May 2021 Newsletter

In This Issue

Additional Events and Resources (Right Column)

Salvage Science Series

The Salvage Science Series presents recent research on the effects of post-fire salvage logging and new tools for helping plan salvage treatments. This event is a three-stage process. First, watch the four pre-recorded webinars. Second, register for the May 6 panel discussion with the event speakers. Third, provide your questions for a specific speaker or more generally about salvage logging ahead of the discussion. These questions will help us frame the discussion and also help us plan a follow-up event on salvage logging in the fall.

The event topics and speakers include:

1) Incorporating Woodpecker Habitat into Design of Post-Fire Salvage Logging (Vicki Saab and Jon Dudley, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station

2) Post-Fire Salvage Logging Effects on Soils, Runoff, and Sediment Production in Western Watersheds (Joe Wagenbrenner - USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station)

3) Is That Tree Dead? Predicting tree death after fire for salvage decisions (Sharon Hood - USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station)

4) Understanding Post Wildfire Management Effects on Stand Structure and Woody Fuel Loadings (Morris Johnson - USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station)

The webinar recordings and a recording of the discussion will also be available on the Past Events webpage after May 6th.

Watch the presentations from the Crown Fire Forum

In late March, over 100 attendees virtually participated in the Crown Managers Partnership Fire in the Crown forum. The presentations were informative and the discussions were lively! To view the presentations and explore other materials from the workshop go here.

New Burn Severity Data Portal

This interagency web portal, hosted by the USDA Forest Service and the US Geological Survey, provides a single point of access to all the post-fire mapping and field plot data that are available. This includes:

  • Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) data
  • FS/DOI Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) Imagery Support data
  • Rapid Assessment of Vegetation Condition after Wildfire (RAVG) data
  • USF&WS Fire Atlas data
  • NPS Burn Severity data
  • Composite Burn Index (CBI) field plot data

The site contains brief programmatic overviews and access to the data for each program with the current exception of the BAER and RAVG data. The interactive viewer allows users to select fire events to see available products and then download those of interest. The site also features a post-fire mapping glossary.

New: IFTDSS Compares Weather Scenarios

The Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS) has announced the arrival of a new feature that allows users to compare outputs from up to five weather scenarios side-by-side. The feature allows for new ways to develop prescriptions in burn plans, enhance contingency plans, and create new visuals. There is a tutorial available to explain the new features.

COVID-19 Resources for Wildland Fire

The National Interagency Wildfire Coordinating Group recently released Guidance for Prevention and Management of COVID-19 During Wildland Fire, providing updates and recommendations to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on wildland fire personnel, including changes as a result of vaccination efforts.

Fireline Podcast

Fireline, an excellent new podcast from Montana Public Radio, is a six-part series about wildfire in the West. It tells very personal stories about what fire means and how we as people deal with it. It also provides perspectives on the latest wildfire research and management approaches. Search for it in your favorite podcast app or go here to listen.

Women Working on Wildfires, a Storymap

This multilingual website helps visualize the impact that women firefighters have across the world. It also provides links to research on gender equity and equality in wildfires.

Montana Forest Action Plan Funding Announcements

Congratulations to the 14 projects that were awarded funding under the Montana Forest Action Plan. These projects seek to reduce wildfire risks, improve forest health and wildlife habitat, and support local economies. We look forward to following their implementation.

  • Bozeman Municipal Watershed Cross-Boundary Forest Collaboration Project (Bozeman)
  • Chalk Buttes Forest Fuels Mitigation (Bozeman)
  • Fort Belknap – Bear Gulch Temporary Road (Fort Belknap Indian Reservation)
  • Gird Creek Stand Improvement and WUI Project (Hamilton)
  • Lone Pine State Park Forest & Grassland Improvement (Kalispell)
  • Missouri Headwaters Habitat Restoration and Biomass Utilization Project (Beaverhead County)
  • Pines Recreation Area Cross Boundary Project (Valley County)
  • Piquette Creek (Bitterroot NF, Ravali County)
  • Rabbit Tracks Forest Partnership (Troy)
  • Red Lodge Mountain Restoration Project (Red Lodge)
  • Sorrel Springs GNA (Frenchtown)
  • South Helena – Capital 360 Project (Helena)
  • Statewide Urban Reforestation (Statewide)
  • Wildfire Adapted Missoula Twin-Gold Creek Project (Missoula County)

Northern Rockies May-August Fire Potential Outlook

Wildland fire potential for the Northern Rockies Geographical Area is expected to be normal for the geographic area through August, with some elevated potential in the eastern sections until green up occurs. Seasonal outlooks from Predictive Services and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center for May through August project a trend toward warmer and drier conditions across the geographic area for late spring and summer “core” fire season months. One of the most significant factors in these outlooks is the current transition from La Niña to ENSO neutral that is currently underway. Considering the time of year that this is occurring, what is known as the “spring predictability barrier” by climatologists, introduces more uncertainty than usual to this season outlook.

According to the latest US Drought Monitor, nearly all of North Dakota and eastern Montana are in the “Severe to Extreme Drought” categories and this condition is anticipated to persist through July according to NOAA’s Seasonal Drought Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC). Although several weak weather systems during the last half of April brought light precipitation to help mitigate some of the dryness. West of the Continental Divide it is abnormally dry but not extreme in the northern Idaho Panhandle and northwest Montana. The only parts of the Northern Rockies Geographic Area that are not highlighted on the drought monitor map are from central Idaho/Bitterroot Divide through the Missoula/Bitterroot Valleys of western Montana where timely and frequent storm systems have continued to provide adequate precipitation and cool enough weather in the mountains to preserve the moisture within the mid-elevation snowpack.

This year is anticipated to be normal regarding the timing of snow melt-off in the mid-elevations before the early summer flush from the highest mountains ensues. The snow water equivalent within the high elevation spring snowpack is still running between 85 to 100 percent of average and mid-to-lower elevations are ripening/flushing out with near-normal streamflows.

During the last part of April and into early May the synoptic weather pattern is anticipated to change. It has been persistent for the past month with cool, but relatively dry northwest flow. A more progressive, westerly flow with embedded Pacific troughs is anticipated to focus most precipitation in the western PSAs of the Northern Rockies. In contrast, the eastern PSAs from central Montana through North Dakota have received some limited precipitation inputs and are expected to see additional benefits in late April and early May from somewhat less critical fire potential compared to March and early April. They may continue to see some elevated fire potential into May during warm/dry/windy episodes between weather systems due to a delayed onset of green up because of the underlying drought conditions and
abnormally dry soil/fuel moistures but overall the expectation is that it will be closer to normal fire potential as green up occurs. Once green up develops and fuels are growing in early summer, the expectation of a warmer and drier than normal period may be offset somewhat by an average monsoon pattern beginning in July.

For more detail, check out this web briefing.

--Adapted from May 1st report by Predictive Services, National Interagency Fire Center.

Register for the IAWF Virtual Conference May 24-27

The 16th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and 6th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference will be held virtually May 24-27. This global conference will discuss significant events and trends in safety, to promote best practices in safety training and operations, to share safety related research findings, and to explore new approaches to both firefighter and community safety. Likewise, since 2007, the Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference has aimed to advance the knowledge and practice related to the social, political, economic, psychological and other human aspects of managing fire prone landscapes.

This joint conference offers a forum where past experience and lessons learned are documented, current work showcased, and emerging ideas/technology presented to provide a strong foundation for reflection and action to set the future course of practice, management and research in response to local, regional, and global challenges. The 2021 conference will place particular, but not exclusive, emphasis on the COVID-19 and its effects on wildland fire management and our communities around the world. Register here. Scholarships are available.

Two new workshops have recently been added: Nature Journaling for Fire Situational Awareness and An Intro to Using Storymaps for Wildfires. Those can be viewed here along with the full program.

If you have late breaking research, an emerging topic, lessons learned from the current fire season, or simply missed the deadline they are accepting proposals for “JUST IN TIME” sessions and Posters Presentations. Just in Time sessions are 10 minutes in length and must be pre-recorded and submitted by May 3rd.

Peter Robichaud Receives Jim Sedell Research Achievement Award

Dr. Peter R. Robichaud of the USDA Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station is this year’s recipient of the Jim Sedell Research Achievement Award. Pete is recognized for his ongoing research to improve postfire risk assessments of soil burn severity and erosion potential, treatments for erosion reduction, erosion measurement techniques for research and practitioners, prediction technology, and postfire forest management. His work addresses key management issues of sediment and runoff following wildfire, from forest roads, and forest harvest.

May 6
Salvage Science Series 1 - Panel Discussion on New Research and Tools For Salvage Logging Management & Planning

May 20
Food Sovereignty and Fire

May 11-13
Fire and Forest Meteorology Symposium

May 24-27
IAWF International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference

October 4-8
National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop
Asheville, NC

October 5-7
H5II – The Second Conference on the Research and Management of High Elevation Five Needle Pines in Western North America

November 30 -  December 4
9th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress

Extreme Wildfire Behavior Associated with Complex Terrain

The need for fundamental wildfire behavior research in the context of the 2020 fire season in the Western U.S

Leading Towards a More Inclusive Wildland Fire Community

Tree Regeneration Following Wildfires in Ponderosa Pine Forests

Native American fire management at an ancient wildland-urban interface in the Southwest United States

3D Fuel Characterization for Modeling of Wildland Fire Behavior & Smoke

Fire Severity: Mapping Past Fires and Predicting the Future

The science and practice of delivering fire science 

2021 Fire in the Crown of the Continent Forum - 17 Video Presentations

How to Assess the Fire Environment to Anticipate Fire Behavior

Wilder than wild: Fire, forests, and the future

AFE Fire Ecology Chats

Fire University Podcast

Fireline Podcast

Good Fire Podcast

On the Line Podcast

Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change & Concurrent Risks

Garden Creek Fire - Confederated Tribe of The Salish and Kootenai Fuels Treatment Success Story

Fire in the Crown of the Continent (1980-2017)

Search NRFSN Hot Topics

Search the NRFSN Research & Publications Database

Fire and Climate-
US wildfire potential: a historical view and future projection using high-resolution climate data

Fire and Wildlife-
Lewis’s woodpecker nesting habitat suitability: Predictive models for application within burned forests

Impacts of bark beetle-induced tree mortality on pyrogenic carbon production and heat output in wildfires for fire modeling and global carbon accounting

Early avian functional assemblages after fire, clearcutting, and post-fire salvage logging in North American forests

Fire Behavior-
Using Artificial Intelligence for Safe and Effective Wildfire Evacuations

Quantifying merging fire behaviour phenomena using unmanned aerial vehicle technology

Fire Ecology-
Soil moisture regime and canopy closure structure subalpine understory development during the first three decades following fire

Fire Effects-
Understanding the effect of fire on vegetation composition and gross primary production in a semi-arid shrubland ecosystem using the Ecosystem Demography (EDv2.2) model

Fire history as a key determinant of grassland soil CO2 flux

Are soil changes responsible for persistent slash pile burn scars in lodgepole pine forests?

Physiological responses to fire that drive tree mortality

Spatial heterogeneity in soil pyrogenic carbon mediates tree growth and physiology following wildfire

Short- and long-term effects of fire on stem hydraulics in Pinus ponderosa saplings

Effects of elevation and selective disturbance on soil climate and vegetation in big sagebrush communities

Fire Regimes-
Fire regimes of plains grassland and prairie ecosystems

Firefighter Health and Safety-
Differential cardiopulmonary health impacts of local and long-range transport of wildfire smoke

Could the exception become the rule? 'Uncontrollable' air pollution events in the US due to wildland fires

Wildland firefighter exposure to smoke and COVID-19: A new risk on the fire line

Fuel Treatments-
Synthesis of Knowledge on the Effects of Fire and Thinning Treatments on Understory Vegetation in U.S. Dry Forests

Forest fire fuel through the lens of remote sensing: review of approaches, challenges and future directions in the remote sensing of biotic determinants of fire behaviour

Human Dimensions of Fire Management and Organizational Effectiveness-
Cross-cultural comparison of behavioural itinerary actions and times in wildfire evacuations

Risk perceptions and mitigation behaviors of residents following a near-miss wildfire

Post-fire Management-
Undesirable outcomes in seasonally dry forests

Post-fire Recovery-
Tracking rates of postfire conifer regeneration vs. deciduous vegetation recovery across the western United States

Public Perspectives Of Fire Management-
Social science at the wildland-urban interface: a compendium of research results to create fire-adapted communities

Risk Management of Wildland Fire-
A simple metric of landscape fire exposure

A Qualitative Study on the US Forest Service’s Risk Management Assistance Efforts to Improve Wildfire Decision-Making

Pre-season fire management planning: the use of Potential Operational Delineations to prepare for wildland fire events

Operationalising homeowner wildfire risk mitigation in fire-prone areas

Smoke and Air Quality-
Statistical downscaling with spatial misalignment: application to wildland fire PM2.5 concentration forecasting

Zonal-based emission source term model for predicting particulate emission factors in wildfire simulations

Traditional Knowledge-
Persuasion without policies: the work of reviving Indigenous peoples’ fire management in southern Australia
California Fire Science Consortium Newsletter, April 2021

Great Basin Fire Science Research and Events, April 2021

Landfire Newsletter, March 2021

Northwest Fire Science Consortium Newsletter, April 2021

Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation Newsletter, April 2021

CONTACT US -- We'd like to hear your suggestions, ideas, and questions.

Vita Wright, Principal Investigator               |  406.396.5374                   
US Forest Service, Kalispell, Montana

Signe Leirfallom, Coordinator  |  406.546.4467
University of Montana, Missoula, Montana

Cory Davis, Science Communication Specialist  |  406.257.3166 
University of Montana, Missoula, Montana

Monique Wynecoop, Fire Ecologist & Tribal Liaison
NE WA Area Fire Ecologist, Region 6  |  509.684.7091                    
US Forest Service, Colville, Washington

Pamela Sikkink, Fire and Fuels Information Specialist |  406.829.7343
US Forest Service, Missoula, Montana

Subscribe  Unsubscribe  Update preferences   |  Visit us on the web  Follow us on Twitter

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp