USDA Forest Service

Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team


Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team
Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory

400 N 34th Street, Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98103

(206) 732-7800

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Newsletter Archive | News Flash Archive



ArrowGearing Up for FASMEE, the Next Large Fire Experiment

“Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment” (FASMEE) is a large experiment to collect data used for use in evaluating and improving fire and smoke modeling systems and their underlying scientific models.

Planning is ongoing and will result in a comprehensive study plan that includes sampling methodology, safety, logistics, and data management. The field campaign takes place 2018–2021 and will involve 4 to 8 large operational prescribed burns, focusing on heavy fuel loads and high-intensity fire, in the western and southeastern United States.

Many agencies are expected to participate in the project and assist in funding. Discipline leads have been chosen, and observational teams will be selected through a proposal process (FON) in the fall of 2016. Roger Ottmar of FERA and Sim Larkin of the AirFire team lead the scientific research portion of this project.  


ArrowNorthwest Fire Science Consortium Advisory Committee Convenes in Wenatchee

Advisory management and committees met in Wenatchee for a field tour and discussions about how the NW Fire Consortium can best help improve the transfer of science information into on-the-ground use buy fire managers. FERA’s Ellen Eberhardt represented the Pacific Northwest Research Station at this event, which also included representatives from other federal agencies, state agencies and nonprofit organizations.


ArrowDepartment of Defense Supports Prescribed Burning Experiments on Southern Army Bases

This project, “Fundamental Measurements and Modeling of Prescribed Fire Behavior in the Naturally Heterogeneous Fuel Beds of Southern Pine Forests,” will result in the evaluation and improvement of current physics-based research tools that model fire using the fundamental conservation equations.
It will improve our understanding of fundamental information about pyrolysis and pyrolysis products of live and dead fuels and how they are affected by heat transfer mechanisms from the flame to the shrub layer in fuel types typically burned with prescribed fire in southern forests managed by the Department of Defense. Department of Defense environmental research programs SERDP and ESTCP are providing significant financial support.



ArrowPostdoctoral Researcher Jesse Kreye Joins the FERA Team

Dr. Jesse Kreye, a Research Scientist at Virginia Tech joins the FERA team. Jesse was most recently a post-doctoral research scientist working with Morgan Varner at Mississippi State University after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Florida.
Jesse’s primary research areas are fuel dynamics and fire behavior, focusing primarily on forest floor fuels and masticated fuelbeds. He leads the team’s Joint Fire Science Program-funded duff fire research at the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station near Gainesville, Florida. Jesse will be between Gainesville and Seattle for the next few years on this and other projects.


ArrowFERA Welcomes Ronan Paugam and his Fire Modeling Expertise

This spring, FERA welcomed R. Ronan Paugam of King’s College London to the Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Lab. He will be working with Ruddy Mell on developing the Wildland Urban Fire Dynamics Simulator (WFDS). His focus is on participating in the first stage the JFSP funded Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE). Ronan is experienced in remote sensing (visible and infrared) of fire behavior and computer modeling of fire behavior and smoke plume rise. 




ArrowA Comparison of Level Set and Marker Methods for the Simulation of Wildland Fire Front Propagation

Simulations of surface fire spread, in two different fuels and over domains of increasing topographical complexity, are compared to evaluate the difference in outcomes between two models. The differences between the results of the two models are minor, especially compared with the uncertainties inherent in the modelling of fire spread. This article, published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire, describe simulations of fire spread created using a level set Eulerian approach (as implemented in the wildland-urban interface fire dynamics simulator, WFDS) and a marker method (as implemented in FARSITE).


ArrowReview of the Health Effects of Wildland Fire Smoke on Wildland Firefighters and the Public

Each year, the general public and wildland firefighters in the US are exposed to smoke from wildland fires. As part of an effort to characterize health risks of breathing this smoke, this review identified smoke components that present the highest hazard potential, the mechanisms of toxicity, review epidemiological studies for health effects and identify the current gap in knowledge on the health impacts of wildland fire smoke exposure. It was published in the journal Inhalation Toxicology.



ArrowGeneration of a Global Fuel Data Set Using the Fuel Characteristic Classification System

This study, published in the journal Biogeosciences, presents the methods for the generation of the first global data set, containing all the parameters required to be entered into the Fuel and Fire Tools (FFT) system. This global fuel data set may be used for a varied range of applications, including fire danger assessment, fire behavior estimations, fuel consumption calculations, and emissions inventories. The first author, Dr. Lucrecia Pettinari, visited the Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Lab several years ago to learn about the Fuel Characteristic Classification System, now part of FFT.



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