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Fire, Fuel and Smoke

Logo for Fire, Fuel and Smoke Program

Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Program

The Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Program has a national charter to conduct fundamental and applied research relating to wildland fire processes, terrestrial and atmospheric effects of fire, and ecological adaptations to fire.
Prescribed fire

Effects of "daylighting" on whitebark pine stands

Whitebark pine populations are so low that future disturbances could cause local extinctions. Tree thinning and prescribed burning have been used to successfully restore declining whitebark pine stands. Another technique, effective and less expensive, is called daylighting, in which competing trees that surround the whitebark pine tree are removed.
Pre-ignition heating

Evaluating flame structure in laboratory-based fires

Experimental evidence now shows that flame impingement is required for the ignition of fine fuel particles responsible for the spread of wildland fires. However, the characteristics of the non-steady flame zone that produce convective heating of fuel particles has not been studied.
Burning wheat field

Improving agricultural smoke decision support tools

The production cycle of cereal crops and grasses, which are important agriculture products of the Northwest, includes burning fields of post-harvest residue such as wheat stubble. Like smoke from forest fires, smoke produced by agricultural burning can have harmful effects on public health.
Controlled oil burn

Effects resulting from in situ oil spill burning

Experimental evidence now shows that flame impingement is required for the ignition of fine fuel particles responsible for the spread of wildland fires. However, the characteristics of the non-steady flame zone that produce convective heating of fuel particles has not been studied.
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The Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program (FFS) conducts national and international, cutting-edge work in wildland fire research.

The Program’s scientists, technicians, and support staff conduct research and develop management tools and applications designed to improve understanding of wildland fire and increase the safety and effectiveness of fire, fuel, and smoke management. Specific research activities are focused on physical fire processes, fuel dynamics, smoke emissions and dispersion, fire ecology, fire and fuel management strategies, and science synthesis and delivery. The FFS Program is based at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana.