March 2017 Newsletter

In This Issue

Era of Megafires Multi-Media Presentation 

The Northern Rockies Fire Science Network has partnered with a number of regional partners to bring the Era of Megafires presentation to western Montana and Idaho. The presentation hosted by Dr. Paul Hessburg is designed to educate audiences across the West so that they may better participate in the conversation and solutions surrounding the Megafire issue.

Dr. Hessburg brings more than 27 years of fire and landscape ecology research and experience to the presentation, which merges short, topic-based talks with compelling videos and photographs. Featured photography is by wildfire photographer, John Marshall, and the videos are a productions from North 40.

Presentations in Montana and Idaho will be - Missoula Apr 24, Kalispell Apr 25, Lincoln Apr 26, Seeley Lake Apr 27, Coeur d'Alene May 1, Sandpoint May 2, Moscow May 3.

There are several southern Idaho locations to be announced soon, so monitor our upcoming events

Call for Post-Fire Tree Mortality Data 

Researchers seek data contributions to a Joint Fire Sciences Program project examining tree mortality due to wildland fire in the U.S.

Datasets should at minimum include:
  • year of fire
  • location (county, state)
  • individual tree records of species, DBH, and crown injury (a measure of crown scorch, kill, and/or consumption)
Datasets will be aggregated into an archived database of post-fire tree mortality and used to:
  • validate existing predictive post-fire mortality models
  • examine the influence of pre-fire climate to improve predictions of post-fire tree mortality.
The archived data product will be made publicly available within one year of project completion (~2020). Contributors will receive authorship of the formally published archived data product and, at minimum, acknowledgement of their contribution in published articles.

For more information, contact C. Alina Cansler,, 406 829-6980.

Modifying LANDFIRE Data: Guide & Webinar

LANDFIRE recently released a guidebook to walk users through the process of understanding, reviewing, and modifying LANDFIRE geospatial data. The guide explains the inherent strengths and weakness of existing datasets, highlights where to look for common problems in the data, and provides guidance to common data modification tasks. Example reasons for modifying LANDFIRE data and more about the data modification process can be found in this brief.

A real-life example of data modification to assess wildfire hazard and watershed exposure on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is available from this study. It involved locally calibrated LANDFIRE vegetation type, cover, height, and biophysical settings in a workshop setting to:
  • decrease the impact of map zone seamlines, 
  • fine tune fuel model mapping rules,
  • reduce forest canopy cover, and
  • update data to reflect recent wildfires and beetle infestations.
The data modification process will also be presented in a webinar focused on your needs - April 19 from 12-1 Mountain (11-12 Pacific). Provide your input and register

Fundamental Research on How Wildfires Spread

Join us for a webinar on Tuesday, May 2nd at 11 am MDT to learn about new and exciting research occurring at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory. 

Sara McAllister, Research Mechanical Engineer, will discuss what we know and don't know about how wildfires spread.

The following topics will be covered: 
  • Current state of the knowledge and available tools
  • Holes in our understanding
  • Balance between radiation and convection
  • Role of buoyancy in fire spread
  • Convective ignition process
  • Flammability and burning rate of live fuels
  • Modeling fire spread
Learn more and Register.

National Cohesive Strategy Workshop

The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop will be April 25-27 in Reno, NV.

Workshop objectives are to:
  • Provide clear understanding of the importance and critical role of science in all Cohesive Strategy planning and implementation.
  • Reinforce that the focus of the Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy implementation is "all hands, all lands" and that seamless access to the best available and correct science is vital to success at every level and every action.
  • Identify processes to ensure science integration in all planning and implementation activities, and identify future research needs in support of Cohesive Strategy implementation.
  • Utilize the Workshop format to develop recommendations for continuing actions.
For more information, see the detailed workshop agenda.

 FireWorks Workshop - June 15-16 

Attend the next FREE FireWorks educator workshop at the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab, June 15-16.

FireWorks is a valuable resource for teachers, fire prevention specialists, fire information officers, agency educators, communication specialists, and outdoor educators (16 OPI credits or 1 UM credit available).

The workshop will be two intense days of entertaining, hands-on activities for teaching students about wildland fire behavior, ecology, management, and activities related to traditional fire use by Native Americans.

Content focuses on ecosystems in the Northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascade range, but the program is being adapted for use in other ecosystems, including the Sierra Nevada and the sagebrush steppe. The curriculum has activities for every age group, K-12 and adult education.

See the workshop flyer and preliminary syllabus for details, and for more information or to enroll, contact Eva Masin at 406 329-4820,

Apr 5
Connecting Insights to Policy-Making and the Institutional Context

Apr 19
Do it Yourself Tinkering - Modifying LANDFIRE Data for the Northern Rockies

May 2
Fundamental Research on How Wildfires Spread

June 1
Going Firewise and Beyond: The USAA Journey
Search the NRFSN Webinar Archive for recordings of past webinars

Apr 5-6
Meso-Carnivore Monitoring Workshop
Kalispell, MT

Apr 7-9
2017 Wildfire Leadership Conference
Bozeman, MT

Apr 14-15
Montana Society of American Foresters 2017 Annual Meeting
Missoula, MT

Apr 24-27
Era of Megafires Presentations in Western MT

Apr 25-27
National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop
Reno, NV

Apr 30-May 13
Oregon Prescribed fire Training Exchange (TREX)
Ashland, OR

May 1-3 
Era of Megafires Presentations in Northern ID

May 1-12
Central Oregon TREX
Bend, OR

May 10-12
Klamath Fire Ecology Symposium
Orleans, CA

May 11-12, and 19
Forest Stewardship Planning Workshop
Great Falls, MT

June 15-16
FireWorks Educator Workshop
Missoula, MT

Search the NRFSN Research & Publications Database

Climate Change -
Elevational shifts in thermal suitability for mountain pine beetle population growth in a changing climate

Forest health in a changing world: effects of globalization and climate change on forest insect and pathogen impacts

Mid-21st-century climate changes increase predicted fire occurrence and fire season length, Northern Rocky Mountains, United States

The hermit who inadvertently shaped climate-change science 

Fire and Bark Beetles -
A dynamical model for bark beetle outbreaks

Bark beetle-induced tree mortality alters stand energy budgets due to water budget changes

Relative importance of climate and mountain pine beetle outbreaks on the occurrence of large wildfires in the western USA

Fire Behavior / Prediction-
Area burned in alpine treeline ecotones reflects region-wide trends

Climate change and the eco-hydrology of fire: will area burned increase in a warming western USA?

Quantifying the human influence on fire ignition across the western USA

Fire Effects (Ecohydrology)-
Capturing spatiotemporal variation in wildfires for improving post-wildfire debris‐flow hazard assessments

Ecohydrologic impacts of rangeland fire on runoff and erosion: a literature synthesis

Synthesis of soil-hydraulic properties and infiltration timescales in wildfire-affected soils

Deterministic and stochastic processes lead to divergence in plant communities 25 years after the 1988 Yellowstone fires

Fire Effects (Vegetation)-

Impacts of fire radiative flux on mature Pinus ponderosa growth and vulnerability to secondary mortality agents

Effects of fire radiative energy density dose on Pinus contorta and Larix occidentalis seedling physiology and mortality

Regeneration of montane forests 24 years after the 1988 Yellowstone fires: A fire-catalyzed shift in lower treelines?

Ventenata dubia - Fire Effects Information System Species Review

Fire Effects (Wildlife)-

Short-term impacts of fire-mediated habitat alterations on an isolated bighorn sheep population

Transferability of habitat suitability models for nesting woodpeckers associated with wildfire

Fire and Harvesting Effects -
Long-term post-disturbance forest recovery in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem analyzed using Landsat time series stack

Fire History / Fire Regimes - 
Influence of fire disturbance and biophysical heterogeneity on pre-settlement ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests

Sensitivity of reconstructed fire histories to detection criteria in mixed-severity landscapes

Fire Management / Decision Support -
Uncertainty and probability in wildfire management decision support: An example from the United States

Fire and People -
Evaluating the characteristics of social vulnerability to wildfire: demographics, perceptions, and parcel characteristics

Local capacity for integrated forest and wildfire management

U.S. wildfire governance as social-ecological problem

Fire Severity -
Detecting unburned areas within wildfire perimeters using Landsat and ancillary data across the northwestern United States

Prior wildfires influence burn severity of subsequent large fires

Relating fire-caused change in forest structure to remotely sensed estimates of fire severity

Fuels -
Landscape variation in tree regeneration and snag fall drive fuel loads in 24-year old post-fire lodgepole pine forests

Modifying LANDFIRE geospatial data for local applications -  A guide

Spatiotemporal variability of wildland fuels in US Northern Rocky Mountain forests

Management Practices -
Mixed-severity fire and salvage logging in dry forests of Oregon's western Cascades

Principles and practices of integrating science into land management - BLM Instruction Memo 2017-030

Using resilience and resistance concepts to manage threats to sagebrush ecosystems, Gunnison sage-grouse, and Greater sage-grouse in their eastern range: a strategic multi-scale approach

Risk and Uncertainty -
An uncertainty analysis of wildfire modeling

Uncertainty and probability in wildfire management decision support: an example from the United States

Smoke & Air Quality -
Characterizing public tolerance of smoke from wildland fires in communities across the United States

Emissions from prescribed burning of timber slash piles in Oregon

Succession -
A review of precipitation and temperature control on seedling emergence and establishment for ponderosa and lodgepole pine forest regeneration

Are you directly involved with a Firewise Program? NWCG Firewise Subcommitee wants your input about how to best enhance Firewise for the future. Please complete this 10-15 minute survey by April 14.

Do you have post-fire tree mortality data? If so, please contact C. Alina Cansler,, 406 829-6980.

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

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

Corey Gucker, Coordinator  |  208.373.4342 
US Forest Service, Boise, Idaho

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