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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arrowBureau of Indian Affairs Managers Learn About Fuel and Fire Tools (FFT)

On November 19th, Susan Prichard joined BIA fire ecologists demonstrate FERA tools including the new Fuels and Fire Tool (FFT), Digital Photo Series, and Pile Calculator as part of a week-long Fuel Tools and Analysis Training organized by BIA fire ecologist Kim Kelly. Other BIA fire ecologists from around the country were enthusiastic about FERA tools and how specific fuelbeds could be developed and used for tribal land management. Susan Prichard is a member of the FERA team and works for the University of Washington.

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Bob Vihnanek Retires in January

After 28 years leading FERA’s field data collection effort around the western hemisphere, Bob Vihnanek will be retiring in early January. Bob supervised and mentored dozens of field crew employees during his tenure with FERA – many of whom went on to earn advanced degrees in natural resource science. He leaves a legacy of successful former employees scattered amongst the science, management, and policy realms. He was responsible for leading data collection efforts for a wide variety of projects from fuel inventories in hurricane-damaged forest in East Texas and cerrado in central Brazil, to fire effects measurements in Florida and the wilds of Alaska. His contribution has been integral to fire and fuels research and development nationally and internationally.

We wish our creative colleague and good friend unlimited time for travel and leisure.




arrowClimate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation in the North Cascades Region, Washington

The North Cascadia Adaptation Partnership (NCAP) is a science-management partnership that worked with numerous stakeholders over 2 years to identify climate change issues relevant to resource management in the North Cascades and to find solutions that will facilitate the transition of the diverse ecosystems of this region into a warmer climate. The NCAP provided education, conducted a climate change vulnerability assessment, and developed adaptation options for federal agencies that manage 2.4 million hectares in north-central Washington.
Former FERA team members Dave Peterson and Crystal Raymond wrote this report along with National Park Service science advisor Regina Rochefort.

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arrowClimate, Fire Size, and Biophysical Setting Control Fire Severity and Spatial Pattern in the Northern Cascade Range, USA

Warmer and drier climate over the past few decades has brought larger fire sizes and increased annual area burned in forested ecosystems of western North America. As warming continues, fires may also increase in severity and produce larger contiguous patches of severely burned areas. University of Washington partner Alina Cansler and and FERA’s Don McKenzie used remotely sensed burn-severity data from 125 fires in the northern Cascade Range of Washington to explore relationships between fire size, severity, and the spatial pattern of severity. They found that if fire sizes increase in a warming climate, changes in the extent, severity, and spatial pattern of fire regimes are likely to be most pronounced in higher-severity fire regimes with less complex topography and more continuous fuels.

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arrowThe Climate–Wildfire–Air Quality System: Interactions and Feedbacks across Spatial and Temporal Scales

Because climate change is expected to increase total area burned by wildfire and wildfires affect air quality, which is regulated, there is a need to define and study climate, wildfire, and air quality as one system. This paper, written by the University of Washington’s Natasha Stavros with support from FERA’s Don McKenzie, was published as an Advanced Review in WIREs. It reviews interactions and feedbacks acting across space and time within the climate–wildfire–air quality system, providing a foundation for integrated modeling and for assessing the ecological and social impacts of this system.

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