WWETAC Projects

Project title: Rapidspot Workshop

Principal Investigator: Alan A. Ager, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center

Status: Completed

Collaborator: Sue Stewart, Washington Office Fire and Aviation Management.

E-mail: Alan Ager, aager[at]fs.fed.us

Summary: One of the national, integrated efforts underway to address increasing wildfire threats is the Strategic Placement of Treatments (SPOTS). SPOTS approaches in the appropriate locations can provide another sound means for managing vegetation to reduce risks from fire, insect, and disease and restore forested conditions that are more desirable and sustainable for the future. The seven-step SPOTS framework to guide collaboration, alignment of efforts, and prioritization of work at the landscape-scale can be aided dramatically with the use of existing data and analysis tools, including modeling software to develop and assess treatment patterns for maximum effectiveness. To increase familiarity and use of this approach, the Forest Service Washington Office and the Western Wildand Environmental Threat Assessment Center will co-sponsor a RapidSpot workshop November 6th through 8th in Portland, Oregon. The invitation-only workshop will teach core interdisciplinary team members to use a process known as RapidSpot to evaluate integrated landscape-scale treatment patterns to maximize effectiveness of treatments while meeting a variety of healthy forest objectives. The RapidSpot Workshop will be limited to one core team of three people from each Forest Service Region. Team selections will be made by the Regions, based on their evaluation of need and opportunity. Participants should represent units which would benefit from a more structured spatial analysis approach to restoration and hazardous fuel reduction planning. Priority should be given to teams from areas prone to problem fires or other forest threats, or areas where integrated restoration and fuel reduction activities are costly or are not currently meeting risk mitigation needs. During the workshop, teams will test treatment patterns for a range of restoration objectives against potential fire behavior. New methods in risk analysis will be a key part of the workshop. Specifically, we will demonstrate how formal risk analysis can be applied to the fuel treatment planning process to measure the performance of fuel treatments at the landscape scale. The workshop will be led by a team of fire modelers, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) experts, and resource specialists with an extensive background in restoration and fuel treatment planning.


Photos from the workshop:

RapidSpot workshopRapidSpot workshop

The RapidSpot workshop had the following objectives:

  1. Provide a consistent, systematic approach for evaluating and addressing landscape-level risks in a collaborative way to integrate restoration and fuel management with multiple interacting threats (e.g. insects, disease, and climate change).
  2. The workshop will provide a transparent way to rapidly document trade-offs for decision makers, using peer reviewed risk analysis methods.
  3. Participants will leave a better way to establish common ground for collaboration with the public, partners, and other stakeholders.
  4. The end result should be a better ability to show how our management can make a difference in reducing the potential for problem fires while addressing a number of threats to healthy forests.
  5. Each participating team will complete a major portion of the modeling and cumulative impact analysis for a restoration project underway on their units.

Project ID: FY08AA39