September 2022 Newsletter

In This Issue

Additional Events and Resources (Right Column)

New Research Briefs - Reburns and Post-Fire Regen

NRFSN has two new research briefs to share. 
In the first, Short-interval high severity reburns change the playing field for forest recovery authors Tyler Hoecker (Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, formerly University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Monica G. Turner (University of Wisconsin-Madison) summarize their research on reburns in subalpine forests in Glacier National Park and the Greater Yellowstone. They describe how fire-adaptive traits shape ecosystem responses to reburns, and how reburns can alter microclimate conditions, post-fire tree regeneration, and ultimately forest recovery.

In Wildfire effects on microclimate conditions and tree regeneration in mixed conifer forests, authors Kyra D. Clark-Wolf, Kimberley T. Davis, and Philip E. Higuera (all from the University of Montana) share results from a study on the Lolo Peak and Sunrise Fires of 2017 (Montana) that quantified the impacts of wildfire on microclimate conditions, and evaluated how fire severity and microclimate affect post-fire seedling regeneration and survival in mixed-conifer and subalpine forests.

Both of these research briefs detail important management implications related to post-fire forest recovery and reforestation in the Northern Rockies and beyond.

Find our full suite of research briefs here.

Wildland Firefighter Health Hot Topic and Webinars

Our latest "Hot Topic" webpage Wildland Firefighter Health, went live in June. Hot Topic webpages feature curated resources (webinar recordings, videos, scientific articles, syntheses, and upcoming and past events) relevant to specific topics of interest. 

Current firefighter health research addresses topics such as smoke exposure, reproductive health, sleep, fitness, and chronic injuries. The webpage also contains links to resources for firefighters that may experience trauma, depression, harassment, and/or substance abuse due to the unique demands and challenges of the job. 

Many of the resources included in this hot topic were originally identified during a series of presentations and panel discussions, Wildland Firefighter Health Series: Current Knowledge for Body, Mind, and Well-being, that occurred May 31-June 2, 2022. During this 3-day series of presentations and panel discussions, professionals and agency leaders shared some of the current science, knowledge, and tools available to support wildland firefighter physical and mental health. The series was presented as a partnership among the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network, the Northwest Fire Science Consortium, the Great Basin Fire Science Exchange, the Southern Rockies Fire Science Network, and the California Fire Science Consortium. The event was organized with agenda input provided by the USDA Forest Service’s Innovation & Organizational Learning RD&A and Work Environment & Performance Office, and inspiration derived from the International Association of Wildland Fire’s Workforce Resilience Ignite Talks.

Recordings of the series are now available! They can be found here, or on our YouTube channel.

USFS Prescribed Fire Review

On September 8th, USDA Forest Service Chief Randy Moore released a statement announcing the completion of the National Prescribed Fire Program Review, which was developed during a 90-day pause on prescribed burning that began in May. The report details seven “tactical recommendations” with implications on prescribed burn plans and ignition authorizations. The review also describes common factors that contribute to escaped prescribed burns and recommendations to safely resume operations. 

"High Five" Special Journal Issue and Proceedings

The journal Forest Ecology and Management recently released a special edition Ecology and Restoration of High Elevation Five-Needle White Pines available for free promotional access until early January, 2023. This publication presents the articles behind the keynote speakers from the 2021 High Five Conference

Proceedings from the conference are also available: Research and Management of High-Elevation Five-Needle Pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the Second High-Five Conference.

MT Forest Action Plan RFP Now Open

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is now accepting applications for grants through the Montana Forest Action Plan to reduce wildfire risk and improve forest health on state, private, county and Tribal lands, and on federal lands through the Good Neighbor Authority Program. 

Up to $500,000 is available per project. 

Successful project proposals will involve multiple collaborating partners, engaged in cross-boundary management to address at least one of the following through forest management and conservation actions: forest health; wildfire risk; working forests and economies; biodiversity and habitat; human and community health; urban and community forests.  

The deadline to apply for a Montana FAP grant is November 6, 2022. Applications must be submitted electronically through

-- Adapted from MT DNRC press release

NSF Wildland Fire Science Planning Proposals

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is calling for planning proposals focused on catalyzing innovative and inclusive wildland fire science through collaboration among diverse stakeholders and rights holders. 

For more information about this opportunity, read the full Dear Colleague Letter released on September 19, 2022.

Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission

The Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission met for the first time in mid-September to begin crafting federal policy recommendations and strategies on ways to better prevent, manage, suppress and recover from record wildfires across the West. Established by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and announced in December 2021, the commission is composed of representatives from federal agencies, state, local and Tribal governments, and representatives from the private sector. The commission is tasked with preparing a report with policy recommendations and submitting them to Congress within a year of its first in-person meeting. 

--From a 9/14/22 Department of Interior Press Release

Changes in NRFSN Leadership

Vita Wright, who served as Principal Investigator for NRFSN for over a decade, recently began a new position as a Science Delivery Specialist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station's Communication and Application Program and has transitioned out of the NRFSN PI role. Vita led the NRFSN since its inception in 2010, responsible for both planning and implementation/development.

Vita's career with the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) began in 1998, where she developed and led the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute's Research Application Program. Starting in 2009, she worked as a Fire Science Application Specialist with the Human Performance and Innovation & Organizational Learning RD&A, which is administered by the RMRS Fire Sciences Lab in Missoula, MT. Vita received her PhD studying individual and organizational influences on fire research use in the BLM, NPS, and USFS. Her research interests include the science of science delivery, organizational learning, and science communication. 

Charles Goebel, NRFSN Planning Team member since 2019, has assumed the role of NRFSN Principal Investigator. Charles is a professor of forest ecology, and serves as the Head of the Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences at the University of Idaho. Prior to joining UI, he was a faculty member and administrator in the School of Environment and Natural Resources and College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Charles has also been involved with JFSP’s Fire Science Exchange Networks since their inception, serving as the PI and Director of the Lake States Fire Science Consortium from 2008-2017. In addition to an interest in science exchange, his research focuses broadly on the effects of natural and human disturbances on forests and rangelands (including wildland fire), and how we can use that information to design more effective restoration and management systems.

Interestingly, both Vita and Charles were present at the original JFSP Fire Science Exchange kick-off meeting in 2009, and NRFSN is fortunate to have Charles' leadership and experience moving forward.  

Vita's dedication to bringing researchers and managers together was exemplified in the success of NRFSN field trips and workshops, and the partnerships that were formed as a result of these events. Her interest in wilderness fire helped shape several events including the Wilderness Fire Workshops, and two acclaimed videos, The Benefits of Hard Decisions and The Evolution of Wilderness Fire in the Northern Rockies. Vita also worked to support knowledge sharing on important topics including traditional knowledge and fire, wildland firefighter health, and the human dimensions of fire management. Her energy and enthusiasm for fire science delivery will be missed, but Vita's efforts over the last decade will continue to serve managers and researchers for years to come. 

Tribute to Steve Arno

On June 4th, 2022, esteemed fire and forest ecologist Steve Arno passed away at his home in Missoula, MT. Steve was widely known and respected as a pioneer in forest and fire ecology research, and his contributions to the field are immense. His foundational work on fire-adapted ecosystems and forest restoration continues to shape forest management practices and research in the region. 

Read more about Steve's career, research, and "lifetime passion" for forestry - both personally and professionally - in a recent tribute posted by the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation. 


September 29
Balancing Act: Understanding the impact of the Shared Stewardship Strategy
in four management case studies

October 26
Landfire Office Hours: Snag Hazard Mapping to Reduce Risk to Wildland Fire Responders

October 27
Inaugural Elers Koch Lecture: Dissenting Conservationist: Elers Koch and His Legacy
University of Montana, Missoula, MT

December 7
Landfire Office Hours: How are LANDFIRE's Vegetation & Cover Products Mapped?

Check our Upcoming Events for fall webinars as they are announced

October 4-7
Fire Across Boundaries
Florence, Italy and Virtual

October 31 - Nov. 4
Wildland Fire Canada
Edmonton, Alberta

November 14-18
National Cohesive Strategy Workshop
Asheville, NC

November 15-17
FIA Science Stakeholder Meeting

Overview of FlamMap 6.2

Structural Damage from Wildfires in Wildland-Urban Interface Communities

Indigenous-Led Fire Stewardship with Amy Christianson

Through The Fire: Restoring Forest Resilience

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

Browse fire and fuels related Storymaps in our Recorded Media Database

Wildland Firefighter Health

Search all NRFSN Hot Topics

Search the NRFSN Research & Publications Database

Fire and Climate-
Future climate risks from stress, insects and fire across US forests

Fire Behavior-
A note on fire weather indices

Fire Ecology-
Ten-year ecological responses to fuel treatments within semiarid Wyoming big sagebrush ecosystems

Factors influencing the persistence of a fire-sensitive Artemisia species in a fire-dependent ecosystem

Fire Effects-
Forest fire effects on stream water quality at continental scales: a meta-analysis

Patterns of infestation by subcortical insects (Coleoptera: Buprestidae, Cerambycidae) after widespread wildfires in mature Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests

Fuel Treatments and Effects-
Natural regeneration responses to thinning and burning treatments in ponderosa pine forests and implications for restoration

Human Dimensions of Fire Management-
Understanding limits: Wildland fire response and pandemic interactions in 2020

Management Approaches-
Managed Wildfire: A Strategy Facilitated by Civil Society Partnerships and Interagency Cooperation

Modern pyromes: biogeographical patterns of fire characteristics across the contiguous United States

A national map of snag hazard to reduce risk to wildland fire responders

Contribution of risk science and scenario planning to build the 2022 US wildfire crisis strategy

Wildfire, COVID-19, and enterprise risk management in the Forest Service

Effective Network Governance for Co-Management: The Role of Cognitive Alignment in Risk Perception and Value Orientation Toward Collaboration

Potential operational delineations: new horizons for proactive, risk-informed strategic land and fire management

Smoke & Air Quality-
Wildland Fire Smoke in the United States: A Scientific Assessment

Projections of future wildfires impacts on air pollutants and air toxics in a changing climate over the western United States

Wildland Urban Interface-
The distributional incidence of wildfire hazard in the western United States


Association for Fire Ecology News and Updates, September 2022

Great Basin Fire Science Research and Events, September 2022

Northwest Fire Science Consortium Newsletter, August 2022

Southern Rockies Fire Science Network Newsletter, September 2022

Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation Newsletter, September 2022

Traditional Knowledge and Fire Newsletter, September 2022

Biden-Harris Administration announces $1 Billion in Community Wildfire Defense Grants from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - USDA Press Release

Trailblazers: Women in Fire - The Nature Conservancy

UM Scientist Earns Prestigious Award for Wildfire Smoke Research - University of Montana Press Release

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

Charles Goebel, Principal Investigator               |  208.885.7311                    
University of Idaho - College of Natural Resources, Dept of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences

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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