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Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE): Fishlake National Forest prescribed burn

Status: 
Action
Dates: 
June, 2019

Background

Manning creek stand replacement fire plume
Manning creek stand replacement fire plume (photo courtesy of Roger Ottmar, USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station).
The Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE) is a large-scale interagency effort to identify how fuels, fire behavior, fire energy and meteorology interact to determine the dynamics of smoke plumes, the long-range transport of smoke and local fire effects such as soil heating and vegetative response. FASMEE is designed to collect observations from large prescribed fires by combining Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), radar, ground monitoring, aircraft and satellite imagery, and weather and atmospheric measurements. Knowing more about how wildland fire operates helps land managers better predict fire behavior, smoke impacts, and the short- to long-term effects of fire. It also promotes increased public and firefighter safety and aids in the allocation of firefighting resources.

Fishlake National Forest FASMEE

Two large, high-intensity prescribed crown fires are planned for 2019 in the Fishlake National Forest of Utah:

  • Manning Creek (South Monroe Mountain project) – completed June 20, 2019; 2,200 acres
  • Annabella Reservoir (North Monroe Mountain Project) – Fall 2019

These burns are part of the Monroe Mountain Aspen Ecosystem Restoration Project. The primary goal of these prescribed burns is to increase biodiversity by removing conifer trees and stimulating aspen regeneration.  

See the video above of one of the five locations where scientists deployed sensors on the Fishlake National Forest Manning Creek burn on June 20, 2019 (video courtesy of Bret Butler).

See different perspective through the video above of one of the five locations where scientists deployed sensors on the Fishlake National Forest Manning Creek burn on June 20, 2019 (video courtesy of Bret Butler).

 

Approach

FASMEE and other scientists are “piggy-backing” on and taking advantage of this unique opportunity to study high-intensity crown fire behavior and its impacts on ecosystems. Their efforts will focus on the following:

  • Predicting the spread of smoke and its effects on people’s homes and health
  • Understanding how fuel loads and weather impact fire behavior and intensity
  • Understanding how the fire interacts with the atmosphere to create a smoke plume
  • Exploring how fire behavior and intensity impact vegetation

The project involves a multi-agency and interdisciplinary team of more than 40 Federal, state and university scientists.

Publications

Prichard, Susan ; Larkin, N. ; Ottmar, Roger ; French, Nancy ; Baker, Kirk ; Brown, Tim ; Clements, Craig ; Dickinson, Matt ; Hudak, Andrew T. ; Kochanski, Adam ; Linn, Rod ; Liu, Yongqiang ; Potter, Brian ; Mell, William ; Tanzer, Danielle ; Urbanski, Shawn P. ; Watts, Adam , 2019

Deliverables

  1. This project provides a unique opportunity to compare the forest vegetation before and after a large, high-intensity fire, as well as to investigate how fire conditions, such as fuel loads, fire behavior, fire intensity, and weather impact forest vegetation.
  2. Data collected on fire intensity will aid in the development of guidelines related to safety zones and escape routes for firefighters.
  3. Prescribed burns are an important forestry management tool. They help reduce hazardous fuel accumulations, which in turn reduces the risk to life, property and natural resources.

Other

Learn more about FASMEE: 




Co-Investigators:
Adam Watts - Desert Research Institute
Lida Kobziar - University of Idaho
Nancy French - Michigan Technological University
J. Morgan Varner - USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station
James Cronan - USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station
Roger D. Ottmar - USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station
Craig Clements - San Jose State University