January 2015 Newsletter

In This Issue

Wildland Fuel Fundamentals and Applications

The ultimate book for understanding and managing wildland fuels by fuels expert, Robert E. Keane, Research Ecologist with the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab, is now available. 

Keane's book synthesizes fuels information so that fundamental fuels properties and their applications can be objectively described, sampled, classified, and mapped using the most appropriate techniques.

The book is divided into two sections - 
  • Fuel Fundamentals, which focuses on the concepts used to describe, quantify, and apply fuel information in fire management.
  • Fuel Applications, which synthesizes currently available applications that use fuel information for fire and fuel management activities.
From the preface -

Wildland fuels may be the most important consideration in fire management, not just because they are important inputs for predicting fire behavior (i.e., how fast and intense a fire gets), but also because fuels are the only factor that can effectively be controlled by direct and indirect management manipulation.

Preview book sections and purchase the book here.
Get an ebook version here.

Webinar - Wildfire as a Fuel Treatment

The Northern Rockies Fire Science Network and the Southwest Fire Science Consortium are pleased to host a webinar highlighting results from recent research on the ability of wildfire to act as a fuel treatment.

The study led by Sean Parks, Landscape Ecologist with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, evaluated whether or not past wildfires limited the occurrence, size, and severity of subsequent wildfires in four large wilderness complexes in Idaho, Montana, and New Mexico.
Study findings suggest that -
  • Wildfires reduce the probability that subsequent fires will ignite and spread.
  • Wildfires reduce the size of subsequent fires by acting as fuel breaks.
  • Subsequent fire severity is significantly lower in areas that have recently burned than in areas that have not.

Network of Fire Science Champions 2015

The Network of Fire Science Champions begins 2015 with the following two meetings: 
  • Jan 8 - Kickoff presentation, "The Effects of Previous Wildfires on Subsequent Wildfire Behavior and Post-Wildfire Recovery," by Camille Stevens-Rumann, University of Idaho. The call's Round Robin resulted in discussion about a number of resources available here.
  • Feb 19 - Kickoff presentation, "Ushering in a New Age of Wildland Fuel Science," by Bob Keane, Missoula Fire Sciences Lab. This will be followed by a Round Robin for participants to share resources. Learn more
Champions are managers interested in joining bimonthly calls to share experiences with, and learn about, the latest scientific knowledge and tools for fire and fuels management in the Northern Rockies.

Champions meet other managers interested in fire science, are "in the know" on the latest fire science and NRFSN products, and communicate science and science delivery needs to the NRFSN development team.

For anyone interested in learning more about or becoming a Fire Science Champion, please visit.

At a Glance - FRAMES

The Fire Research And Management Exchange System (FRAMES) is a partner with the NRFSN. The goal of FRAMES is to provide a convenient, comprehensive, and systematic exchange of information and technology within the wildland fire research and management community.
FRAMES provides -
  • Searchable fire research and management resources
  • Calendar of events, announcements, and job postings
  • Topic and Region pages that allow users to find resources, events, etc. relevant to particular regions or topics
  • MyFRAMES for calendar and file sharing
  • Partner website hosting support
Recent FRAMES developments -
  • Online Course System - FRAMES is now hosting online training that includes courses developed by the Wildland Fire Management Research, Development, and Application (RD&A) teams, LANDFIRE, and the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Courses include Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) tools and the University of Idaho's Fire Ecology and Management online degree program.
  • MyFRAMES Forums - FRAMES is now home to a question and answer forum, which is currently focused on LANDFIRE, FRCC, and tools hosted by the Wildland Fire Management RD&A.
  • Twitter - FRAMES is now on Twitter; follow them @FRAMESgov for updates.

The Big Burn to Air on PBS

The Big Burn documentary inspired by Timothy Egan's best-selling book about the 1910 fires premieres on PBS American Experience on February 3, 2015.

This documentary features the 1910 fires, which burned more than 3 million acres of the Northern Rockies in just 36 hours. The documentary also examines the early Forest Service system and how it changed after the fires.

More information

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

January 27
Effects of Complex Terrain on Extreme Fire Behavior

February 10
Critical Fire Weather Patterns - Eastern US, Canada, and Australia

February 19
Network of Fire Science Champions Call - Ushering in a New Age of Widland Fuel Science

February 18-19
The Scale of Forest Restoration: Projects to Landscapes
Boise, ID

March 10-12
Preparing for Wildfires: Moving from Crisis to Opportunity
Tucson, AZ

March 10-12
High Altitude Restoration Science and Practice
Fort Collins, CO

March 24-26
Wildland Urban Interface Conference
Reno, NV

April 20-24
13th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit / 4th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference
Boise, ID

View all Upcoming Events on the NRFSN Website

Climate Change - 
Making a world of difference in fire and climate change

Smoke consequences of new wildfire regimes driven by climate change

Fire Effects -
An accuracy assessment of the MTBS burned area product for shrub-steppe fires in the northern Great Basin, United States

Challenges of assessing fire and burn severity using field measurements, remote sensing and modelling

Ten years of vegetation assembly after a North American mega fire

Vegetation response after post-fire mulching and native grass seeding

Fire Management -
The contribution of natural fire management to wilderness fire science

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

The human and fire connection

Fuels and Fire Behavior -
Flammability of litter sampled according to two different methods: comparison of results in laboratory experiments

Modifying the Canadian fine fuel moisture code for masticated surface fuels

Engaging dance activities to bring science and mathematics curriculums to life


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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