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April 2014 Newsletter
 

In This Issue


Join us at the Large Wildland Fires Conference

 

Large Wildland Fires Conference AnnouncementWe hope that you plan to attend the Large Wildland Fires Conference in Missoula, MT. The conference is hosted by the International Association of Wildland Fire and the Association for Fire Ecology.

The Northern Rockies Fire Science Network is sponsoring two pre-conference workshops on Monday, May 19, and assisting with field trips. We invite you to join us!

NRFSN workshops:

For more information, visit conference website.

April 23 - Final Webinar of the LANDFIRE Series


LANDFIRE Map LayersDon Helmbrecht, Wildland Fire Analyst with the USDA Forest Service TEAMS Enterprise Unit, will present this third webinar in a series of three developed by LANDFIRE, the Northern Rockies and Southern Rockies Fire Science Networks, and the Joint Fire Science Program. Don will show how to use tools and models for assessment activities in the Northern Rockies region, with a focus on fuels examples.

The webinar series as a whole is designed to introduce LANDFIRE data and tools, examine an on-the-ground application project in the Rockies region, and look at ways to customize LANDFIRE data for specific landscapes and projects. ​

Read about the webinar series and find recordings of all three webinars on the Northern Rockies website.

2014 Fire Season Outlook 
 

Graph of U.S. Acres Burned from 2000-2013Six major factors governing fire season severity in the Northern Rockies region were analyzed by meteorologists, Bryan Henry and Michael Richmond from the NRCC Predictive Services, to develop predictions about the 2014 fire season for the Northern Rockies. The factors:
  • Fall moisture and preexisting drought conditions
  • Winter snowpack
  • Spring conditions
  • July temperatures and precipitation
  • Summer convection
  • Live and dead fuel moisture
Analysis of these factors together with the absence of long-term drought over the Northern Rockies suggests that the region will experience a delayed start to the fire season with below normal activity through July. In August and September, below normal to normal fire activity is expected with activity focused in central Idaho and possibly southwestern Montana. See the full report.

QFR Comment Period Extended


Every four years, the federal wildland fire community conducts a Quadrennial Fire Review (QFR). The QFR compiles input from across the country to help wildland fire managers identify and plan for emerging and long-range fire management issues.

Submit your thoughts and engage in this process. Deadline for comments is May 15.

Interagency Monitoring Tool: FFI-LiteFFI logo
 

FEAT/FIREMON Integrated (FFI) is an interagency plot-level monitoring software tool designed to assist managers with collection, storage, and analysis of ecological information. FFI software components provide for: data entry and storage, summary reports, analysis tools, geographic information system (GIS) connection, and personal digital assistant (PDA) use. FFI can help managers fulfill monitoring mandates set forth in land management policy and to encourage cooperative, interagency data management and information sharing.

The new version of FFI (v1.05) allows users to choose FFI-Lite for smaller programs or when information technology support is limited. FFI-Lite can also be used with the full version of FFI as an alternative to PDA devices for field data collection. FFI-Lite will be most useful for:
  • Field data collection on ruggedized laptops or tablet computers
  • Smaller monitoring programs that do not need to access FFI databases from multiple workstations, do not use the FFI GIS toolbar, and do not use PDA data collection devices
To download the latest software, user guides, and other documents, visit FFI.

NPS Wildland Fire Management Manual Revised
 

Fire and Firefighting National Park Service ImagesThe National Park Service recently released revisions to Reference Manual 18, Wildland Fire Management. This manual represents the most detailed and comprehensive policy guidance for implementing Service-wide wildland fire management policy. It provides NPS field employees legal references, operating policies, standards, and procedures to assist them in carrying out Management Policies and Director’s Orders. This revision reconciles Reference Manual 18 with the 2009 Guidance for Implementation of Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy and subsequent changes in wildland fire terminology.

Dance Teaches Fire Science


Fire Speaks the Land Dance Performers in Nutcracker CostumeThe Fire Speaks the Land interactive and educational dance performance recently toured schools and theaters in Montana and Idaho. The 50-minute performance for K-6th grade uses original choreography, narration, and music to explore fire science, forest ecology, and traditional native perspectives on fire. Dancers taught the fire triangle, mechanisms of heat transfer, and the fire ecology of lodgepole, ponderosa, and whitebark pine forests. For more information, listen to the Montana Public Radio podcast, read the Daily Inter Lake’s article, or view part of the performance. For more information or to bring next spring's tour to your area, contact Karen Kaufmann of CoMotion Dance Project.

NRFSN Introduces New Coordinator
 

Mary McFadzenFor the past two years, the activities and products brought to you by the NRFSN would not have been possible without the effective and dedicated efforts of NRFSN Coordinator, Mary McFadzen. Starting May 1st, Mary will switch to full-time work as the Communications Coordinator for the Great Northern and Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. Congratulations Mary!

Corey GuckerCorey Gucker will serve as Acting Coordinator while we work to fill the position full-time. Corey comes to us with a strong fire ecology background, including work with the Fire Effects Information System, Great Basin Native Plant Project, and master's thesis work at the University of Idaho. Welcome Corey!
 
WEBINARS/SEMINARS

April 23

LANDFIRE: customizing data for the Rockies (Final webinar of the series)

April 24
Seminar - 
Fire and trout: lessons from wildfires over the last two decades
Seminar will be presented at the Missoula Fire Lab.

Past seminar recordings available.

May 7
Predicting local smoke dispersion during low-intensity wildland fires in forested environments

May 7
Understanding fire refugia and their importance to conservation in the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. and Canada
CONFERENCES / WORKSHOPS

May 7
Restoration in Western Montana Forests with Mixed-Severity Fire Regimes
Lubrecht Experimental Forest, MT

May 13-15
National Tribal Forum on Air Quality
Anacortes, WA

May 19-23
Large Wildland Fires Conference
Missoula, MT

May 29-30
Firewise Communities Workshop
Spokane, WA

June 19-20
FireWorks Annual Educator Workshop
Missoula, MT

June 23-26
Thirty-Eighth Annual National Indian Timber Symposium
Coeur d'Alene, ID

July 28-August 1
Elevating the Science and Practice of Restoration
New Orleans, LA
 
PUBLICATIONS

Temperate and boreal forest mega-fires: characteristics and challenges

Fire severity and tree regeneration following bark beetle outbreaks: the role of outbreak stage and burning conditions

Wildfire evacuation and its alternatives: perspectives from four United States’ communities

Understanding evacuation preferences and wildfire mitigations among Northwest Montana residents

Defining extreme wildland fires using geospatial and ancillary metrics

Pyrogeography, historical ecology, and the human dimensions of fire regimes

Wildland firefighter safety zones: a review of past science and summary of future needs
 
REPORTS

Fire and fish dynamics in a changing climate: broad- and local-scale effects of fire-induced water temperature changes on native and nonnative fish communities
 
BULLETINS & ARTICLES

Building trust, establishing credibility, and communicating fire issues with the public

Revisiting disturbance: a new guide for keeping dry mixed conifer forests healthy through fuel management

Coming to a landscape near you: natural resource changes in the Interior West

Evaluating the effects and effectiveness of post-fire seeding treatments in western forests

Great Northern LCC fire refugia project
 

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


Vita Wright, Principal Investigator                      
vwright@fs.fed.us  |  406.396.5374                   
US Forest Service, Kalispell, Montana

Corey Gucker, Coordinator

gucker.corey@gmail.com  |  208.373.4342 
US Forest Service, Boise, Idaho


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