Charles W. Mchugh
5775 US West Highway 10
Missoula, MT 59808
Current research is focused in the following areas of interest. 1. Mountain Pine Beetle mortality and the effect on fire behavior. 2. Climate change and its effect on fire danger and fire occurrence. 3. Trends and use of large air tankers in fire suppression. 4. Landscape level fuels treatment and their effect on changing fire spread and fire behavior. 5. Historical burn probabilities and fire return intervals compared to contemporary burn rates across the US. 6. I am also heavily involved in technology transfer and training of wildland fire managers in the use of appliacations developed at the Fire Lab.
My research focuses on fire behavior, bark beetle fire interactions, fire effects, fuel treatment and fuel treatment effectiveness, and fire simulation modeling. A major concern is how are all of these topic areas affected long-term due to climate change and a corresponding change to the wildland fuels complex. The next step is to investigate how we can better account for these changes and incorporate them into our existing fire behavior models and modeling systems.
The research projects I am involved in are critical for policy makers and wildland fire managers. Providing information to and working directly with fire managers is a critical aspect of science. The results of these efforts can provide baseline information as well as indications of the magnitude of change required by policy makers and mangers allowing them make to informed decisions. Additionally, information regarding changes in fire behavior and fuels can assist wildland fire managers in making the appropriate strategic and tactical decisions regarding fire suppression and management.
Why This Research is Important
My past research has focused on post-fire tree mortality and fire effects. This work also examined the role of post-fire insect attacks and their contribution to post-fire tree mortality. Other research has focused on landscape level fuel treatment effectiveness, fire suppression and fire containment, fire occurrence records, and assisting in the development of fire simulation tools. I was also involved in the development of the comprehensive risk analysis framework for wildland fire and fuels management for the Cohesive Strategy as a member of the Science Team.
- Utah State University, Logan, UT, BS Forestry/Forest Biology, 1985
- Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, MS Fire Ecology, 2001
Featured Publications & Products
- Finney, Mark; Grenfell, Isaac C.; McHugh, Charles W. 2009. Modeling containment of large wildfires using generalized linear mixed-model analysis.
- Finney, Mark A.; Seli, Rob C.; McHugh, Charles W.; Ager, Alan A.; Bahro, Bernhard; Agee, James K. 2008. Simulation of long-term landscape-level fuel treatment effects on large wildfires.
- Seli, Robert C.; Ager, Alan A.; Crookston, Nicholas L.; Finney, Mark A.; Bahro, Berni; Agee, James K.; McHugh, Charles W. 2008. Incorporating landscape fuel treatment modeling into the Forest Vegetation Simulator.
- Hood, Sharon M.; McHugh, Charles W; Ryan, Kevin C.; Reinhardt, Elizabeth; Smith, Sheri L. 2007. Evaluation of a post-fire tree mortality model for western US conifers.
- Finney, Mark A.; Seli, Rob C.; McHugh, Charles W.; Ager, Alan A.; Bahro, Berni; Agee, James K. 2006. Simulation of Long-Term Landscape-Level Fuel Treatment Effects on Large Wildfires.
Publications & Products
- Calkin, David E.; Stonesifer, Crystal S.; Thompson, Matthew P.; McHugh, Charles W. 2014. Large airtanker use and outcomes in suppressing wildland fires in the United States.
- Ager, Alan A.; Day, Michelle A.; McHugh, Charles W.; Short, Karen; Gilbertson-Day, Julie; Finney, Mark A.; Calkin, David E. 2014. Wildfire exposure and fuel management on western US national forests.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Calkin, David E.; Herynk, Jason; McHugh, Charles W.; Short, Karen C. 2012. Airtankers and wildfire management in the US Forest Service: examining data availability and exploring usage and cost trends.
- Finney, Mark A.; Grenfell, Isaac C.; McHugh, Charles W.; Seli, Robert C.; Trethewey, Diane; Stratton, Richard D.; Brittain, Stuart. 2011. A method for ensemble wildland fire simulation.
- Finney, Mark A.; McHugh, Charles W.; Grenfell, Isaac C.; Riley, Karin L.; Short, Karen C. 2011. A simulation of probabilistic wildfire risk components for the continental United States.
- McHugh, Charles W.; Finney, Mark A.; Bradshaw, Larry S. 2010. An assessment of climate and fire danger rating in the Northern Rockies during the 1910 fire season.
- Heinsch, Faith Ann; McHugh, Charles W. 2010. Climate change and fire danger rating in the Northern Rockies.
- Finney, Mark A.; McHugh, Charles W.; Grenfell, Isaac; Riley, Karin L. 2010. Continental-scale simulation of burn probabilities, flame lengths, and fire size distribution for the United States.
- Kaufmann, Merrill R.; Aplet, Gregory H.; Babler, Michael G.; Baker, William L.; Bentz, Barbara; Harrington, Michael; Hawkes, Brad C.; Huckaby, Laurie Stroh; Jenkins, Michael J.; Kashian, Daniel M.; Keane, Robert E.; Kulakowski, Dominik; McCaughey, Ward; McHugh, Charles; Negron, Jose; Popp, John; Romme, William H.; Shepperd, Wayne; Smith, Frederick W.; Sutherland, Elaine Kennedy; Tinker, Daniel; Veblen, Thomas T. 2008. The status of our scientific understanding of lodgepole pine and mountain pine beetles - a focus on forest ecology and fire behavior.
- Ager, Alan A.; McMahan, Andrew J.; Barrett, James J.; McHugh, Charles W. 2007. A simulation study of thinning and fuel treatments on a wildland-urban interface in eastern Oregon, USA.
- McHugh, Charles W. 2006. Considerations in the use of models available for fuel treatment analysis.
- Finney, Mark A.; Bartlette, Roberta; Bradshaw, Larry; Close, Kelly; Collins, Brandon M.; Gleason, Paul; Hao, Wei Min; Langowski, Paul; McGinely, John; McHugh, Charles W.; Martinson, Erik; Omi, Phillip N.; Shepperd, Wayne; Zeller, Karl. 2003. Fire behavior, fuel treatments, and fire suppression on the Hayman Fire.
- Finney, Mark A.; McHugh, Charles W.; Bartlette, Roberta; Close, Kelly; Langowski, Paul. 2003. Fire behavior, fuel treatments, and fire suppression on the Hayman Fire - Part 2: Description and interpretations of fire behavior.
- McHugh, Charles W.; Finney, Mark A. 2003. Fire behavior, fuel treatments, and fire suppression on the Hayman Fire - Part 4: Relation of roads to burn severity.
- McHugh, Charles W.; Gleason, Paul. 2003. Fire behavior, fuel treatments, and fire suppression on the Hayman Fire - Part 5: Fire suppression activities.
- Fule, Peter Z.; McHugh, Charles; Heinlein, Thomas A.; Covington, W. Wallace. 2001. Potential fire behavior is reduced following forest restoration treatments.