November 2014 Newsletter

In This Issue

Bark Beetles and Fire Featured in Science

Bark beetles and fire behavior are the focus of the Don't Blame the Beetles article in the October 2014 issue of Science.

The article highlights recent research that indicates that the causes of western wildfires are complex and raises questions about policies that promote the removal of insect-damaged trees to reduce fire risks.
Researchers highlighted in the article include -  
  • Monica Turner and Brian Harvey, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Monique Rocca, Colorado State University
  • Matt Jolly, USFS
  • Thomas Veblen and Tania Schoennagel, University of Colorado, Boulder
Read the article

Reducing Wildfire Risk to Communities

Headwaters Economics just released a white paper outlining ways to address the rising costs and risks associated with fighting fires in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

Researchers at Headwaters Economics have proposed solutions that involve local, administrative, and legislative authorities in controlling the "pace, scale, and pattern of future home building in the not-yet developed portion of the WUI".

Offered solutions -
  • improve integration of wildfire mitigation plans into county comprehensive land use plans
  • disclose fire risk to potential home buyers
  • bill state and local governments for their share of firefighting costs
  • create powerful incentives for improved local land use planning
  • shift more fire suppression responsibility to local governments
  • provide technical and financial assistance for land use planning to local governments
  • buy land or development rights on the most dangerous areas
  • improve firefighter safety through improved public education and active participation in county land use planning
  • map fire risk using national standards, with incentives for added detail by local governments
Visit the website, read the paper, and/or listen to the interview with Montana Public Radio.

Fire Behavior Field Reference Guide Updated

The Fire Behavior Field Reference Guide is a hands-on user tool for field-going Fire Behavior Analysts (FBANs), Long Term Fire Analysts (LTANs), and other operation personnel. It contains references to fuels, weather, fuel models, and terrain features that are vital to field-going fire managers.

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group's Fire Behavior Subcommittee will continue updating the guide as new science and technologies become available to assist with decision support, fireline safety, and fire behavior interpretation.

Read the updated guide, now available electronically.

LANDFIRE Offers New Course in its 10th Year

In 2004, the Wildland Fire Leadership Council signed the charter that launched LANDFIRE. With “LANDFIRE National” delivered in 2009, the focus shifted to data updates and a remap. Since the original product suites (circa 2001) were developed, LANDFIRE has created and provided five additional spatial products.

A new LANDFIRE course is now available for 2010 data. The course will be updated as new data become available and includes 11 modules that cover: 
  • Landscape fire and resource management planning
  • Data access and creation
  • Existing vegetation typing and methods for mapping exisiting vegetation
  • Ecological systems and the National Vegetation Classification System
  • LANDFIRE reference database and biophysical settings models
  • Topographic, fire regime, and fire behavior and effects layers
For course descriptions and registration, visit the website.
Upcoming -  LANDFIRE 2012 (the sixth version) is in production and will be completed for the conterminous US in late 2014. Alaska, Hawaii, and the insular areas will be completed in early 2015.  

More information

Safety Summit & Human Dimensions of Fire

Conference - Abstracts Due December 1st

Submit your abstracts now for the 13th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and 4th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Joint Conference, to be held April 20-24, 2015 in Boise, ID.

Join others from emergency services, state, federal, and local government, industry, NGOs, research, and education.

This conference will provide a venue where:
  • Past experiences are shared
  • Lessons learned are documented
  • Current research and work are showcased
  • Emerging ideas and technology are unveiled
Deadline for submissions is December 1, 2014.

Visit the conference website

December 2
A New Approach to Evaluate Forest Structure Restoration Needs across Oregon and Washington

December 2
Forest-Dwelling Bats: Interactions with Prescribed Fire and Regulatory Considerations

December 11
LANDFIRE State and Transition Modeling for Ecosystem Assessment, Restoration Planning, and Collaborative Learning

January 21
The Ability of Wildfire to Act as a Fuel Treatment

December 2-3
Scaling Up: Exploring Managed Wildfire and Landscape-Scale Prescribed Fire in California

December 4-6
Wyoming Rural Firefighters Association Annual Meeting

December 15-19
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting

Climate Change - 
Relative effects of climate change and wildfires on stream temperatures: a simulation modeling approach in a Rocky Mountain watershed

Evidence of climate-induced range contractions in bull trout Salvelinus confluentus in a Rocky Mountain watershed, U.S.A.

Fire Effects -
Resin duct size and density as ecophysiological traits in fire scars of Pseudotsuga menziesii and Larix occidentalis

Fire Management and Firefighter Safety-
A methodology for determining operational priorities for prevention and suppression of wildland fires

Evaluating wildfire hazard and risk for fire management applications

Large airtanker use and outcomes suppressing wildland fires in the United States

Fire and People -
The role of defensible space for residential structure protection during wildfires

Fuels and Fire Behavior -
A numerical investigation of the interplay between fireline length, geometry, and rate of spread

An analysis of controls on fire activity in boreal Canada: comparing models built with different temporal resolutions

Fire activity and severity in the western US vary along proxy gradients representing fuel amount and fuel moisture

Is proportion burned severely related to daily area burned?

A new metric for quantifying burn severity: the relativized burn ratio

The potential and realized spread of wildfires across Canada

Wildfire exposure and fuel management on western US national forests

Wildfire Trends -
One-hundred years of wildfire research: a legacy of the Priest River, Deception Creek, and Boise Basin Experimental Forests of Idaho

Carbon Storage -
Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service Northern Region, 1906-2012

Fire and People -
Guide to fire adapted communities

Post-fire Management -
Post-fire erosion control mulches alter belowground processes and nitrate reductase activity of a perennial forb, heartleaf arnica (Arnica cordifolia)

Forest Management -
Forest conservation and management in the Anthropocene: conference proceedings

Natural Inquirer -

The scientific models in adaptive management

Wilderness 2.0. Understanding how people experience and value wilderness

Pack to back. Investigating backpacking and other backcountry and wilderness activities

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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