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 2013

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 http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/fera/news/subscribe.shtml or contact Ellen Eberhardt at (541)750-7481, eeberhardt@fs.fed.us

arrow“Federal Researchers Developing Scale for Wildfire Similar to Those Used for Quakes, Tornadoes”
A system to estimate the level of heat exposure on houses in the WUI from flames and firebrands generated by wildland fires is under development and was featured in the September 24th issue of the Washington Post. A major objective of this work is to link the expected heat exposures to standard building material test methods, reducing the likelihood of structure ignition. This research capitalizes on FERA’s focus of integrating nature of our fire, fuels, and climate research.  FERA’s Dr. Ruddy Mell and the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST)’s Alex Maranghides are partners in the project, which—one way or another—includes contributions of the entire team. 

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arrow “Rim Fire’s Effects Likely to Last for Decades to Come”
Researchers who study the effectiveness of fuel treatments were given another opportunity to compare that on land burned by the third largest fire in California’s history, the Rim Fire. FERA’s Morris Johnson is the first to examine fuel treatments effects on the Rim fire.

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arrow“Rising Sea Levels, Storms Could Devastate Washington Towns”
On September 24th, David L. Peterson was briefly interviewed by Seattle’s KOMO-TV, an CBS affiliate, about planning for the potential impacts of a rising sea level on Skagit County, Washington communities and ecosystems. He joined  Nancy Sutley who, as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is the principal environmental policy adviser to the President. Text and video can be found on the website.

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arrowWebinar Panel on Open Space Conservation Includes Panellist Dave Peterson
FERA’s David L. Peterson was a panellist September 4th at the U.S. Forest Service’s webinar series, “Planning for Growth and Open Space Conservation,” where he shared notable work on climate change adaptation planning. Webinars in the series are open to all who wish to attend, and continuing education credits are offered. Video, text, and relevant web links can be reviewed for Session #18, starting 33 minutes into the session, on this website:

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arrowTwo Presentations at the International Smoke Symposium
Presentations by Roger Ottmar and Ruddy Mell are scheduled for the International Smoke Symposium in Maryland this October. Roger Ottmar will be chairing a special session with Kevin Hiers of Jackson Guard titled: “State of Fire Behavior Models and their Application to Ecosystem and Smoke Management Issues”.  Roger will also be presenting on the State of Fuel and Fuel Consumption Science during the session while Ruddy Mell will present on “The Future of Coupled Fire-Atmospheric Modeling”.

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arrowIn the International Journal of Wildland Fire

Development and Mapping of Fuel Characteristics and Associated Fire Potentials in South America
Lucretia Pettinari, a Ph.D. student at the University of Alcala, Spain used the Fuel Characteristic Classification System to build fuelbeds for South America and predict potential fire hazard using a set of default environmental variables that could be used to assess fire hazard, predict fire behavior under defined environmental conditions or calculate fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

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The Relationship of Post-Fire White Ash Cover to Surface Fuel Consumption
Surface fuel consumption was correlated surface cover change; leading to the conclusion that white ash load, calculated from immediate post-fire measurements of white ash cover, depth and density, may provide the most accurate proxy for surface fuel consumption.

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Effects of Salvage Logging and Pile-and-Burn on Fuel Loading, Potential Fire Behaviour, Fuel Consumption and Emissions
Study results illustrate potential differences between the effects of salvage logging after windstorms and the effects of salvage logging after wildfire.

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arrowIn the Southern Journal of Applied Forestry

Fuel Consumption Models for Pine Flatwoods Fuel Types in the Southeastern United States
Empirical models were developed for predicting fuel consumption from fuel and environmental measurements on a series of operational prescribed fires in pine flatwoods ecosystems in the southeastern United States.

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This research was featured in the recent issue of “Fire Lines,” a newsletter of the Southern Fire Exchange Consortium.

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arrowIn the Annals of Forest Science—

U.S. Strategy for Forest Management Adaptation to Climate Change: Building a Framework for Decision Making
The approach described is designed to characterize certain climate change effects on forests, and estimate the effectiveness of response options ranging from resistance to a realignment of management objectives. Olympic National Forest and National Park were the case studies, and results suggest that this approach is an effective means for guiding management decisions to adapt to the effects of climate change.

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arrowIn Forest Ecology and Management

Wildland Fire Emissions, Carbon, and Climate: Modeling Fuel Consumption.
Roger Ottmar completed a synthesis on the process and modeling of fuel consumption and knowledge gaps that will improve the ability to predict fuel consumption and resulting greenhouse gas emissions.

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Evaluating the Performance and Mapping of Three Fuel Classification Systems Using Forest Inventory and Analysis Surface Fuel Measurements
Roger Ottmar is a coauthor on a paper that evaluates three different ways to estimate surface fuel loads in western forests (FCCS, Fuel Type Groups, and Fuel Loading Models) using surface loading estimates from FIA plots.  The paper identified inaccuracies in all three approaches and identified knowledge gaps in the ability to spatially predict fuel consumption and pollutant emissions across regions.

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U.S. Forest Service - PNW- FERA
Last Modified: Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 13:04:09 CST


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