Fire Science News for the Lake States Region - January 2017

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
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

Advisory Committee

Jim Barnier, WDNR
Marty Casselius, BIA
Paul Charland, USFWS
BJ Glesener, MN DNR
Steve Goldman, USFS
Matt Graeve, TNC
Dave Heaman, OMNR
Andy Henriksen, NRCS
Michele Richards MI NG
Glenn Palmgren, MI DNR
Scott Weyenberg, NPS

January 2017:
Volume 8, Issue 1

Lake States Fire Science Webinar February 2017


Common Denominators for Escaped Prescribed Fires in the Lake States – Overview of Escaped Prescribed Fires in the Eastern Region of the U.S. Forest Service and Methods for Situational Learning.

Steven Goldman
Assistant Director, Fuels Program
Eastern Regional Office, USDA Forest Service

Presentation gives an overview of several escaped prescribed fires in the Lake States dating back to the infamous 1980 Mack Lake Fire and the most recent escape on the Superior National Forest in 2016 (The Foss Lake FLA is available HERE for your review before this webinar)

Review of the common denominators of these incidents including fuels, weather, personnel & equipment, organization, and human factors. Although these escaped prescribed fires span nearly 40 years, many of the causal or contributory factors remain the same, and many fire personnel across the wildland fire agencies remain unfamiliar with these incidents. 

Situational learning tools such as Staff Rides, Facilitated Learning Analyses, Pre-mortems, and Post-mortems can all be used to break this pattern and reduce the likelihood and/or consequences of escaped prescribed fires.  The Mack Lake Staff Ride, Foss Lake Escaped Prescribed Fire FLA, Maple Ridge Post-Mortem will be briefly reviewed.  Sources of information to assist local units in using these products or developing their own products will be provided.

Thursday February 16, 2017 
2 PM Eastern/ 1 PM Central

(No registration or passcode needed – please choose “Guest Login” and type in your First and Last name)

Resources available from the recent Fire in Minnesota's Forests Workshop

The Fire in Minnesota’s Forests Workshop was held December 1, 2016. 
The Fire in Minnesota’s Forests Workshop was held December 1, 2016. 

Event description: Many of Minnesota’s most productive forest systems are fire-dependent. At this day-long workshop, we discuss the ecology and management of these systems, with a focus on the role of fire, including potential for increased use of prescribed burning. We heard from a variety of speakers including applied researchers, forest managers, and fire managers from Minnesota and across the Lake States. The event included hour-long panel discussions about the role of fire in managing jack pine, red pine, and oak-dominated systems.

Event summary: A diverse group of about 140 forest and wildlife managers, wildfire specialists, researchers, and others gathered in Grand Rapids to explore the state of fire in Minnesota’s forests. The event was designed to bring new energy to a discussion of Minnesota’s fire-dependent forests and the complex role of fire in maintaining healthy, productive forests.

Please visit this website to view the rest of the event summary, and to access presentation slides, recorded presentations, and links to documents mentioned at the workshop.

Third Annual Burning Issues Workshop in Michigan

“In Sickness and In Health: Addressing Tough Decisions in Applying Fire to Degraded Habitats and Declining Species in the 21st Century”

When:  March 1 and 2, 2017
Where:  Fort Custer National Training Center, Augusta, MI

This wildland fire workshop is designed to enable land managers, researchers, resource specialists, and fire practitioners an opportunity to hear and learn from different areas of expertise in a format which will help us to identify gaps in knowledge and communication, and work toward solutions to issues that complicate our collective wildland fire work.

Over the two days we will be exploring four themes that are relevant across the State of Michigan and the Upper Midwest. These four themes include: 1) The “Perfect” Burn: Defining Success; 2) Monitoring Your Outcomes: Plotting to Get the Data You Need; 3) Prescribed Fire and Oak Restoration; and 4) Managing for Fire-dependent Wildlife.

We have invited multiple speakers for each theme who will share their expertise in research, resource management, and fire operations, and help explore the principles and details that underlie successful resource management. There will also be interactive opportunities including panel discussions, breakout sessions, and a rapid fire session. These sessions are a rare opportunity for participants from a wide range of organizations, and experiences, to engage with each other on specific issues. These sessions are planned with and for the diverse community interacting around fire-related issues, and seek to build the understanding and communication to support further work toward collaborative solutions.
Registration and Agenda will be available soon…..Details will be announced in future newsletters and on the Burning Issues Workshop Webpage


Smoke TOOLS Workshop

At SFEC’s December 2016 Fire in Minnesota’s Forests workshop, the issue of smoke management during prescribed burns came up. We are offering a one-day hands-on indoor Smoke TOOLS workshop reviewing available online tools and techniques to predict and manage smoke on your prescribed burns or on wildfire response.
Date: Wednesday March 29, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. (check-in opens at 8:15 a.m.)
Location: Midwest Interagency Fire Center, 402 SE 11th St, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 (map)
Instructor: Trent Wickman, US Forest Service, Eastern Region
Cost: Free, but you must register to attend
Items to bring: You will need to bring a laptop, power cord, and information from burns on your home unit in order to use the online tools during the workshop; Also, bring a lunch
Continuing Education Credits: TBD

This workshop is offered at no charge thanks to sponsorship from the US Forest Service, the Midwest Interagency Fire Center, the Lake States Fire Sciences Consortium, and the University of Minnesota. 

Note: Space is limited and you must register to attend.  Lunch will not be provided.

Register here – You must register in advance to attend.

Working Draft Agenda

Share the FLYER

The Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) would like your input! 

FEIS ecologists write syntheses about fire effects on individual species and about fire regimes in the United States to help managers, planners, and scientists find, read, and use the best available science.
During our recent webinar series hosted by the Fire Science Exchange Networks, the most frequently asked question was, “How do you decide what syntheses to write and update?” One way that we decide what to write is based upon manager requests. We would like to know what Species Reviews and Fire Regime Syntheses are most needed in your area. Please email Ilana Abrahamson with your suggestions. 

To view the recorded webinar for the Lake States FSC click HERE.

From JFSP Friday Flash eNews

At the request of NOAA Climate Services, Alaska Region Director James Partain, assembled a collaborative team of university, NOAA/NWS, and Predictive Services personnel for a scientific analysis of the role of climate change in the Alaska fire season of 2015. This attribution study is a model-based test of the hypothesis that anthropogenic climate change increases the likelihood of fire seasons as extreme as 2015 through increasing flammability of fuels.
  • Overall, treatments had strongly negative and persistent impacts on native, woodland obligate birds.
  • Treatments resulted in reductions in tree cover and canopy fuels and increases in down woody surface fuels and live herbaceous fuels. Live woody surface fuels increased with time-since-treatment.
  • Exotic plant species richness and cover was higher in treated sites compared to untreated sites.
  • Under 80th and 97th percentile fuel moisture conditions, fuel treatments did well at reducing the risk of active crown fire. However, most treatments reduced crown fuels more than needed to change fire behavior.
Relational Risk Assessment and Management is about developing a new set of concepts and rapid assessment tools for assessing risk for problems that occur in inter-agency communication and coordination on complex fire events. Failures in effective communication and coordination within the network of responding organizations and agencies during a wildfire can lead to problematic or dangerous outcomes.  

Cohesive Strategy Crosswalk and Strategic Alignment Report Released

View the report and appendices.

Association for Fire Ecology Journal ~ Volume 12 Issue 3 December 2016


Research Articles in Journal:
  • Evaluating Prescribed Fire Effectiveness Using Permanent Monitoring Plot Data: A Case Study
  • Fire Resilience of Aquatic Crustacean Resting Stages in Playa Wetlands, Oklahoma, USA
  • Variation in Grassland Fuel Curing in South Africa
  • Post-Fire Recovery of Eucalypt-Dominated Vegetation Communities in the Sydney Basin, Australia
  • Short-Term Impacts of Fire-Mediated Habitat Alterations on an Isolated Bighorn Sheep Population
  • Relating Fire-Caused Change in Forest Structure to Remotely Sensed Estimates of Fire Severity
  • Did the 2002 Hayman Fire, Colorado, USA, Burn with Uncharacteristic Severity?
Book Review: 
  • The Chinchaga Firestorm: When the Moon and Sun Turned Blue            

Fire Trainings

Offering fire courses in the next year? Please send information to Jack McGowan-Stinski so we can post in future newsletters for you.

RX-410 Smoke Management Techniques
February 13-16, 2017
Superior National Forest Supervisor’s Office, Duluth, MN
Nominations Due:  December 9, 2016
See Flyer for Details

Conferences and Workshops in the Region

3rd Annual Burning Issues Workshop in Michigan
March 1-2, 2017 at Fort Custer National Training Center, Augusta, MI 

Smoke TOOLS Workshop
March 29, 2017 in Grand Rapids, MN

Conferences and Workshops in the U.S. and Canada

77th Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference
February 5 - 8, 2017 Lincoln, Nebraska

International Association of Fire Chiefs 2017 Wildland-Urban Interface Conference
Preconference March 18-21, 2017
Conference March 21-23, 2017
Peppermill Resort
Reno, NV

National Cohesive Strategy Workshop
April 25-27, 2017 Reno, NV 
Call for Presentation Proposals Extended! Deadline February 11, 2017
Registration is now open for the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop. Registration includes admission to all workshop sessions and social activities.

Wildland fire sessions at 2017 NFPA Conference & Expo
Boston June 4-7, 2017

Fire Vision 20/20: A 20 Year Reflection and Look into the Future
7th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress held concurrently with the 
2nd Applied Fire Science Workshop 
Hosted by the Association for Fire Ecology in cooperation with the Southern Fire Exchange
November 28-December 2, 2017 Orlando, Florida

The Association for Fire Ecology's 7th International Fire Congress will be held November 28-December 2, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.  We will offer an exciting blend of learning opportunities for fire managers, natural resource professionals, policy leaders, and the academic and research community. Presentations will feature the latest in research results and applications.
Workshops throughout the week will provide innovative training opportunities built on the research presentations. Special sessions will focus on unifying the science and applications around key management issues. Round table discussions will allow small groups to focus on key topics and principles. Saturday field trips will demonstrate how much of the material described and discussed the rest of the week is being applied across Florida.
CALLS FOR PROPOSALS & ABSTRACTS NOW OPEN!  Click on the links below for detailed instructions and links to the Submission Forms.

Want to submit an article, post an event or training, or contribute a success story?

Does your agency, organization, or community have a wildland fire science project, event, training, or story you would like to see featured in the Lake States Fire Science Consortium Newsletter? 
Please send submissions to Jack McGowan-Stinski.
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