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Wildland fires in the arid west create a cause for concern for many inhabitants and an area of interest for researchers. Wildfires dramatically change watersheds, yielding floods and debris flows that endanger water supplies, human lives, and valuable fish habitats. Fuel management is intended to mitigate the effects of wildfire but also poses risks to water quality and aquatic habitat. There is a need for strategic restoration that addresses terrestrial as well as aquatic needs. Learn more about the most current science findings and tools relevant to management of aquatic systems in fire prone landscapes at the AWAE Fire & Aquatic Ecosystems page. Tools and applications designed to improve understanding of wildland fire were designed by scientists at the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab and can be downloaded here.
AWAE scientists search for solutions for simultaneous restoration of forests and aquatic ecosystems. Although the problem is typically cast as a tradeoff between management actions (such as fuel reduction, fire suppression, and emergency stabilization) versus wildfire, new ideas about appropriate management response to wildfire require understanding how to build resilient ecosystems capable of adaptating to fire. AWAE scientists actively involved in this research include: