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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United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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FERA Research Update September 2009

This FERA Research Update is intended to provide the fire management and fire science communities with information about current research conducted by the Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team (FERA).

To subscribe, visit or contact Ellen Eberhardt at (541)750-7481,

Integration between FCCS and VDDT

The Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool (VDDT) will be integrated with the Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS) to improve the usefulness of both tools in planning for the future of forests and woodlands in the western United States. Funded by economic stimulus money, the Pacific Northwest Research Station and the University of Washington are working on a prototype. Jessica Halfosky is coordinating this integration, and FERA’s Morris Johnson will consult on a regular basis.

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Washingon: Warming and Wildfires

Dr. Susan Prichard, FERA cooperator and fire ecologist with the University of Washington, is featured in a 9-minute video which aired September 2 on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. The video explores the impacts of climate change on forests and fire incidence in Washington State and was produced by the nonprofit organization Climate Central. Susan has been studying the effectiveness of fuel treatments on the 2006 Tripod Complex fires of 2006. 

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FCCS Part of Evaluation of Fuel Treatment Tools

FERA visited to the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory September 24-25 to give a short workshop on the Fuel Characteristic Classification System and join discussion of potential tools and monitoring techniques for evaluating fuel treatment effectiveness. Presentations were made by team members Roger Ottmar, Susan Prichard, and Morris Johnson. The U.S. Forest Service’s Fire and Aviation Management staff has asked the Fire Modeling Institute to evaluate existing tools and sampling methodologies to determine the best strategy for monitoring and assessing fuel treatment effectiveness. 

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Inclusion of FCCS into the Interagency Fuels Treatment Decision Support System

Sonoma Technology Inc. is working with the fuels treatment specialist community across the United States to design service-oriented software architecture for an Interagency Fuels Treatment Decision Support System (IFT-DSS). The Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS) will be included as one of several options for evaluating the potential effectiveness of fuel treatments.
The IFT-DSS is intended to facilitate and simplify fuels treatment analysis and planning by providing a software framework that will manage the data, software models, and tools commonly used by fuels treatment analysts and decision-makers to develop vegetation management strategies.

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Effects of Forest Fires on Riparian Zones
Oregon State University issued a press release highlighting results from research into riparian zones and their recovery after fire. Results indicate that riparian zones in many Pacific Northwest forests return to health fairly quickly after forest fires and may eventually provide the same ecosystem services and largely the same species mix, with little need for replanting or management. Jessica Halofsky is the senior author on this paper and was a graduate student at OSU when she conducted the research; currently she is a FERA cooperator associated with the University of Washington and working on FCCS/VDDT integration.

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U.S. Forest Service - PNW- FERA
Last Modified: Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 13:04:06 CST

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