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 December 2010

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,

Counting down to the new year, we are featuring 5 new publications that showcase the integration between FERA’s fuels, consumption, fire, and climate change research in the United States, Brazil, and Australia.

arrowRecent Acceleration of Biomass Burning and Carbon Losses in Alaskan Forests and Peatlands

Climate change has increased the area affected by forest fires each year in boreal North America, and the these fires are expected to stimulate boreal carbon losses. The effect of burn severity on those carbon emissions was studied in this research published in the journal Nature Geoscience, coauthored by FERA’s Roger Ottmar. Simulations of wildfire carbon-induced losses from Alaskan black spruce suggest that combustion has accelerated regional carbon losses over the past 10 years. These soils have become a net source of carbon to the atmosphere, and carbon emissions far exceeding decadal uptake.

arrowForest Ecosystems, Disturbance, and Climatic Change in Washington State, USA

Climatic change is likely to affect Pacific Northwest forests in several important ways. In this paper published in the journal Climatic Change, FERA’s Don McKenzie and Rob Norheim and their co-authors projected the effects of climate change on fire and bark-beetle disturbance, growth of Douglas-fir, and tree-species composition across Washington State. The paper also makes detailed recommendations for adaptation strategies and future research.

arrowUnderstorey Fire Propagation and Tree Mortality on Adjacent Areas to an Amazonian Deforestation Fire

The International Journal of Wildland Fire published results of field experiments on the understory fire characteristics in tropical ecosystems which have been poorly documented quantitatively in the literature. FERA’s Ernesto Alvarado and Sam Sandberg collaborated with others to describe an understory fire propagating across the edges of a biomass burn of a cleared Amazon primary forest in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

arrowTesting Woody Fuel Consumption Models for Application in Australian Southern Eucalypt Forest Fires

Roger Ottmar and Susan Prichard worked together with Australian coauthors to test FERA’s Consume model against 4 other consumption models to assess their application in predicting the consumption of coarse woody debris in Australian southern eucalypt forest fires. Consume preformed well; the only model that performed better was a simple model that assumed 50% woody fuel consumption. This assumption however, does not capture large deviations of fuels consumption.  This paper was published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

arrowManaging Fire and Fuels in a Warmer Climate

The regional forest management magazine Northwest Woodlands focused their Spring 2010 issue on climate change. Contributing to that issue was FERA’s David L. Peterson, who discussed managing fire and fuels in a warmer climate and outlined the principles of a fire-safe forest.

Copies of this paper are available upon requests sent to







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

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