USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service

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Home > Research > Fire > Fire Effects

» Understanding Fire Effects on the Environment

Wildfire is a part of nature. It plays a key role in shaping ecosystems by serving as an agent of renewal and change. But fire can be deadly, destroying homes, wildlife habitat and timber, and polluting the air with emissions harmful to human health. Fire also releases carbon dioxide- a key greenhouse gas—into the atmosphere. Fire’s effect on the landscape may be long-lasting. Fire effects are influenced by forest conditions before the fire and management action taken or not taken after the fire.

Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Research Station are conducting a range of studies pertaining to fire effects on the environment.


Research Examples:


Modeling the effect of fire on aquatic systems

These models predict the potential of fire to alter critical in-stream salmon habitat by modeling a fire’s potential to facilitate delivery of fine sediments and large wood to stream channels.

They are based on the geomorphology of stream channels combined with complex models of fire behavior and fire intensity across the landscape.

How to get it:

Contact: Rebecca Flitcroft,, Land and Watershed Management Program



Seedlings grow amid remains of a burned log.
Seedlings grow amid remains of a burned log.






US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Monday,14September2015 at15:12:09CDT

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