Fire Research at the Pacific Southwest Research Station - U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) scientists talk about their fire research conducted in California and the Pacific Islands.
Fire is a driving ecological force that influences the structure, function, and composition of the vegetation and habitat in many ecosystems in California, Hawaii, and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands. The Fire and Fuels Program increases our understanding about how fire behavior affects fuel types and conditions and how physical properties of fuels influence fire severity and intensity.
Research includes decision-support models that analyze risk, resource allocation economics, and fire danger forecasting. We conduct real-time remote sensing of large fires to support operations and provide data for model validation. Following fires, our research helps analyze post-fire rehabilitation practices and their effectiveness. On the ground, researchers study how different silvicultural treatments reduce fuels loading and restore the landscapes to more resilient conditions.
- Improve measurement, modeling, and prediction of wildland fire phenomena in complex landscapes and fuels;
- Determine the ecological effects of fire and fire removal on landscapes throughout California, Hawai'i, and the Pacific Islands;
- Evaluate the short and long-term outcomes of fuels, fire and post-fire management strategies;
- Measure and discover the interactions between climate, vegetation, and fire in the face of climate change and how do we improve our understanding and predictability of these interactions in order to manage forests and wildlands more effectively; and
- Examine risk analysis to assist the evaluation of management options and determine what decision support tools are needed to support science-based decision-making.