“When comparing how smoke from wildfires and prescribed burns affected children, “we saw worse effects from the wildfire,” says Dr. Mary Prunicki, who directs air pollution and health research at the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University. In a study published in the journal Allergy in 2019, her team found that children who lived near where a wildfire occurred suffered more severe respiratory and immune effects than those who lived near a prescribed burn.”Continue Reading
USFS Webinar “Know Your Smoke”
Wednesday, November 18 @10 – 11am MT
Presented by Shawn Urbanski, Research Physical Scientist and Duncan Lutes, RMRS Fire Ecologist
In this short webinar, RMRS Research Physical Scientist Shawn Urbanski and Fire Ecologist Duncan Lutes will discuss the current state of the science on wildland fire smoke emissions, including pollutants present in smoke, methods for quantifying emission flux, existing datasets, tools, and models, and deficiencies in current scientific understanding. For more information on this project, see this USFS-RMRS “Science You Can Use” bulletin.
Meeting ID: 161 0453 0612
Or connect with your phone: 1-669-254-5252 US (San Jose)
1-646-828-7666 US (New York)Continue Reading
Long term research plays an invaluable role in informing natural resource management, particularly for long-lived wildlife species. However, short term and even opportunistic research can also yield important and sometimes surprising results relevant to management.
In this webinar, Dr. Smith will discuss management implications of a follow up survey of the alligator snapping turtle population on the Flint River, 22 years after eliminating harvest, the success of a forest restoration project in the eyes of pine snakes, and the unexpected added value of surveys of one threatened species (the gopher tortoise) for the conservation of another (the gopher frog).Continue Reading
Host: Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Presenters: Naomi Stephens (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service), Prof Ross Bradstock (University of Wollongong), Dr Hamish Clarke (University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University)
A website specifically designed for fire and land managers, the Prescribed Burning Atlas is a tool to inform prescribed burning strategies and tailor them to outcomes that will best reduce the risk in a target area within available budgets. Backed by eight years of CRC research incorporating thousands of fire simulations, the Atlas compares the level of risk reduction achieved from different combinations of prescribed burning techniques and compares the costs of different mitigation options and their effect on reducing the likelihood of life loss, property loss and environmental values, as well as the effects of climate change on prescribed burning effectiveness. This webinar will provide you with the full details and a guided tour of the Prescribed Burning Atlas, explaining how the website can support organisations to make the best decisions about where and how to undertake prescribed burning for different areas across New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland.
Additional information about the webinar can be found here.Continue Reading
A new General Technical Report (GTR) from the US Forest Service Southern Research Station (GTR SRS-249) discusses the 2016 wildfire year in the Southern Appalachians as well as the current prescribed fire situation within the region and forecast fire activity for the region through 2060. Download and read the full GTR here (pdf) or access the USFS SRS source page.
The USFS SRS-249 abstract:
From October to December of 2016, a confluence of human and environmental factors led to an outbreak of wildfires across the Southern Appalachian Mountains. This report examines the time trends of fire in the Southern Appalachian region, including mitigation activities and forecasting acres burned. The introduction (ch. 1) of this report describes the 2016 Southern Appalachian fires on public lands and provides a brief description of the methodology used to understand economic impacts of fire. Chapters 2 and 3 examine how prescribed fire is used in this region. The final chapter (ch. 4) describes how we can expect area burned by both human- and lightning-caused fires to change given increases in global temperatures, fuels, and wildland fire management.
The open-access MDPI journal Remote Sensing is seeking submissions for an upcoming special issue titled “Fires on Forest Environments”. Manuscript submissions are due October 31, 2020.
From the call for papers:
The increase frequency and damage that fires cause in natural ecosystem is becoming a global fingerprint of climate change. Recent fires in California, Europe and the Amazon basin are a clear example of the need for accurate monitoring and assessment of conditions of fires and the conditions that can cause then, respectively. In this special issue, we would like to explore the role of fires and its monitoring and assessment via remote sensing technologies. We invite those researchers interested on the topics above to submit their contributions. As climate change becomes more predominant, and ecosystems become more responsive to natural and human induced fires, there is a pressing need to build consensus and knowledge base on fire remote-sensing topics. Therefore, regular, methods and synthesis papers are invited.
Prof. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa
Dr. Joanne Nightingale
The recently published volume 16 of the open access journal Fire Ecology includes several peer-reviewed research articles relevant to the fire management and research communities in the South. Remember: open access publications allow for free access to the materials without access or subscription charges. Here are some of the most recent articles that you may find interesting:
- Prescribed fire science: the case for a refined research agenda
- Effects of frequent fire and mowing on resprouting shrubs of Florida scrub, USA
- The effect of scale in quantifying fire impacts on species habitats
- Radiant heating rapidly increases litter flammability through impacts on fuel moisture
- The influence of repeated prescribed fire on decomposition and nutrient release in uneven-aged loblolly–shortleaf pine stands
- Factors influencing the persistence of reindeer lichens (Cladonia subgenus Cladina) within frequent-fire environments of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain, USA
The Joint Fire Science Program announced this week the potential funding opportunity (FOA) topics for 2020. There are three research topics tentatively selected for 2020 along with the Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) Award. The purpose of providing advance notice of FOA topics is to provide research teams the opportunity to cultivate partnerships for effective science creation and delivery. Excitingly, this year the forecast FOA includes several topics that are particularly relevant to the Southern region. As your proposals come together over the upcoming months, consider reaching out to your local Fire Science Exchange to discuss opportunities for science coproduction and delivery.
The final FOA will be posted in July 2020. Read the full Forecast FOA here: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=325472.
A. Relative impacts of prescribed and wildland fire
Although the documented benefits of prescribed fire are numerous including habitat improvement and hazardous fuel reduction, there are drawbacks as well, such as reductions in air quality, which may impact human health. Prescribed fire is often implemented with the assumption that it will mitigate the effects of uncontrolled wildfire, because prescribed fire has been shown to reduce the intensity of subsequent wildfire under certain conditions. This is desirable because the impacts of wildfire are usually of a higher magnitude, larger in size and intensity, and pose a risk to public safety. To fully evaluate the trade-offs between prescribed fire programs and current wildfire impacts, an assessment framework is vital. Currently, there is little information on the spatial scale, frequency and spatial pattern at which prescribed fire begins to have an impact on subsequent wildfire extent, intensity and severity. As a result, JFSP is interested in proposals that improve our understanding of the relationship between prescribed fire programs and subsequent wildfire characteristics and this information is needed across a variety of vegetation types and regions.
B. Types and distribution of ignitions and their relation to fire size and impacts
One approach to reducing the negative impacts of wildfire to social and ecological values is to reduce the occurrence of human-caused wildfire ignitions with targeted wildfire prevention strategies. Planning and implementing effective fire prevention strategies requires detailed knowledge of the temporal and spatial distribution of different wildfire ignition sources (e.g., arson, accidental, lightning) and factors that influence whether different ignition sources lead to development of large wildfires. As a result, JFSP is interested in proposals that evaluate driving factors for the spatial and temporal distribution of ignitions and the effectiveness of different fire prevention actions as they relate to different human-caused ignitions.
C. Science in support of fuel treatment performance metrics
While it is relatively easy to document changes in fuels conditions following treatments at finer spatial scales, there is currently no objective framework to link fuel conditions to desired outcomes (e.g., reducing fire intensity and severity, improving fire suppression efficacy, reducing resource loss) at the landscape level. Such information is critical for developing cost-effective strategies to address the threats of wildfire. One possible strategy is to consider the evaluation of fuels treatment programs using a risk framework, where the probability and intensity of wildfire is considered in conjunction with valued resources. The development of a risk framework should assist agencies in measuring the extent and duration of risk reduction that could be achieved from a given fuel treatment. As a result, JFSP is interested in proposals that improve our understanding of the impacts of fuels treatments on fire suppression efficiency and protection of valued resources including the development of fuel treatment performance metrics at landscape scales.
GRIN FOA – Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) Award
In partnership with the Association for Fire Ecology, the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) will likely continue the Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) program for current master and doctoral students in the field of wildland fire and related physical, biological, and social sciences. The purpose of these awards is to enhance student exposure to the management and policy relevance of their research. As a result, these awards will enable graduate students to conduct research that will supplement and enhance the quality, scope, or applicability of their thesis or dissertation to develop information and products useful to managers and decision-makers.
Proposals must describe new, unfunded work that extends ongoing or planned research that is the subject of a thesis or dissertation that has been approved by the graduate student’s advisory committee. Proposals must be directly related to the mission and goals of JFSP to be considered, and they must address management- or policy-related questions related to one or more of the following general topic areas: fuels management and fire behavior, emissions and air quality, fire effects and post-fire recovery, relative impacts of prescribed fire versus wildfire, or human dimensions of fire.