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March 2017 Newsletter 

California Fire Science Consortium

Newsletter highlights:

  • 2 new research brief from the CFSC       

  • 2017 WUI webinar series continues this month!

  • 2017 Outside events

New CFSC Research Briefs


Flammable Ecosystems Shaped Three Plant Syndromes

Because the evidence for fire as an evolutionary force is so overwhelming, Pausas et al. (2016) conveniently organized fire-adapted plant species into three syndromes for better management. The resulting Non-Fast-Hot syndrome scheme shows how different plant species likely evolved to either resist or use three dimensions of flammability (ignitability, fire spread rate, and heat release) for higher fitness. 

View Research Brief PDF >

View Full Article PDF >

Pausas, Juli G., Keeley, Jon E., and Dylan W. Schwilk. 2016. Flammability as an ecological and evolutionary driver. Journal of Ecology. 105:289-297. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12691


Which Came First, the Fire-prone Habitat or the Fire-adapted Trait?

Just like soil and climate, fire has been shaping plant communities in fire-prone ecosystems around the world for millions of years. The proof is in the evolution of fire-adapted plant traits, a common theme for the following two research papers.

View Research Brief PDF >

View Full Article PDF >

Lamont, Byron B., and Tianhau He. 2016. Fire-proneness as a prerequisite for the evolution of fire-adapted traits. Trends in Plant Science 1493. 11pp.

Upcoming Webinars

Note: The registration links have been fixed!


WUI Webinar Series 2017

Living with Wildland fire: Lessons from Fort McMurray

Online March 16, 2017
11AM-12PM Pacific
Speaker: Dr. Mike Flannigan

Every year, thousands of small fires and dozens of large ones break out somewhere in Canada.  This has been the story for millenia and will continue as long as there are people and lightning to start fires in the boreal forest.  Now more than ever, people work, build, live, and play in the boreal forest and disaster can occur when people and fire intersect. Last spring's Fort McMurray wildfire was a reminder of how dangerous forest fires can be. It forced the unprecedented evacuation of 90,000 people, caused insurable losses of about $3.8 billion and dampened Canada's GDP for 2016.  Dr. Mike Flannigan will detail what happened in Fort McMurray and what it tells us about coexisting with fire in a flammable landscape.
View More Information and Register Here >


Going Firewise and Beyond: The USAA Journey

Online June 1, 2017
11AM-12PM Pacific
Speaker: Rob Galbraith

USAA has been on a 10-year journey to find ways to underwrite homeowners insurance in the WUI.  Find out how USAA came to offer their Firewise discount, the power of positive incentives in spurring homeowners to take action, the importance of diverse organizations adopting consistent jargon-free messaging, and USAA’s efforts to leverage a shared sense of community to promote mitigation with their members.
View More Information and Register Here>

Past Webinar


A Four-Step Approach to Planning for Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface: Webinar

Online on February 16, 2017
Speaker: Stephen R. Miller

This talk focused on a four-step approach to integrating wildfire planning for the wildland-urban interface (WUI) through a variety of planning and implementation processes that work across departments within local government.
View More Information and Recording >

Outside Event (Webcasting)


A Century of Wildland Fire Research: Contributions to Long-term Approaches for Wildland Fire Management.

Online March 27, 2017
7:45 to 12:30 EDT
Speaker: Multiple

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine invites you to an upcoming workshop: A Century of Wildland Fire Research: Contributions to Long-term Approaches for Wildland Fire Management. UC Berkeley's Scott Stephens will be one of the presenters.

Wildland fires in the United States have burned a larger number of acres annually over the past 20 years than at any time during the past century—at an enormous cost. Developing long-term wildland fire management approaches is more important than ever but also more difficult because of increasingly dry conditions in some areas of the country, the expansion of the urban-wildland interface, and other factors. Join this workshop to discuss what has been learned from the wildland fire research that the U.S. Forest Service, other federal agencies, and research organizations have conducted and supported over the past century and how it might be applied toward more effective planning and management. The event will be held from 7:45 to 12:30 EDT on March 27, 2017 in the NAS Auditorium at 2101 Constitution Ave, Washington DC and will be simultaneously webcast for remote viewing and attendance.
 If interested, please register at the following Eventbrite page >

Outside Events


Northern California Prescribed Fire Council Spring Meeting

March 7-8, 2017
Petaluma, CA

Join us for the annual meeting of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council, which will take place at the Community Center in Lucchesi Park in Petaluma on Tuesday, March 7. We will have a full day of presentations and discussion, followed by dinner and drinks at a restaurant/bar in downtown Petaluma. On March 8, we will head west to Pt. Reyes, where we will tour various prescribed fire projects, including bishop pine stands and areas where park staff have successfully managed French broom. 
More information and registration here >

Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change 
FERAL Lecture Series speaker Dr. Jonah Busch

March 7, 2017
10:00AM Pacific
UC Davis, Davis CA

Tropical forests are an undervalued asset in meeting the greatest global challenges of our time—averting climate change and promoting sustainable development. Despite their importance, tropical forests and their ecosystems are being destroyed at a high and even increasing rate in most forest-rich countries. The good news is that the science, economics, and politics are aligned to support a major international effort to reverse tropical deforestation.  In their new book Why Forests? Why Now? Frances Seymour and Jonah Busch synthesize the latest research on the importance of tropical forests in a way that is accessible to anyone interested in climate change and development and to readers already familiar with the problem of deforestation. They make the case to decision-makers in rich countries that rewarding developing countries for protecting their forests is urgent, affordable, and achievable.
More information here >


4th Rustici Rangeland Science Symposium

March 23-24, 2017
UC Davis Conference Center, CA

The goal of the 4th Rustici Rangeland Science Symposium is to engage ranchers, land managers, researchers, and policymakers in co-developing actionable science, policy, and management to sustain rangelands. The symposium will focus on partnerships surrounding a variety of topics, including: sustaining water resources; coping with drought; habitat conservation; and enhancing ranch profitability.
More information and register here > 

National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop—All Hands, All Lands: Implementation Rooted in Science

April 25-27, 2017

Reno, Nevada

Join us in supporting and/or attending the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop—All Hands, All Lands: Implementation Rooted in Science being held in Reno, Nevada APRIL 25-27, 2017.
View webpage for more information >

2017 Klamath Fire Ecology Symposiums

May 10-12, 2017; Orleans, CA

Increasing the Pace, Scale and Quality of Fire in the Klamath Mountains

Every three years land managers, scientists, tribes, conservationists and community members gather to discuss fire management, history and ecology in the Klamath Mountains and beyond. Nowhere else in the country are the social, cultural, and ecological realities of fire discussed with such candor and connection to place.
For more information, visit the conference website here >

Outside Announcement 

New Species Review from the Fire Effects Information System on the grass Ventenata dubia

Ventenata is a nonnative, annual grass that is invasive in parts of the Pacific Northwest. A review of the literature and observational evidence shows that its establishment and spread is greatest in Palouse prairie and sagebrush communities and in previously barren scablands. It also occurs in low-elevation ponderosa pine stands. Ventenata tends to dry out earlier than associated perennial grasses and remains highly flammable throughout the fire season. When growing in dense patches, it increases horizontal continuity of fine fuels and increases risk of fire spread in plant communities that historically had discontinuous fuels. On previously barren scablands, for example, ventenata promotes fire spread to adjacent Palouse prairie and ponderosa pine communities. Palouse prairies, sagebrush steppes, and scablands of the Inland Northwest are especially vulnerable to invasive grass/fire cycles fueled by ventenata. Research is underway to better understand the impacts of ventenata invasion on fuel structure and fire behavior and to test the feasibility of using prescribed fire in combination with other control methods to reduce ventenata cover on invaded wildlands.
 Visit the Fire Effects Information System Homepage >


Fire Research Roundup

Persistent Establishment of Outplanted Seedlings in the Mojave Desert

SR Abella - Ecological Restoration 
doi: 10.3368/er.35.1.16
View PDF > 

Application of the remote-sensing communication model to a time-sensitive wildfire remote-sensing system 

CD Lippitt et al. - International Journal of Remote Sensing, 2016
View PDF > 


JW Long, et al. - Joural of Forestry
Link to PDF > 

Review of broad-scale drought monitoring of forests: Toward an integrated data mining approach

SP Norman et al. - Forest Ecology and Management, 2016
Link to PDF > 

Informing watershed planning and policy in the Truckee River basin through stakeholder engagement, scenario development, and impact evaluation

K Podolak et al.  - Environ. Science & Policy, 2017
View PDF > 

The Impact of Heat Exposure and Sleep Restriction on Firefighters’ Work Performance and Physiology during Simulated Wildfire Suppression

GE Vincent et al. - Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2017
Link to PDF > 

Hydroseeding increases ecosystem nitrogen retention but inhibits natural vegetation regeneration after two years of chaparral post-fire recovery

GL Vourlitis et al. - Ecological Engineering, 2017
Link to PDF >

Bark Thickness Equations for Mixed-Conifer Forest Type in Klamath and Sierra Nevada Mountains of California

NE Zeibig-Kichas et al. - Int. J. For. Res. 2016
Link to PDF > 

NFPA’s "Wildland/Urban Interface: Fire Department Wildfire Preparedness and Readiness Capabilities – Final Report"

HJG Haynes et al - NFPA
Download PDF on website > 
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