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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bulletData Set from Postfire Logging Study

Plot-level data on fuels and stand structure were gathered in 1997, 1999, and 2011, and are available from the Forest Service Research Data Archive. This dataset is from the Summit Postfire Logging Study, which examined short and longer-term post-fire logging effects, as well as the effects of a subsequent reburn that occurred 10 years after post-fire logging after a severe wildfire burned through a set of 12 stands just north of the Middle Fork of the John Day River, Malheur National Forest, Oregon.

FERA collaborated with Dr. Jim McIver of Oregon State University on this work, and both acknowledge funding from the Joint Fire Science Program under Project #11-1-1-19.

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bulletHeading to San Antonio for AFE Meeting

We’re looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the 6th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress the week of November 16th in San Antonio, Texas. Although plans are somewhat fluid, FERA’s Roger Ottmar and Susan Prichard expect to present a preconference workshop explaining background and use of the Fuel and Fire Tools (FFT) software. Morris Johnson plans an evaluation of fuel treatment effectiveness in defensible fuel profile zones.

Forest Service Research will have an informational booth featuring fire ecology, fire physics, and other fire research being conducted across the country.

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bulletFERA’s Don McKenzie Addressed Annual Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) Meeting

FERA’s Don McKenzie was the plenary speaker at the annual meeting for the Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS), at the Institute for the Environment, University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill.

He presented an overview of methods for projecting the air-quality consequences of future wildfires across the United States, in the context of a warming climate.

The CMAS is the principal tool for air-quality simulations run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and many other researchers, and is used by modelers and managers worldwide for predicting smoke dispersion and effects on air quality, public health, and regional haze.



bulletRegional Likelihood of Very Large Wildfires Over the 21st Century Across the Western United States: Motivation to Study Individual Events Like the Rim Fire, a Unique Opportunity with Unprecedented Remote Sensing Data

Stavros and others—including FERA's Don McKenzie—projected the likelihood of very large wildfires (VLWF) across the western United States using statistical models. Results showed a significant difference between the current mean probability of a VLWF occurrence (based on 1979-2010) and the mean probability for 2031–2060. The next steps in this work will use airborne remote sensing data at high spectral and spatial resolution to quantify VLWF characteristics related to fire behavior and fuel dynamics, on individual events, such as the 2013 Rim Fire, thereby informing future projections of fire effects from VLWFs.

This extended abstract was published in the Proceedings of the Large Fires Conference, held in Missoula, Montana in 2014.

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bulletComparing Crown Fire Rate of Spread from Physics Based Simulations to Field Data

Six researchers, including Dr. Ruddy Mell of the FERA team, compiled a data set of crown fire rate-of-spread observations to evaluate crown fire rate-of-spread predictions from two physics-based fire behavior models:  (a) HIGRAD/FIRETEC and the (b) Wildland Urban Interface Fire Dynamics Simulator (WFDS).

Preliminary results suggest that physics-based models reasonably predict crown fire rate-of-spread given the test data set. The authors also discuss the sensitivity of these models to a variety of parameters that likely influence crown fire rate-of-spread.

This paper is published in the journal Fire Technology.

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bulletFuel and Fire Tools Workshop in San Antonio

FERA’s Roger Ottmar and Susan Prichard expect to present a preconference workshop at the 6th Fire Ecology Conference. They plan to explain background and uses of the Fuel and Fire Tools (FFT) software.

The workshop costs $25, and preregistration is required.

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