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Research Projects


NGCRP Contribution to the Project

This research will develop a more responsive fire danger rating system specific to the New Jersey Pine Barrens by focusing on the interaction between climate, fire and vegetation. The 1.1 million acres of the Pine Barrens represents 22% of the land area of New Jersey. It is characterized by highly volatile fuels, historically having a fire return cycle of 25 years, with large 100,000+ acre fires common prior to fire suppression practices.

The existing fire danger rating system does not meet the needs of the wildfire managers in this part of the U.S. This may be due to several possible factors; the unique characteristics of the vegetation, low water holding capacity of the soil, and high humidity levels from the maritime influence.

We will take a multi-discipline approach to improve this fuel model. This includes enhancing the fire weather monitoring for the region, analysis of historic fire climate records, sensitivity analysis and modeling of component indices in the NFDRS, and experimental monitoring of prescribed burns over a range of climate and humidity conditions. Carbon loss and fire emissions will be monitored as part of this study.

A network of fire weather stations and towers for monitoring fire weather conditions as well as prescribed burns, will produce detailed measurements for the region to determine the processes that are distinctive for the Pine Barrens.


Go to:Hand Out: Fire Issues Unique to the Northeastern Area of the United States (.pdf)

Go to:Study: Rating Fire Danger in the Pine Barrens. A new study getting underway in New Jersey's Pine Barrens may help reduce the risk of fire in that valuable and volatile ecosystem.