March 2022 Newsletter

In This Issue

Additional Events and Resources (Right Column)

New IFTDSS Story Map

Story Map: A Short Tour of the Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS)

In collaboration with team members of the Interagency Fuels Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS), NRFSN developed a new Story Map that gives an overview of this planning program’s components and uses and includes links to additional resources. IFTDSS is a web-based application designed to make fuels treatment planning and analysis more efficient and effective. The program was developed in coordination with fire managers and provides access to data and models through one simple user interface. It is available, free, to all interested users, regardless of agency or organizational affiliation. It was designed for use at the Project (100s-1,000s ac) and Unit scales (1,000s to 3.5M ac). The Story Map is a simple tool for learning what IFTDSS is capable of and provides many links to learn more. A follow-up Story Map will be coming soon that describes how to use IFTDSS to develop a burn plan. 

New Research Brief on Invasive Species

In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station Fire Effects Information System (FEIS), we recently developed a new research brief on invasive plant species: Fire Ecology and Management of Spotted Knapweed, Diffuse Knapweed, and Yellow Starthistle. Author Robin Innes (FEIS) summarizes the FEIS Species Reviews regarding the biology and ecology of these species, how fire affects them, how they respond to fire, and management considerations for the use of prescribed fire in plant communities where these species are present. 

For more information on each individual species, see the FEIS Species Reviews:

Photo by Rob Routledge, Sault College, and courtesy of

Upcoming Webinar: Fire Weather and Decision-making

Join us for the upcoming webinar, Assessing the role of short-term weather forecasts in fire manager tactical decision-making, presented by Claire Rapp, Ohio State University. This webinar is in partnership with the Association for Fire Ecology (AFE), and is paired with a recent episode of the AFE podcast Fire Ecology Chats. Listen to the podcast episode, then join us for the webinar on April 7, 2022 from 11am - noon, MDT. 

The webinar will explore how decision-making strategies influence how fire managers interpret and use short-term weather forecasts. The results have implications for the design of decision support tools developed to support fire management. For more information and to register, click here

Upcoming Field Trip - Rx Fire in Mixed Severity Regimes

Save the date! On June 16th, 2022, NRFSN will be hosting in-person field trips in two locations with partners from the Bureau of Land Management Missoula Field Office and the Flathead National Forest. The field trips will focus on the planning, implementation, and fire effects of prescribed burning in forests with mixed- or high-severity fire regimes. After a two-year hiatus from in-person events, we look forward to bringing researchers and managers together on the ground to share knowledge on this topic. 

Participants can choose to attend the field trip in the Blackfoot watershed east of Missoula, MT, or the Good Creek drainage north of Whitefish, MT. Details and registration will be posted on our website in the near future and an announcement will be sent to your inbox when registration opens. In the meantime, mark your calendars.

Wilderness Fire Science Spotlight

The U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) recently published a Science Spotlight Lessons from the past: Wilderness fire management in the Northern Rockies, featuring resources from NRFSN and research from the University of Montana. The spotlight highlights key findings, with the purpose of "remembering the history of wilderness fire management, including challenges overcome and lessons learned by managers in this region, will continue to inform fire management policies and decisions across the Nation." 

The FireEarth Project

Understanding what makes people vulnerable to wildfire

Researchers from various disciplines at the University of Idaho, Washington State University, University of California Merced, and the US Forest Service came together in FireEarth, a National Science Foundation-funded project that aimed to improve our understanding of wildfire vulnerability so that communities can build resilience to future wildfires. In addition to dozens of peer-reviewed publications, the FireEarth team tells their story and the highlights of their research through a story map and a series of science briefs that explore different dimensions of vulnerability to wildfire. These FireEarth briefs share findings on:

  • The drivers of vulnerability and resilience of landscapes to wildfire and its impacts, and how climate change is affecting them (FireEarth Briefs 1, 4, 10, 14 and 15);
  • The factors affecting the vulnerability of communities to wildfires, effective wildfire management and response (FireEarth Briefs 2, 3 and 5);
  • How impacts are dependent on fire intensity and pre-fire management, and the resulting effects on vegetation and soils (FireEarth Briefs 6, 8, 11, 12, 13);
  • Perspectives on different approaches to wildfire management and response (FireEarth Briefs 7 and 9).
The FireEarth story map and science briefs are available on Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture website and in the NRFSN publications and recorded media databases.

Post-fire Tree Mortality Story Map

The newly released Story Map Understanding Post-fire Tree Mortality: Resources & Research compiles information about post-fire tree mortality based on past and current research efforts at the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory. It is divided into five main sections that provide basic information on how fires kills trees, how to predict post-fire tree mortality, a database of tree mortality records after fire, model accuracy, and decision support.

IAWF Fire and Climate Conference

The International Association of Wildland Fire is hosting the Fire and Climate Conference in Pasadena, CA, May 23-27. Fire and Climate 2022 will bring attention to one of the most important forces shaping wildfire and better prepare how we can focus and respond to this formidable challenge in the new decade. For more information and to register visit the conference webpage.

AFE Fire Across Boundaries Conference

The Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) is accepting proposals for virtual or in-person presentations for the Fire Across Boundaries Conference, October 4-7, 2022, in Florence, Italy. Visit the conference website to submit a proposal by June 15, 2022.

The conference will focus on connecting fire ecology research and management across geographic and disciplinary boundaries. It will cover a wide range of topics to address the main challenges of wildfires in the era of climate change with the perspective of fire ecology.


March 21-25

March 23
Managed Wildfire: Decision Factors, Frameworks, and Uncertain Futures

March 30
Recent Megafires Provide a Tipping Point for Desertification of Conifer Ecosystems

April 7
Assessing the Role of Short-term Weather Forecasts in Fire Manager Tactical Decision-making

April 20
Effective Communication about Wildfire Management

April 20
The Road Less Traveled: How Women in Forestry can Save the World

May 17
The Effects of Whitebark Pine Mortality on Streamflow in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

May 23-27
Fire and Climate Impacts Issues and Futures 2022: Building a global approach to the wildfire challenge
Pasadena, CA

October 4-7
Fire Across Boundaries
Florence, Italy

Exploring the Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS)

Fate of early twentieth century fires: fuels and forest structure of different fire histories in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness

Managing Weeds after Wildfire

Science and Management of Wildfire, Fish, and Water Resources in the Western US

Check our Recorded Media database for fire and fuels related videos

AFE Fire Ecology Chats

Fire University Podcast

Fireline Podcast

Good Fire Podcast

Headwaters Podcast

In the Woods Podcast

Life With Fire Podcast

On the Line Podcast

The Fire Story Podcast

Understanding Post-fire Tree Mortality: Resources & Research

Exploring Boundary Spanning Features: Tools for collective action to reduce wildfire risk

Search NRFSN Hot Topics

Search the NRFSN Research & Publications Database

Fire and Climate-
Adapting western North American forests to climate change and wildfires: 10 common questions

Wildfire and climate change adaptation of western North American forests: a case for intentional management

The magnitude, direction, and tempo of forest change in Greater Yellowstone in a warmer world with more fire

Fire and Wildlife-
Effects of large herbivores on fire regimes and wildfire mitigation

Megafires and thick smoke portend big problems for migratory birds

A spatially explicit analytical framework to assess wildfire risks on brown bear habitat and corridors in conservation areas

Fire Behavior-
Large wildfire driven increases in nighttime fire activity observed across CONUS from 2003-2020

Evaluating thunderstorm outflow boundaries in WRF-Fire - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program

Fire Ecology-
Fire ecology of Rocky Mountain forests

Fire mitigates bark beetle outbreaks in serotinous forests

Fire Effects-
Do you CBI what I see? The relationship between the Composite Burn Index and quantitative field measures of burn severity varies across gradients of forest structure

Firefighter Health and Safety-
Why Do We Still Not Know How to Prevent Firefighter Entrapments?—Thoughts and Observations from a Few Perplexed Fire Practitioners

Health risks and mitigation strategies from occupational exposure to wildland fire: a scoping review

Effectiveness of Safety Interventions in Fire Engines to Reduce Potential Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Fuel Treatments and Effects-
Insights and Suggestions for Certified Prescribed Burn Manager Programs

Postfire treatments alter forest canopy structure up to three decades after fire

Socio-demographic and health vulnerability in prescribed-burn exposed versus unexposed counties near the National Forest System

Effectiveness of Fuel Treatments at the Landscape Scale: State of Understanding and Key Research Gaps - Joint Fire Science Project Final Report

Evaluating canopy fuels across multiple spatial scales for improved fire modeling

Human Dimensions of Fire Management-
Network governance in the use of prescribed fire: Roles for bridging organizations and other actors in the western United States

Fire modeling and social science analysis of fire managers’ use of fire weather data across the US - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program

Spatial wildfire occurrence data for the United States, 1992-2018

Assessing Potential Safety Zone Suitability Using a New Online Mapping Tool

Post-fire Regeneration-
Impacts of burn severity, microclimate, and soil properties on initial post-fire tree regeneration - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program

Long-term empirical evidence shows post-disturbance climate controls post-fire regeneration

Post-fire Recovery-
Interactions between landscape and local factors inform spatial action planning in post-fire forest environments

Post-fire landscape evaluations in Eastern Washington, USA: Assessing the work of contemporary wildfires

Tamm Review: Ecological principles to guide post-fire forest landscape management in the Inland Pacific and Northern Rocky Mountain regions

Repeat Fires-
A short-interval reburn catalyzes departures from historical structure and composition in a mesic mixed-conifer forest

Previous wildfires and management treatments moderate subsequent fire severity

Contemporary wildfires further degrade resistance and resilience of fire-excluded forests

Co-Managing Risk or ‘Parallel Play’? Examining Connectivity Across Wildfire Risk Mitigation and Fire Response in the Intermountain West: Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program

Improving wildfire management outcomes: Shifting the paradigm of wildfire from simple to complex risk

Smoke and Human Health-
What can we do when the smoke rolls in? An exploratory qualitative analysis of the impacts of rural wildfire smoke on mental health and wellbeing, and opportunities for adaptation

Whitebark and Limber Pine-
Effective actions for managing resilient high elevation five-needle white pine forests in western North America at multiple scales under changing climates

Wildland Urban Interface-
Human ignitions on private lands drive USFS cross‑boundary wildfire transmission and community impacts in the western US

Engagement in local and collaborative wildfire risk mitigation planning across the western U.S.-Evaluating participation and diversity in Community Wildfire Protection Plans

Association for Fire Ecology, March 2022

Fire Management Today, December 2021

Great Basin Fire Science Research and Events, March 2022

Southern Rockies Fire Science Network Newsletter, March 2022

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

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