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



ArrowFERA’s New Field Crew Leader Reports for Duty

We are pleased to announce the selection of Jim Cronan as the team’s new field crew leader. Jim was on the field crew “way back when” and has been a collaborator through Yale University and University of Washington for many years where he conducted research on fuels, fire behavior, and fire ecology in Alaska, Washington, and Florida. Jim reported to duty this month and is leading field data collection for the fuel consumption and tree mortality monitoring component of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ forest resiliency burning pilot project and completing his dissertation.



ArrowHow Do Pile Age and Season of Burn Influence Combustion and Fire Effects

While unplanned fires in areas with piled fuels are not common, they still present a potential risk for managers and firefighters. Little is written or documented about piles burning during wildfires, making it difficult to assess the threat posed by unburned piles on the landscape. Efforts to better understand the prevalence, causes, and impacts of unplanned burning of piles resulted in field experiments on piles on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in northcentral Washington, and the Santa Clara Pueblo in northeastern Arizona.

We acknowledge funding from the Joint Fire Science Program under Project JFSP 11-1-8-4.



ArrowFire in Eastern North American Oak Ecosystems: Filling the Gaps

This special issue of Fire Ecology is focused on the fire ecology of eastern oak (Quercus L.) forests, woodlands, and savannas. The papers were presented as part of the Fifth Fire in Eastern Oak Forests Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA, in 2015. The topic of fire in eastern oak ecosystems is one that has received insufficient interest from the broader fire ecology community. Specific papers in this issue address the historical role of fire in the region, the response and adaptations of plant and animal species to fire and fuels treatments, and the future of these important ecosystems under a future of global change. We hope that this issue provokes future research on the past, present, and future of fire in eastern North American oak ecosystems.



ArrowSmoke Management Photographic Guide: a Visual Aid for Communicating Impacts

Conveying impacts of smoke from wildland fire to the public is difficult because the general public cannot easily relate numbers associated with smoke concentrations to health effects and visibility. Regulators and land managers often refer to particulate-matter concentrations in micrograms per cubic meter, but this may not be intuitive or meaningful to the general public. The primary purpose of this guide is to serve as a tool for communicating potential particulate matter (PM2.5) levels and visibility impacts during wildland fire events using images from locations in national parks and other scenic areas.

FERA’s Roger Ottmar joined Josh Hyde, Jarod Blades, Troy Hall, and Alistair Smith of the University of Idaho, in this work. We acknowledge funding from the Joint Fire Science Program under Project JFSP 10-1-03-2.



ArrowSynthesis of Knowledge of Extreme Fire Behavior: Volume 2 for Fire Behavior Specialists, Researchers, and Meteorologists

Fire managers examining wildfires over the last 100 years have come to understand many of the factors necessary for the development of extreme fire behavior. This understanding has led to improved predictive capabilities of identifying extreme fire behavior situations using weather, fuels, and topography inputs that are included in many of the current firefighter training manuals.

This extreme fire behavior knowledge has been synthesized in two General Technical Report Volumes. Volume 1 is for fire managers, firefighters, and others in the fire community who are not experts or specialists in fire behavior but need to understand the basics of extreme fire behavior. Volume 2 is more technical and is intended for fire behaviorists and fire researchers.
FERA’s Roger Ottmar is coauthor on the fuels chapter in volume 2.  We acknowledge funding from the Joint Fire Science Program under Project JFSP 09-5-03-1.



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