May 2015 Newsletter

In This Issue


Quadrennial Fire Review Released 

The third iteration of the Quadrennial Fire Review (QFR), which began in 2005, is now available. The QFR is a strategic assessment process that compares current wildland fire management strategies and capabilities with future needs. While not a formal policy or decision document, the QFR is designed to provide a long-range vision to use to support fire discussions within and among agencies and state, local, tribal, and other partners.

This version of the QFR was conducted during implementation of the first National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy). The QFR and the Cohesive Strategy can be used together to address future wildfire management needs, because the Cohesive Strategy focuses on finding novel and improved approaches to fire management and the QFR focuses on long-range fire risks and threats. 

Read the 2014 Quadrennial Fire Review - Final Report

See the Managers' Assessment, outlining the role of the QFR

2015 Season Wildfire Outlook

Michael Richmond, meteorologist with the Northern Rockies Coordination Center's Predictive Services Center, reviewed the following factors in his predictions for the 2015 fire season for the Northern Rockies -
  • Fall moisture and preexisting drought conditions
  • Winter snowpack
  • Spring conditions
  • July temperatures and precipitation
  • Summer convection
  • Live and dead fuel moisture
As of May, these factors, along with expected higher than average long-range temperatures and accelerated snow melt in the Northern Rockies, suggest that the region will experience an early start to the 2015 fire season. There is also potential for above-average acreage burning through July and August. Read the full report.

See also -

Montana Water Supply Outlook 

Below normal snowfall and above average temperatures have resulted in lower than average snow water equivalent measurements for western Montana river basins as of April 1, 2015.

Snow melting and a lack of new snow at low- and mid-elevations produced record low snow water equivalent measurements at 47 SNOTEL locations with 18 locations completely melted by April 1.

Whereas northern river basins received above normal precipitation in March, precipitation received by southern basins was as little as 38% of normal. 

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service's Water Supply Outlook Report provides a comprehensive look at water supply conditions in Montana's surface runoff dependent areas and includes -
  • Snowpack 
  • Precipitation
  • Reservoir storage
  • Current conditions
  • Forecasts of streamflow  
Read the full report

View current climatic information (e.g. precipitation, snow water equivalents, and streamflows) on the NRCS National Water and Climate Center's interactive map.

Search NRFSN Webinar Archive

Users can now find webinar recordings relevant to fire and fuels management in the Northern Rockies on our website.

The NRFSN Webinar Archive is unique because users can filter and search recorded webinars by -
  • Northern Rockies ecosystem
  • Fire topic
  • Presentation year
  • Presenter name, webinar title, etc. (in search pane)
The archive continues to grow and includes recordings from the Joint Fire Science Program, the International Association of Wildland Fire, the Wildand Fire Lessons Learned Center, Fire Research and Management Exchange System, the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and other JFSP fire science exchanges.

Search for webinar recordings

The GNLCC - At a Glance 

Conservation challenges of the 21st Century are more complex than ever. Widespread stressors such as drought, climate change, and large-scale habitat fragmentation are complicating conservation efforts, and traditional natural resource management infrastructure is not well designed to confront landscape-scale challenges. 

The Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC), an NRFSN partner, aims to identify and overcome institutional limitations to working at landscape scales. Covering over 110 million hectares in the North American Intermountain West, the GNLCC is a self-directed partnership comprised of over 30 state, provincial, Tribal, non-governmental, and federal organizations.

The GNLCC identifies critical conservation priorities and science needs, and implements conservation solutions. Since 2010, the GNLCC and its partners have - The GNLCC facilitates networking across ecogeographic partner forums, where field-level managers, scientists, and conservation constituents identify priority conservation information and scientific needs for the region. These include Rocky Mountain, Sage-Steppe, Columbia Basin, and Cascadia. 

Visit the GNLCC website

May 27
Collaborative Forest Management in the Crown of the Continent

May 28
An Introduction to the AdaptWest Database for Climate Adaptation Conservation Planning

June 2
Large Incident Risk Assessments: the Roles of the Agency Administrator and the Resource Specialist

Search the NRFSN Webinar Archive for Northern Rockies-relevant webinar recordings

June 8-11
39th Annual National Indian Timber Symposium
North Bend, OR

June 13-18
21st International Symposium on Society and Resource Management
Charleston, SC

June 18-19
FireWorks Educator Workshop
Missoula, MT

September 24-26
Colorado Wildland Fire Conference 2015
Snowmass Village, CO

October 22-24
2015 Backyards and Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference
Myrtle Beach, SC

November 3-7
Society of American Foresters 2015 National Convention
Baton Rouge, LA

November 16-20
6th International Fire Ecology & Management Congress - Advancing Ecology in Fire Management
San Antonio, TX 

National Forest Foundation - Matching Awards Program
Due June 24, 2015

Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Pre-proposals due July 8, 2015

Burn Severity -
Relations between soil hydraulic properties and burn severity

Climate & Fire - 
Managing for climate change on federal lands of the western United States: perceived usefulness of climate science, effectiveness of adaptation strategies, and barriers to implementation

Fire Behavior Modeling -
Parametric uncertainty quantification in the Rothermel model with randomised quasi-Monte Carlo methods

Fire Effects -
Post-wildfire debris flows in southern British Columbia, Canada

Predicting fire-based perennial bunchgrass mortality in big sagebrush plant communities

Firefighter Safety -
Words matter: radio misunderstandings in wildland firefighting

Fire and People -
Social science research on Indigenous wildfire management in the 21st century and future research needs

Fire Risk & Uncertainty -
Predicting wildfire occurrence distribution with spatial point process models and its uncertainty assessment: a case study in the Lake Tahoe Basin, USA

Global patterns in fire leverage: the response of annual area burnt to previous fire

Development and application of a probabilistic method for wildfire suppression cost modeling

Fuels -
Temporal fuel dynamics following high-severity fire in dry mixed conifer forests of the eastern Cascades, Oregon, USA

Impacts of forest harvest on active carbon and microbial properties of a volcanic ash cap soil in northern Idaho

Fuel accumulation and forest structure change following hazardous fuel reduction treatments throughout California

Management / Planning -
Are wildfire management resources in the United States efficiently allocated to protect resources at risk? A case study from Montana

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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