USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics Fire Science

Increasing public education and awareness of wildfire issues in the Western Pacific

Micronesian wildfire awareness outreach development team
Micronesian wildfire awareness outreach development team comprised of staff from the US Forest Service, Guam Forestry, Pacific Fire Exchange, Guam Department of Education, and the Center for Getting Things Started. The teachers are holding materials that would be used in the classroom to improve student understanding of wildfire and interactions with tree density, slope, and moisture content of fuels. (U.S. Forest Service/Amanda Uowolo)

Wildfire Awareness Curriculum Grades 6–12

Current outreach materials provided to the region from the USDA Forest Service utilize images of forests and animals not found in the USAPI. Incorporating local biodiversity, language and indigenous cultural values will help local audiences more effectively identify with the content and messaging. Guam Department of Agriculture – Forestry and Soil Resources Division, IPIF, Guam Department of Education, the Pacific Fire Exchange, the Center for Getting Things Started, Coral Reef Research Foundation, and local teachers and cultural experts developed a wildfire awareness curriculum for grades 6-12 that aligned with current next generation science standards (NGSS).

The curriculum was implemented in middle and high schools in Guam in Fall 2020 and incorporates local biodiversity, language, and indigenous knowledge. The curriculum was modified in collaboration with regional technical experts to also create culturally relevant wildfire awareness curriculum for Palau and Yap. Place-based wildfire awareness videos have also been created in partnership with the Guam Department of Agriculture – Forestry and Soil Resources Division and the Ebiil Society of Palau.

Pacific Fire Exchange (PFX) links for the curriculum:

Wildfire awareness:

Fire mapping products from the Western Pacific

fire map products from the Western Pacific
Fire history map for Yap for years 2016-2019 showing the percent area of the island burned each year.

The Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry has supported wildfire awareness work in the Western Pacific with the goal of enhancing: 1) understanding of the extent of human caused wildfires in the region; 2) knowledge of the impacts of this disturbance on the ecology and hydrology of Pacific Island ecosystems; 3) practical, cost-effective strategies for preventing human caused wildfires; and 4) efficient, community based strategies for restoring wildfire degraded ecosystems. Our work on wildfire mapping supports regional forestry programs and other US Affiliated agencies and departments that have been provided with summary statistics and maps to report and monitor fire trends over time.

Up-to-date fire history maps for the Western Pacific: