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March 2013 Newsletter

In This Issue     

Webinar series addresses fuel treatments in mixed conifer forests

Publication coverThis four-part webinar discussion series provides a forum for managers and scientists to discuss up-to-date information regarding the benefits, challenges, opportunities, and trade-offs among the different strategies and tools related to fuel treatment applications within dry mixed conifer forests of the western United States. Authors of the synthesis, A comprehensive guide to fuel management practices for dry mixed conifer forests in the northwestern United States, will share and discuss key findings from selected chapters with webinar attendees.
April 24: Prescribed fire—Unique situations concerning fuel treatments within mixed dry conifer forests
May 15: The inclusion of wildlife attributes into fuel treatment planning and implementation
June 5: The economics of fuel treatments
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March 13: The ecology of dry mixed conifer forests—What makes them unique? (Recording)

Field trip invitation: Integrated fuel treatment in Idaho

mature white pineThe Northern Rockies Fire Science Network and USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station invite you to an integrated fuels treatment field trip at the Priest River Experimental Forest in North Idaho. The field trip will focus on the multidisciplinary research that is being conducted to evaluate alternative restoration/fuel treatments that are ecologically sound, socially acceptable, and economically viable. Scientists and managers will discuss these approaches and determine how they may meet some of the challenges managers face.

Dates/times: June 13 (arrive 1pm PDT) and 14 (depart 12pm PDT) with overnight stay
Location: Priest River Experimental Forest

View more information and registration

UI Wildland Fire Program — At a glance

Fire students in the fieldThe University of Idaho, represented by the Wildland Fire Program, is a partner of the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network. The Wildland Fire Program is widely recognized in the state, region, nation, and world for educating existing and future wildland fire scholars and professionals. The interdisciplinary program is dedicated to educating students and professionals in wildland fire, to conducting high impact peer-reviewed research on the physical, ecological and social aspects of wildland fire, and to sharing our knowledge and experiences to advance wildland fire science and management.  Read more

New tools from FEIS

FEIS brochure The FEIS team has been busy! They are developing a collection of syntheses on fire regimes of the United States by integrating information from the literature and other data with results from LANDFIRE modeling of BioPhysical Settings. Two are now completed—one covering all of Hawaii and one covering Alaskan tundra; others are underway. Each synthesis links to relevant FEIS species reviews; by fall, the new FEIS user interface will be able to go the opposite direction as well, connecting individual FEIS reviews to relevant fire regime syntheses.  View fire regimes of the United States

FEIS's spatially searchable system is now online. The content is identical to that on the original system, but they are testing the new user interface.  View FEIS beta

As always, the FEIS team welcomes your input on products.

Ten years of fire research: The US Joint Fire Science Program

The International Journal of Wildland Fire special issue describing advances in fire research based on the first 10 years of the Joint Fire Science Program includes the following articles:
  • Advances in understanding and managing wildland fire: communicating wildland fire research to land-management practitioners   
  • A review of recent advances in risk analysis for wildfire management
  • Social science research related to wildfire management: an overview of recent findings and future research needs
  • On the need for a theory of wildland fire spread    
  • Research and development supporting risk-based wildfire effects prediction for fuels and fire management: status and needs
  • Describing wildland surface fuel loading for fire management: a review of approaches, methods and systems
  • Ecological effects of alternative fuel-reduction treatments: highlights of the National Fire and Fire Surrogate study (FFS)
  • Modelling smoke transport from wildland fires: a review
  • Tools to aid post-wildfire assessment and erosion-mitigation treatment decisions
View abstracts at
(If link does not take you to webpage containing abstracts, cut and past URL into browser.)

Dance performance communicates fire science to students

Dancers performingFire Speaks the Land, an interactive performance that simultaneously teaches dance, fire science, ecology and traditional uses of fire, recently toured schools and theaters in western Montana. The stunning 50-minute performance both educates and entertains, serving as an innovative example of fire education for K-8 students. Children adore it and teachers have called it “the best science lesson I’ve ever seen!” The CoMotion Dance Project is currently developing its 2013-14 performance schedule. If you know teachers or schools that would like to get involved, contact Karen Kaufman.

- Watch a three-minute video
- Watch a full show
- Visit CoMotion Dance Project

"What is a flame" video wins contest

The Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University offers an annual contest called The Flame Challenge — Explaining science to an 11-year-old. In 2012, scientists submitted answers to the question, "What is a flame?" Entries were judged by 20,000 students from around the world. They selected the animation below as the winner. Grab your kids and enjoy!

Winning video screenshot and link to video


April 24
Prescribed fire—Unique situations concerning fuel treatments within mixed dry conifer forests

April 29
Livestock grazing effects on fuels loads for wildland fire in sagebrush steppe ecosystems

May 15
The inclusion of wildlife attributes into fuel treatment planning and implementation

June 5
The economics of fuel treatments


Fire Lab 2013 schedule
Recordings available on website after seminar. For VCT hook-up, contact

May 8
Network of Fire Science Champions


April 10-13
Western Wildfire Conference
Kelowna, BC

April 23–25
Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop
Logan, UT

June 17-21
North American Forest Soils Conference
Whitefish, MT

Sept 20-21
Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation Workshop
Bozeman, MT

Oct 21-24
International Smoke Symposium
Adelphi, MD


Principal short-term findings of the national fire and fire surrogate study

Wildfire, wildlands, and people: understanding and preparing for wildfire in the wildland-urban interface

Fire and Fuels Science Quarterly - Winter 2013


A conceptual framework for predicting temperate ecosystem sensitivity to human impacts on fire regimes

Summertime climate response to mountain pine beetle disturbance in British Columbia

Return of the king: Western white pine conservation and restoration in a changing climate

Postfire downy brome (Bromus tectorum) invasion at high elevations in Wyoming

Effects of climatic variability and change on forest ecosystems: a comprehensive science synthesis for the U.S. forest sector


Incident management organization succession planning stakeholder feedback


Preliminary fire season outlook web briefing

We'd like to hear your suggestions, ideas, and questions!

Vita Wright, Principal Investigator  |  406.396.5374
US Forest Service, 650 Wolfpack Way
Kalispell, Montana 59937

Mary McFadzen, Coordinator 
|  406.582.0530
Montana State University
Bozeman, Montana 59717

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