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 November 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,

arrowSeattle's Approach to Fuel Management in Watershed Guided by Morris Johnson’s Research

FERA’s research helped direct upland forest habitat restoration practices at Cedar River Municipal Watershed, a water provider for the City of Seattle. The strategic plan, linked below, used Morris’ fire hazard assessment and fuel decomposition studies in the watershed to address the goal of reducing the risk of catastrophic disturbances that could threaten drinking water quality or habitat for species of concern.  The assessment of fire hazard found that the high hazard areas were almost entirely in young, dense forests, due to dense canopies and low live crowns. Restoration thinning treatments in these forests did not substantially change fire hazard, and various surface fuel treatments were largely ineffective in changing fire hazard over time.

arrowCrystal Raymond Presented at The Nature Conservancy Fire Learning Network Workshop

On November 9th, Crystal Raymond participated in The Nature Conservancy’s National Fire Learning Network workshop in Rockport, Texas. The U.S. Fire Learning Network is a joint effort of The Nature Conservancy, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. Network collaborators work together on projects to restore fire-adapted ecosystems. Crystal served as a scientific expert at a symposium titled “Fire, Carbon, and Climate Change Adaptation.” The objective of the symposium was to provide collaborators with the latest scientific information on the linkages between fire management, carbon cycling, and climate change adaptation. This information can then be used by practitioners to consider changes in their fire management practices that will enhance carbon cycling outcomes and ecological resilience to climate change.  







arrowNASA Interns Return to Methow Valley to Validate Dataset for Image Classification of Large-Scale Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak

FERA team member, Dr. Susan Prichard, was featured on in an article in the Bay Area Automated Mapping Association (BAAMA) journal. She and FERA’s Travis Freed spent part of this past summer advising students associated with the NASA DEVELOP program. The goal of the DEVELOP program is to demonstrate how NASA science measurements and predictions can be utilized at a local level, county state, federal and tribal levels.

The NASA internship crew evaluated a combination of available remote sensed imagery (MODIS, ASTER, Hyperion, and Landsat TM) to classify and map different stages of insect attack in a 300,000-acre mountain pine beetle outbreak in Okanogan–Wenatchee National Forest.  They conducted field work to collect a validation dataset for their image classification.

arrowUsing a Stochastic Model and Cross-scale Analysis to Evaluate Controls on Historical Low-severity Fire Regimes

Maureen Kennedy, a University of Washington collaborator, coauthored this paper with FERA's Don McKenzie; it was published in the journal Landscape Ecology. They demonstrate that cross-scale properties of the fire-scar record, even without historical fuels and weather data, document how complex topography creates strong bottom-up controls on fire spread. This control is weaker in simpler topography, and may be compromised in a future climate with more severe weather events.

arrowFERA Contributes to Workshop on Climate Change in Northern Colorado

FERA’s David L. Peterson and Crystal Raymond participated in the workshop “Border Crossing: Preparing for and Adapting to Climate Change Effects in Northern Colorado”. The workshop, held in Estes Park, Colorado, provided an opportunity for resource managers to learn about and discuss climate change impacts and adaptation options. Its goal was to encourage agencies to work across jurisdictional boundaries on a shared vision and common approaches for managing natural resources, and lively discussions were held about existing cross-jurisdictional management and the potential for coordination of adaptation efforts among agencies.  Dave presented on management options for adapting to climate change in an uncertain future.


U.S. Forest Service - PNW- FERA
Last Modified: Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 13:04:07 CST

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