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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Faith Ann Heinsch

Physical Scientist
5775 Highway 10 West
Missoula
Montana
United States
59808-9361

Phone: 406-829-7342
Fax: 406-329-4877
Contact Faith Ann Heinsch


Current Research

My work at the Fire Lab focuses on fire behavior and fire danger rating. I manage and provide support for the BehavePlus fire modeling system and provide training for use of BehavePlus for modeling wildfire and prescribed fire. I also provide support for FireFamilyPlus, used in modeling fire danger. I also work in course development to ensure the fire behavior and fire danger information from FFS is represented.

Heinsch, Faith Ann; Andrews, Patricia L. 2010. BehavePlus fire modeling system, version 5.0: Design and Features. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-249. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 111 p.

Research Interests

My primary research interests include the BehavePlus fire modeling system, including technical transfer of software documentation, developing a computerized fire characteristics chart for both fire behavior and fire danger, Fire Behavior, and Fire Danger Rating, particularly as it relates to recent climate change.

Past Research

Past research has included examination of fire behavior in masticated fuel; ; a summary publication outlining the features of the BehavePlus fire modeling system; validation of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation productivity algorithms (e.g., Gross Primary Production); an using the Biome-BGC ecosystem modeling software to estimate carbon balance in a number of ecosystems.

Andrews, Patricia L.; Heinsch, Faith Ann; Schelvan, Luke. 2011. How to generate and interpret fire characteristics charts for surface and crown fire behavior. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-253. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 40 p.

Heinsch, Faith Ann; Sikkink, Pamela G.; Smith, Helen Y.; Retzlaff, Molly L. 2018. Characterizing fire behavior from laboratory burns of multi-aged, mixed-conifer masticated fuels in the western United States. RMRS-RP-107. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 23 p.

Heinsch, Faith Ann; Andrews, Patricia L.; Tirmenstein, Deb. 2017. How to generate and interpret fire characteristics charts for the U.S. fire danger rating system. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-363. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 62 p.

Riley, Karin L.; Abatzoglou, John T.; Grenfell, Isaac C.; Klene, Anna E.; Heinsch, Faith Ann. 2013. The relationship of large fire occurrence with drought and fire danger indices in the western USA, 1984-2008: The role of temporal scale. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 22: 894-909.

Sikkink, Pamela G.; Jain, Theresa B.; Reardon, James; Heinsch, Faith Ann; Keane, Robert E.; Butler, Bret; Baggett, L. Scott. 2017. Effect of particle aging on chemical characteristics, smoldering, and fire behavior in mixed-conifer masticated fuel. Forest Ecology and Management. 405: 150-165.

Why This Research is Important

My research is important because BehavePlus is used throughout the wildland fire community for estimating fire behavior. It is important that the software provides consistent answers for managers and that managers are able to interpret the results. Changes in fire danger in recent years, along with the release of NFDRS2016, has led to the need to rethink training strategies with respect to fire danger.

Education

  • University of Alabama. Tuscaloosa, AL, B.S. Geography/German
  • Oregon State University,Corvallis, OR, M.S. Atmospheric Sciences
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, Ph.D. Soil Science

Publications

Research Highlights

HighlightTitleYear


RMRS-2019-23
To Masticate or Not to Masticate: Useful tips for Treating Vegetation

Recently, several large fires have burned through masticated sites in Colorado, Washington, New Mexico and elsewhere. Burning under extreme weat ...

2019


Last updated on : 07/01/2020