May 2012; Vol. 3: No. 5
Webinar Series Completed
The 2012 Lake States series of fire science webinars is now complete. Visit our library of recorded webinars by clicking here
and let us know
if you have a topic of interest for 2013. Thanks for your participation.
Fuel Loading and Smoke
Although many fire managers have been trained to recognize the 13 Fire Behavior Fuel Models from National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) fire behavior training courses, they may not know about the alternatives designed, in part, to provide better information about fire effects, fuel consumption and smoke emissions. These is the first in a series we'll share.
The Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS)
, developed by the Fire and Environmental Research Applications team (FERA)
, offers consistently organized fuels data along with numerical inputs to fire behavior, fire effects, and dynamic vegetation models.
To construct the FCCS fuelbeds, FERA continues to conduct extensive sampling in ecosystems across the United States. Another product of that effort is the Digital Photo Series
, a detailed inventory of 43 photo series containing a total of 457 sites in database form to enable searching, downloading, and eventually side-by-side comparisons and customized site generation.
Fire Ecology of Ontario
We've reported before on the value of the LANDFIRE classifications produced in the US. Ontario provides a similar set of resources for their province that dovetails nicely and provided another important perspective to support management decisions.
"The Ecosystems of Ontario, Part 1: Ecozones and Ecoregions"
, completed in 2010, allows for better description, greater understanding of controlling processes, inventory, communication, and management.
"Natural Fire Regimes in Ontario"
is intended to help inform decisions regarding preliminary fire management goals, objectives and options for maintaining and restoring fire-dependent ecosystems in protected areas.
Grass Fuel Moisture Code
A new CFFDRS Fire Behavior Tool
Users of the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System's Fire Weather Index (FWI) system have long understood that the Hourly Fine Fuel Moisture Code does not respond quicly enough to sun, wind, and low relative humidity after a rain event in grass fuels. The presentation and paper linked here
, presented by Mike Wotton of Canadian Forest Service, discuss an improved grass fuel moisture model that responds to this need among fire managers working in grass fuels.
This graph shows how the Model-GFMC trend line matches observed grass fuel moistures (blue dots) more closely than the Model-HFFMC line.
Prescribed Fire Review
Lower North Fork RX in Colorado
This 50 acre prescribed fire following a mastication treatment was part of a larger restoration effort on Denver Water Property. Though ignited safely on March 23rd, it eventually escaped control three days later under Red Flag conditions. Before control, it burned 4000 acres, 23 structures, and resulted in three fatalities. Similar situations have occurred here in the Lake States region. This report provides important information for fire managers and burn bosses charged with meeting resource objectives and protecting values at risk.
Traditional Fire Practices:
Pikangikum First Nation Elders
Talking about fire: Pikangikum First Nation elders guiding fire management.
Andrew M. Miller, Iain J. Davidson-Hunt, Paddy Peters. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 2010. 40:2290-2301.
This collaborative research strategy included interviews, historic fire site visits, and community meetings. Clearly demonstrated were the need for continuing dialogue for fire management planning, engaging traditional teachings of fire safety to community youth, and increased use of traditional practices in fire management.
Fire Damage to Red Oaks
" Prescribed Fire and Timber Quality"
This presentation is by Joe Marschall
, the new coordinator of the Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium
. His study tracked loss of lumber volume, quality and value in the butt log due to fire damage to the bole.