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 April 2011

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,

Progress Made Toward Linking FCCS with FVS

The Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) annual steering committee meeting was held in Fort Collins several weeks ago. Morris Johnson represented the FERA team and presented an update of his work to integrate the Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS) with FVS. Updates were provided on the use of FVS by various organizations, how it is being adapted to emerging areas of interest such as climate change, and how the model can be maintained, tested, and validated.

Progress in North Cascadia Adaptation Project
Hydrologic information generated by the Climate Impacts Group has been reviewed and summarized across 2 national parks and 2 national forests in northwestern Washington. Historic and future streamflow projections were obtained from sites within the study area to serve as examples of potential shifts in magnitude and timing of peak streamflow in the future in accordance with different climate scenarios. Projected changes in dominant winter precipitation type across watersheds (i.e. rain, snow, or mixed) and subsequent changes in streamflow are being examined.

Webinar Addresses the Role of Bark Beetle Killed Trees in Wildfire Behavior
FERA’s Morris Johnson has been working over the past 2 years with a team of researchers on an up-to-date review of literature on the effects of beetle-killled trees on fire behavior. You are invited to join a webinar at 10:30 am (Mountain Time) on May 4 to see Jeff Hicke (University of Idaho) present early results of this research, including a conceptual design for considering this topic. The meeting and broader webinar are sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center.







  • The Combustion of Sound and Rotten Coarse Woody Debris: a Review 

    Coarse woody debris, in some cases referred to as coarse woody detritus, serves many functions in forest ecosystem processes. The degree to which coarse woody debris burns influences air quality, soil heating and carbon budgets, with important fire management implications. There is relatively little research evaluating its properties in relation to combustion. FERA’s Roger Ottmar and Enresto Alvarado are coauthors on this International Jounral of Wildland Fire paper by University of Idaho researchers Josh Hyde, Alistair Smith, and Penny Morgan. They review past and current research in this regard and identify areas for further research.

  • Using Hyperspectral Imagery to Estimate Forest Floor Consumption from Wildfire in Boreal Forests of Alaska, USA 

    After wildfire in Alaska’s boreal forest, Roger Ottmar and coauthors found that green (live) moss estimated in the field and in remotely sensed imagery indicated low forest floor consumption, whereas charred moss, ash or soil revealed higher consumption. The ability to accurately map green moss with hyperspectral imagery suggests the ability to predict potential forest floor consumption. This paper was recently published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

  • Mixed-Severity Fire Regimes: Lessons and Hypotheses from the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion

    The online journal Ecosphere has published a paper presenting important early findings regarding mixed-severity fire, thereby updating the state of the science on mixed-severity fire regimes and highlighting questions and hypotheses to be tested in future studies on mixed-severity fire regimes. FERA’s Jessica Halofsky and Dave Peterson are two of 13 collaborating authors on this paper Based on our findings, we hypothesize that the proximity of living and dead forest after mixed-severity fire, and the close mingling of early- and late-seral communities, results in unique vegetation and wildlife responses compared to predominantly low- or high-severity fires.



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

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