and well watered to hinder the spread of flames.

Pick Up Debris
Remove leaf litter and pine needles from gutters, dead limbs from around the house.

Lighten Landscaping
Spacing out trees and shrubs makes it harder for flames to travel and easier for firefighters to work.

NASF Partners to Launch a Wildfire Mitigation Award

The National Association of State ForestersInternational Association of Fire Chiefs, and National Fire Protection Association are pleased to announce that the Wildfire Mitigation Awards will launch in 2015. The call for nominations will go live in September 2014. These national awards will recognize outstanding service in wildfire mitigation efforts and activities to increase public recognition and awareness of the need for continuing mitigation efforts.
In response to an overwhelming number of great wildfire mitigation program efforts, the awards are the highest national honor one can receive for outstanding work and significant program impact in wildfire mitigation.
The 2015 Wildfire Mitigation Awards will be presented at the Reno, Nevada-based Wildland Urban-Interface Conference in March 2015.

Modified from the August 2014 Newsletter for Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Northeast Region

Prescribed Fire Video

Watch a 5 minute video on using Prescribed Fire as a Management Tool, from the NW Fire Science Consortium

Online Fire Education at the University of Idaho

University of Idaho now offers 14 online courses in Fire Ecology and Management, including many graduate courses.

Students can complete a Masters of Natural Resources (MNR) with an emphasis in Fire Ecology, entirely online. The MNR program is for designed for working professionals. It is course-based, requiring 30 credits and a professional project.

All online courses have been carefully designed and evaluated for effective student learning. One of online course, Landscape Habitat Dynamics, recently won an international award for effective course design.

Visit Fire Ecology and Management Online to learn more.

Upcoming Regional Fire Trainings 

The following fire training opportunities have been brought to our attention. If you are offering fire courses in the next year please send information to Jack McGowan-Stinski so that we can post in future newsletters for you.
Basic Wildland Fire Courses - NWCG S-130
The Michigan Prescribed Fire Council will be hosting the Field Day portion for the Firefighter Type 2 (FFT2) (run as a two day incident) at Kalamazoo Nature Center October 25-26, 2014

Course Description: This field course serves as the capstone exercise for the S-130 online coursework. The two-day course is run like a NWCG incident to better prepare students for the activities of a wildland firefighter. We last held this in October of 2012, to rave reviews from the participants.

Students may register for the field days prior to completing the required online modules for I-100, S-190, & S-130. The online courses MUST be completed and copies of the certificates MUST be presented at the time of the field days.

Objective: To attain FFT2 level of qualification. 

Course Prerequisites: Online course work outlined in the "Initial Firefighter Training Information."

Cost for Field Days: $80

Lodging and Meals: Cost included in the tuition fee. Meals will be catered. This training will be run like an overnight wildfire incident and students will be spiking out. We are encouraging you to stay onsite but understand if you choose not to. If you decide not to stay onsite you will need to make your own overnight accommodations. If you decide to stay onsite, plan for the elements.


Contact Ryan Koziatek with any questions.

Wildland Fire Courses at Fox Valley Technical College – Fall 2014

NWCG S-130/190/L-180
September 2 – 9, 2014
September 29 – October 3, 2014

S-290 Intermediate Fire Behavior
October 15-18, 2014
S-212 Wildland Powersaws
December 9 -12, 2014

S-270 Air Ops
Contact FVTC
Please contact Rick Buser for more information, or call 920-205-5902
The Minnesota Interagency Fire Center (Grand Rapids, MN) will be hosting a RX-410 on January 26-29, 2015

2014 New York Wildfire and Incident Management Academy

October 23-November 2, 2014 

The Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission's Wildfire Task Force will hold the 17th annual New York Wildfire and Incident Management Academy from October 23 through November 2, 2014, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY.

LSFSC Regional Conferences and Meetings

2014 Michigan Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting
September 11-12, 2014 at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, MI
Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference
(TPOS and LSFSC is hosting a special fire and invasives session as part of this Conference)
October 20-22, 2014 in Duluth, MN

Save the Date for the Fifth Annual Northern Great Lakes Invasive Species Conference: The Dry, The Wet and The Ugly!
November 4, 2014 at Northern Michigan University
More details about the agenda and speakers will be finalized soon 

Save-the-Date for a Lake States and Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna Fire Science Symposium
Burning Issues: How do we integrate competing objectives in land management and restoration?
When: January 13 and 14, 2014
Where: Fort Custer Training Center, Augusta, MI
Registration information available fall 2014

Stewardship Network 2015 Conference
2015 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference
January 23 & 24, 2015 at the Kellogg Center, East Lansing, MI

Midwest Fire Conference
Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium
February 17-19, 2015 in Dubuque, Iowa

Conferences in Canada

Wildland Fire Canada: Integration and Accountability
October 7-9, 2014 at Halifax, Novia Scotia

Conferences in the U.S.

SAF National Convention
October 8-11, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah
41st Annual Natural Areas Conference - Deeply Rooted in Restoration
October 15–17, 2014 in Dayton, Ohio

Wildland Urban Interface Conference
March 25-26, 2015 in Reno, Nevada
Save the Date: 6th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress
Advancing Ecology in Fire Management: Knowledge Transfer through Workshops, Presentations, and Meetings
November 16-20, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas
Submissions and Registration Dates
NOVEMBER 1 - Call for Special Sessions, Workshops,  Attached Meetings
JANUARY 15 - Call for Oral Presentation Abstracts, Poster Abstracts
JUNE 1 - Early Bird Registration Opens
Topics for workshops, special sessions, and presentations include, but are not limited to:
Fire Ecology
Fire Management
Fire Research
Climate Change
Human Dimensions of Fire
Global/International Fire
Case Studies
Copyright © 2014 Lake States Fire Science Consortium, All rights reserved.
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