Is the risk of death the same when implementing "planned events"? What do the numbers we have as well as some specific events have say about that? Travis Dotson will provide prescribed fire practitioners a few specific elements to consider related to this topic and lessons available from both planned and unplanned fire events.
Wildfires create significant smoke impacts to communities near and downwind of the wildfire events. This webinar will provide a discussion on ways to prevent wildfire smoke exposures, including both residential strategies (including air filtration units) as well as community strategies (such as clean air shelters). JOIN US!
About the Presenter: Dr. Tony Ward is a Professor and Chair of the School of Public and Community Health Sciences at the University of Montana. He has both a B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Science, and received his Ph.D. in Chemistry. His research focuses on investigating indoor and ambient inhalational exposures (including emissions from wood stoves and smoke from wildland fires).
*Please note that beginning in 2019, NAFSE is using a new registration system (Neon) and webinar platform (Zoom).
WeatherSHIELD: a system for forecasting fire weather and indices.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 2:00 PM Eastern/ 1:00 PM Central
Aaron Stacey MES, Fire Science and Planning Specialist (Peterborough) Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services, Ontario
WeatherSHIELD (Weather SHort & Intermediate Ensemble and Long-term Dynamic weather patterns) is a system for preparing and displaying probabilistic weather forecasts over the short, intermediate, and long term. WeatherSHIELD is comprised of (1) Aviation Forest Fire & Emergency Services’ 5 day forecast, (2) the North American Ensemble Forecast System’s 14 day ensemble forecast, and (3) a long-term forecast up to the end-of-season utilizing a pattern matching method for selecting specific historical years’ weather according to how well historical ocean temperature indicators match current and forecast indicators. In this presentation, the current use of WeatherSHIELD will be shown and the continued validation that is being conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry and its research partners will be discussed.
Spring/Summer Webinar Series - Fine Scale, Big Scale: Wildland Fire Dynamics Research for Informed Management
Spring/Summer Webinar Series
Fine Scale, Big Scale: Wildland Fire Dynamics Research for Informed Management
NAFSE offered this series of webinars focused on cutting-edge research in wildland fire dynamics. From fine fuels to wind tunnels, from field experiments to smoke models, this series related foundational research to operational management tools. This interactive webinar series covered research funded by the Department of Defense Strategic Research and Development Program, the Joint Fire Science program, and the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station.
From fine fuels to wind tunnels, from field experiments to smoke models, this series will relate foundational research to operational management tools. This interactive webinar series covers research funded by the Department of Defense Strategic Research and Development Program (SERDP), the Joint Fire Science program, and the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station in cooperation with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. Stay tuned for more!
2. Wednesday, May 16th 12:00 EDT
From Rothermel’s models to 3D scanners - getting a closer look at fuel properties and their role in prescribed fire dynamics - Dr. Mike Gallagher, USDA Forest Service
Traditional tools for predicting fire behavior have relied on generally defined vegetation characteristics to make broad scale predictions of wildfire behavior and fire danger. While these useful in wildfire suppression operations, they provide limited utility in the context of prescribed burns, which are planned and intentionally ignited to achieve more nuanced ecological or fuels objectives. Variability in moisture and structure conditions play a large role in driving outcomes of prescribed burns, but have not gained the much attention in refining predictive tools for guiding prescribed burning. Tune in and hear how Mike Gallagher at the Silas Little Experimental Forest is using new technologies and repeated fire experiments to develop new knowledge about the diversity of fuel conditions and fire behavior under prescribed burning conditions.
3. Tuesday, May 29th 12:00 EDT
Progress towards precision measurements of radiant energy flows in wildland fires: History and current state of the art - Dr. Bob Kremens, Rochester Institute of Technology
The energy flow from a wildland fire is the most important measurable physical quantity. If we understand the time history of the energy flows, we can derive all other fire behavior and fire effects parameters. I will describe the difficulties in measuring the radiant heat release and explain a newly designed instrument. I will review the limitations of previous methods, as well as results obtained to date on prescribed fires in New Jersey and Florida.
4. Tuesday, June 12th12:00 EDT
Small-scale fire behavior measurements in the field: Bridging the gap between the laboratory and management-scale prescribed fires - Dr. Ken Clark, USDA Forest Service
To provide a better understanding of combustion processes and fire behavior during planned wildland fires across spatial scales, we conducted 12 intensively-instrumented experiments on replicated 100 m2 plots, contrasting cool, dormant season vs. warm, growing season conditions, and natural vs. augmented fuel loads. Instrumentation consisted of a network of IR cameras, dense arrays of thermocouples, 18 sonic anemometers to measure turbulence and heat fluxes at multiple heights, and high speed pressure sensors. Some key processes are consistent across scales; for example, thermocouple temperature profiles and relationships between turbulence and heat fluxes measured during the 100 m2 plot burns reflect the inflow of cool air into fire fronts measured in laboratory experiments and patterns of turbulence and heat fluxes measured in large-scale field burns, while other phenomena can be considered “emergent properties” that occur only larger scales.
5. Wednesday, June 27th 12:00 EDT Measurement of Fire Spread Phenomena at the Laboratory Scale. - Dr. Rory Hadden, University of Edinburgh
The use of low intensity fires is a key tool in the arsenal of the wildfire professional. Nevertheless, there are fundamental challenges to understanding how these fire spread and consequently these fires present significant challenges to the application and use of existing fire spread models.
This presentation will discuss the research approach taken to measure fire phenomena across multiple scales to study the ignition and spread of low intensity wildfires. The talk will discuss the use of laboratory-scale investigation to improve repeatability of experiments and to allow enhanced control over variabilities in the fuel and the environment – two key challenges when undertaking experimental fires in the field. The talk will touch on how measurements made in the laboratory can be applied at the field scale and vice versa. This will highlight the need for a multidisciplinary approach to the understanding of fire spread. In addition, the measurement of fundamental fuel characteristics and understanding their variabilities are necessary inputs for physics based fire models. Studying the fire processes in this way is key to understanding which mechanisms govern the spread of low intensity fires. This has direct implications the development of simplified spread and risk models.
6. Wednesday, July 11th 12:00 EDT Developing a mid-scale portable wind tunnel for laboratory and field experiments. - Dr. Seong-kyun Im, University of Notre Dame; and Dr. Albert Simeoni, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Development of a mid-scale wind tunnel that can bridge laboratory and field experiments will be discussed. In fire and wildfire science, the problem of linking laboratory studies to the field is the main bottleneck for the development and validation of fire spread models. The laboratory offers well-controlled conditions and allows testing and validating many configurations. The field offers more realistic conditions but they are very difficult to control. The main factor that hinders applying laboratory results to the field is the wind, because the flow around any field experiment is impossible to control and extremely difficult to measure. Similarly, laboratory experiments always involve some degree of idealization, not only of the wind but also of the fuel and other environmental conditions. Our mid-scale wind tunnel has been designed to allow collecting field data for realistic fuel and environmental conditions but under well-controlled wind conditions. Hence, it represents the missing link between the idealized laboratory conditions and realistic field conditions, particularly in the context of low-intensity prescribed burns.
Our wind tunnel was constructed for both laboratory and prescribed field experiments. The tunnel can be disassembled into smaller pieces allowing us to bring the tunnel to the field. The tunnel provides flow speeds up to 8 m/s with a turbulent intensity of 20% in the test section, which represents the average wind speed and its fluctuation at Silas Little Experimental Forest Research Station. The test section is large enough to test an array of shrub and litter layer structures in both laboratory and field settings. Windows enable us to measure the properties of interest such as the vegetation geometry, the flow field around vegetation, the temperature field, the flame geometry, and the fire rate of spread. For the laboratory conditions, the tunnel has a 0.2 m deep fuel bed that can be used to provide more realistic boundary conditions, soil type and moisture contents, etc. A preliminary study using simplified fuel arrays will be presented as a demonstration. The outcomes of this research will contribute to the development of physics-based predictive fire spread modeling aimed at supporting wildland fire management in a more robust way than currently available.
7. Wednesday, July 25th 12:00 EDT
High resolution simulation of low-intensity and backing fires: a multi-scale model development exercise - Dr. Eric Mueller, University of Edinburgh
Detailed physics-based models of fire spread have the potential to provide unique insights into the driving mechanisms of fire behavior in various scenarios. They can be used both to investigate case studies targeted at understanding fire-fuel-environment interactions, and to help develop simpler operational tools – built on a robust foundation. However, current physics-based models suffer from a lack of testing, or validation, and the limitations and uncertainties of various model components need to be addressed. This is particularly true for low-intensity and backing fires, which have received relatively little attention in modeling efforts. This work leverages an ongoing set of unique, iterative, multi-scale experiments to interrogate and improve detailed physics-based models. Of particular interest is the ability to scale such an approach from a laboratory-type setting to a field environment, where computational resources become a limiting factor. This presentation will focus on an initial detailed investigation of laboratory-scale flame spread simulations and the impact of various model limitations. Areas for improvement and challenges related to scaling up the simulations will be discussed.
8. Wednesday, August 8th 12:00 EDT Management-scale atmospheric modeling: Exploring fire-induced turbulent flows in forested environments - Dr. Mike Kiefer, Michigan State University
Researchers use models to study ambient and fire- and forest canopy-induced turbulence because they help answer questions that field campaigns alone are unable to address due to, for example, the inability to control all degrees of freedom in the field. Possible applications of model studies of fire- and canopy-induced turbulence include improvements to predictions of smoke dispersion, tree mortality, and fire behavior. This webinar addresses efforts to simulate turbulent flows at the management scale, i.e., on spatial scales of 100 m to 10 km and temporal scales of minutes to hours.
In the first half of this webinar, I place the SERDP management-scale modeling work in the context of the project as a whole, discuss some of the basic components of models used to study ambient and fire- and forest canopy-induced turbulence, and describe some of the challenges of simulating turbulent flows (including possible sources of uncertainty in model simulations). In the second half of the webinar, I show several examples of how models are used to answer questions about ambient and fire- and forest canopy-induced turbulence, provide an outline of the SERDP management-scale modeling strategy, and finally, end with a summary of the webinar presentation before opening the floor to questions.
Webinar - Fire & Ticks: The Impacts of Long-term Prescribed Fire on Tick Populations & Tick-borne Disease Risk
Fire & Ticks: The Impacts of Long-term Prescribed Fire on Tick Populations & Tick-borne Disease Risk
See video of webinar below.
- March 27th, 2018 at 1PM Eastern presented by Liz Gleim, Assistant Professor of Biology & Environmental Studies, Hollins University
Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME), and Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). These are just a few of the tick-borne diseases that occur in the eastern United States; some you’ve probably heard of and others likely not. Tick-borne disease incidence and emergence of new tick-borne diseases has increased dramatically in the past several decades. Thus, the need to identify effective ways of reducing tick populations and tick-borne disease risk is paramount. One method that has been proposed for reducing tick populations is prescribed fire. Join Liz Gleim, Assistant Professor of Biology & Environmental Studies from Hollins University to learn more about her research exploring the impacts of long-term prescribed fire on ticks & tick-borne disease risk and what appears to be some promising results linking fire to reduced disease risk.
Webinar: Connecting fire behavior, regime, and effects – emergent patterns from a decade of burn severity data in the New Jersey Pinelands
- Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST
Shifting patterns of wildland fire activity threaten both human and ecological systems across the globe as the impacts of climate change continue to unfold. Collecting the fire behavior and effects data is necessary to strengthen understandings of these patterns and adapt management, yet collecting these data using traditional field based methods is impossible beyond the scale of small studies. As an alternative, correlations between fire-altered reflectance patterns in vegetation, fire effects, and fire behavior were assessed and used to make useful inferences about how fire impacts pitch pine barrens. This work incorporates data from studies of fire behavior, fire effects, and seasonality to show how burn severity data can be used to better understand the qualitative variety of fire and how observed patterns can be used to hone management strategy.
Michael Gallagher is a post-doctoral researcher with the US Forest Service’s Climate, Fire, and Carbon Cycle Sciences work unit at the Silas Little Experimental Forest. Michael’s research has focused on integrating field and remote sensing-based approaches to assess and link fire behavior and fire effects. Michael is also a crewman on an New Jersey Forest Fire Service engine and fills in on Northern Area crews during the western fire season.
- Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 2 PM Eastern /1 PM Central
Dr. W.J. (Bill) de Groot
Fire Research Scientist Natural Resources Canada-Canadian Forest Service
- CFFDRS science-management integration model
- Stand-level, fire behaviour-based model
- Simulates physical and ecological fire effects
- Small scale (fire behaviour) to large scale (fire regimes)
- New fuel consumption equations
- Dynamic fuel model (fully adjustable)
In cooperation with the Lake States Fire Science Consortium.
See webinar recording below:
- Wednesday, September 20, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Lloyd Irland presented information on the changing geography of fire in the Northern Forest, with a focus on the 1947 fire season in Maine and other landmark events. Irland addressed extreme fire behavior, the relationship between fire danger and the growing wildland-urban interface, and other factors in the megafires of the North Atlantic. See webinar recording below.
Presented by Neil Gifford, Conservation Director at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
- May 25th 12PM to 1PM Eastern - Video of Webinar Below!
You don't want to miss our Community Representative, Neil Gifford's webinar! Gifford will provide an overview of management objectives, treatments, and monitoring at the Pine Bush, a 3,200-acre, globally-rare ecosystem in the heart of the Capital District. Neil will focus on first and second order fire effects monitoring efforts and desired outcomes.
Webinar: Ecology and Dynamics of Aspen in Fire-Dependent Communities across the Lake States and North Atlantic Region.
Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 2 PM Eastern /1 PM Central
Presented by Dr. Anthony D'Amato
Associate Professor in Silviculture and Applied Forest Ecology
Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources - University of Vermont
Connect to Webinar - No registration or passcode needed – please choose “Guest Login” and type in your First and Last name
Aspen is a ubiquitous component of many forest types across northeastern North America, including many fire-dependent ecosystems, and contributes a range of ecosystem services from habitat provisioning to fiber supplies. This talk will discuss the wide range of sites where aspen (Populus grandidentata and P. tremuloides) currently exists and the historic role of fire and other disturbances in generating a complex of stand age and compositional conditions within aspen forests. Much of the seminar will draw from the long history of work with aspen forests in the Lake States region; however, the development of aspen-dominated forests in New England landscapes will also be briefly discussed.
Webinar- Wildland Firefighter Safety: 20 years of chasing urine, blood and muscle on the firelines of the West
Wildland Firefighter Safety: 20 years of chasing urine, blood and muscle on the firelines of the West
March 15th, 2017 12-1PM Eastern
Presented by Dr. Brent Ruby, University of Montana
Dr. Ruby will present his informative webinar on the physiological limits of wildland firefighters and how to address energy loss on the fireline.
Webinar - Seasonality of Fire: Growing Season Burns in Oak-Pine Barrens and Jack Pine Barrens
- February 14th, 2017 12PM Eastern presented by Jack McGowan-Stinski of the Lake States Fire Science Consortium
Prescribed fire is often implemented only during the dormant season (i.e. during a short portion of the entire seasonal burnwindow). The effects of growing season burns differ significantly from dormant season burns. Join us for a webinar presented by Jack McGowan-Stinski, Program Manager for the Lake States Fire Science Consortium, as he outlines lessons from growing season burns, using examples from oak-pine and jack pine barrens (the latter of which behave similarly to pitch pine in our region). Jack's talk will explore fire effects, fire behavior, smoke, phenology, natural community response, monitoring, and other elements of seasonality in prescribed burns.
Presented by Dr. Mike Stambaugh and Joe Marschall of the Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium
- January 17th at 12PM Eastern
Many fire-dependent ecosystems in the eastern US are converting to fire-intolerant vegetation communities due to fire-suppression practices implemented in the 20th century. Where available, fire-scarred trees offer valuable information on historical fire regimes which can provide a scientific foundation for natural community restoration activities. In this study, we discuss 300-400 years of fire frequency, severity, and seasonality based on data from 8 sites across the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania. Fire regimes are reported in context of human settlement trends, climate records, and current management goals.
Brose et al. 2013. The influences of drought and humans on the fire regimes of northern Pennsylvania, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 43: 757-767.
Brose et al. 2015. Fire history reflects human history in the Pine Creek Gorge of north-central Pennsylvania. Natural Areas Journal 35: 214-223.
Marschall et al. 2016. Fire regimes of remnant pitch pine communities in the Ridge and Valley Region of central Pennsylvania, USA. Forests. 7(10): 224.
- December 14th at 12PM Eastern
New Jersey's pinelands have a unique fire history. For this webinar, Dr. Inga La Puma highlighted a 90 year spatial fire history database of the pinelands including discussion of fire frequency, seasonality, and high fire years. Additionally, she will show how changes in fire frequency have changed the trajectory of forest succession in the region.
Webinar recording below:
Fire history animation of Barnegat and Mullica watersheds below:
- November 17th 1PM to 2PM Eastern
Presented by Dr. Joe O'Brien of the Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service
Dr. Joe O'Brien hails from the Southern Research Station of the USDA Forest Service and has extensive experience in monitoring and analyzing prescribed fire effects. In this webinar, he will focus on fuels as one of the three elements that sustain fire and highlight the complex relationships linking forest structure, fuels and fire. These relationships are frequently underappreciated and oversimplified in the wildland fire community. Fuels provide a common ground linking the fire operations community, foresters and ecologists, and can act as a bridge among these communities. A more sophisticated understanding and appreciation of fuel variability as driven by forest structure is useful for improving fire management across varied ecosystems. Don't miss this informative presentation!
320 Green Street
Athens, GA 30602-2044
Fire Behavior in Mountain Pine Beetle Stands - “The British Columbia Experience”
- September 21st, 2016 12:00PM to 1:00PM - SEE WEBINAR RECORDING BELOW!
Presented by: Dana Hicks, Canadian Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations
Lodgepole pine stands have always been an aggressive-burning forest fuel complex, but with the infestation of the mountain pine beetle, the bar has been raised in terms of fire behavior and suppression/tactics. Forest fires are now burning with devastating results, leaving large areas of blackened ground and wildland fire managers and resource managers frustrated and confused. Existing wildland fire prediction models and fire suppression efforts are severely challenged in the burning of this “new” forest fuel complex.
Dana’s talk will give the British Columbia experience with an unprecedented infestation and the resulting wildfires in this new fuel complex, including the development of a new forest fire fuel type model and fire behavior being observed in this fuel type.
He will tie experiences in B.C. to our infestation challenges in the North Atlantic region.
- July 27, 2016 at 1 PM ET/ 12 PM CT/ 11 PM MT
This webinar was presented in cooperation with Lake States Fire Science Consortium and Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists highlighting the new fire features of the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS). See video recording of the webinar below:
Managers and planners need scientifically sound information on historical fire regimes and contemporary changes in fuels and fire regimes to make informed management decisions. To address this need, two new fire regime publications—Fire Regime Reports and Fire Regime Syntheses—are now available and spatially searchable in the recently updated user interface for the Fire Effects Information System (www.feis-crs.org/feis/). FEIS staff defined 185 fire regimes by grouping the ~2,500 Biophysical Settings (BpS) models produced by LANDFIRE (www.landfire.gov/fireregime.php) according to similarities in vegetation, modeled fire-return intervals and fire severities, and geographic location. Fire Regime Reports are brief summaries of these models, while Fire Regime Syntheses add comprehensive, thoroughly documented reviews of the scientific literature to information in the Fire Regime Reports. Fire Regime Syntheses provide managers with the best science available on historical fire frequency, spatial pattern, extent, and seasonality; historical ignition sources; and typical patterns of fire intensity and severity. They also provide information on contemporary changes in fuels, especially in relation to their potential to influence fire regimes, and identify regions and plant communities lacking fire history data. Together, these publications help managers develop plans and make informed decisions about local management of fire and fuels. In the updated user interface, they are easy to access using a variety of search criteria, including plant community type and map location, and they are linked to nearly 1,100 FEIS Species Reviews.
Presented by: Dave King and Joan Milam, UMass research wildlife biologists
David I. King, PhD
Research Wildlife Biologist
USDA Forest Service
Northern Research Station
- Thursday, May 19th, 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT
In this webinar, Dave King and Joan Milam discussed the impacts of fuels reduction and habitat restoration on bees, songbirds, whippoorwills, hognose snakes, butterflies, and moths at Massachusetts' Montague Plains.
Journal articles associated with this webinar:
Presenter: Randy Swaty, The Nature Conservancy - LANDFIRE team
- March 16th, 2016 12PM ET
LANDFIRE is a multi-partner programed aimed at characterizing vegetation, fire and fuel characteristics for the United States. Many of the datasets build upon one another, making them easy to work with and adapt for local use. In this webinar, Randy Swaty of The Nature Conservancy’s LANDFIRE team will explore the pre-settlement vegetation and fire regimes of the Northeastern U.S. as modeled and mapped by LANDFIRE. This work is enabled by the Biophysical Settings models and descriptions, which Randy will describe. Also, there will be a “call to action” as LANDFIRE is aiming to update and improve these bundles over the next year.
Here is a .pdf of the presentation and a video of webinar is below.
Presenters: Dr. Luke Dodd and Dr. Mike Lacki
- October 14th, 2015 11:00 AM EST
Drs. Luke Dodd and Mike Lacki presented during the NAFSE webinar, "Fire and the Northern Long-Eared Bat: Vulnerability and Management Considerations." The webinar included basic bat biology as it relates to forests and forest management. Our presenters highlighted ongoing and emerging work at study sites in Kentucky. This presentation also addressed management considerations regarding the Northern Long-eared Bat, a species whose recent listing affects land managers' use of fire and silviculture on the landscape.
(Map by US Fish and Wildlife Service)
In July we heard from Dr. Jenn Marlon on the response of forests and fire to climate changes and human activities in the North Atlantic.
Photo credit - Bob Williams
Presenters: Dr. Inga La Puma and Dr. Nick Skowronski
This webinar aired June 5th (12pm) and was led by Inga La Puma and Nick Skowronski of the NAFSE leadership team. We covered the resources available on our new website as well as other online fire science resources and tools specific to the North Atlantic region.
Click below to view webinar recording.
(There is a visual glitch in the webinar recording during Nick's section. Scroll down to see the list of the links he refers to during the webinar.)
Fire Effects Research and Analysis Team, Fuel and Fire Tools:
Digital Photo Series:
FFI Ecological Monitoring Utilities:
Fire Effects Information System:
Forest Vegetation Simulator:
Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination (Fire perimiters):
Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity:
Thumbnail photo by Joel Carlson
Presenter: Dr. Greg Nowacki, USFS - Eastern Region
Click below to access the recorded webinar.
Abstract: Witness trees provide information fundamental for restoration ecology, often serving as baselines for forest composition and structure. Furthermore, when categorized by fire relations, witness trees can shed light on past disturbance regimes. By applying a recently published method, we converted witness-tree points to a contiguous surface of pyrophilic percentage for four national forests in the northeastern United States. Fire was found to be an important disturbance agent on the Allegheny and Finger Lakes national forests, often corresponding to large river systems and lakesides where Native American activities were concentrated. In contrast, fire was relatively unimportant on the Green Mountain and White Mountain nataional forests based on the witness-tree record. There, the cool, moist year-around climate coupled with lower Native American population densities greatly subdued fire, supporting their local colloquialism as "asbestos" forests. When applying this method to town-level witness-tree data for the entire northeastern United States, a distinct east-west line dividing areas of high (south) and low (north) pyrophilic percentage was apparent. Known as the Tension Zone Line, the undulating character of this boundary, penetrating northward along major river valleys, underscores the importance of Native Americans as a disturbance agent on the presettlement landscape.