North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange – Fire Science Research Needs Synthesis Report

What fire research is most needed in our region? Read this report to delve into the perspectives of NAFSE’s community and to discover a response. Jessica Charpentier, student at Antioch University of New England, used a scientific approach to analyze available information for her service learning project. Managers make decisions using sound research and identifying needs for more research can call attention to the gaps. This study shows that increasing research in two areas could most improve prescribed burn implementation. The two needs are: a) regionally specific experimental prescribed fire and post-burn monitoring, and b) research on public knowledge gaps and strategies for influencing attitudes. Read the full report for more details.


Contact Jess Charpentier at for more information.

Also included here is the compilation of available grey literature that Jess Charpentier put together which has been posted to the Reports and Data section of our website.

Summary Report Compilation.doc>

Head of the Plains Nantucket Shadbush (Amelanchier nantucketensis) Response to Prescribed Fire Management, Final Report 2014

Until 2011, Nantucket shadbush was listed as a species of “Special Concern” in Massachusetts, under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. While it is still considered uncommon throughout much of its range, recent surveys have led to the removal of its “Special Concern” status. However it still remains ranked “1” for rarity in the northeast, and the island of Nantucket is likely home to some of the largest and healthiest populations

Read More

Seasonal Variation in Foliage Moisture Content of Pine Species at Acadia National Park, Maine

An important factor on whether or not an intense surface fire with cause torching of individual trees, which can lead to the development of a crown fire, is the moisture content of the foliage in the overstory trees. The moisture content of the foliage of pitch pine (Pinus rigida Mill), white pine (Pinus strobus L.) and red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) was examined at Acadia National Park, Maine.

Read More

Vegetation, Landcover, and Fuel Mapping of the Ossipee Pine Barrens, Carroll County, NH

Vegetation, landcover, and fuels were mapped within an 8,166-acre area of the Ossipee Pine Barrens in Carroll County, New Hampshire. The Nature Conservancy divides the Ossipee Pine Barrens landscape into three sections: White Lake State Park, Pine Barrens East, and the West Branch Pine Barrens. The mapping area covers the entire West Branch Pine Barrens, and a small portion of Pine Barrens East

Read More

Rare Lepidoptera and Shrubland Birds: Their Presence, Distribution and Habitat Preferences on the Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve in Carroll County, New Hampshire - A 2002 field survey

Abstract: The Ossipee Pine Barrens, a globally rare natural community type occurring in east central New Hampshire, once covered an estimated 2,800 hectares (ha). Habitat conversion has reduced the barrens to approximately 800 ha and habitat fragmentation and fire suppression have significantly degraded what remains.

Read More

A Vegetative Fuelbreak Protecting the Town of Bar Harbor, Maine – Acadia National Park, ME

Abstract: The Bar Harbor Fire of 1947 burned a total of 17,188 acres (10,000 in Acadia National Park), killed three people, and destroyed 237 homes and the Jackson Laboratory on Mount Desert Island, Maine. The fire caused 23 million dollars in damages (1947 dollars). The volatile conifer forest that covered much of Mount Desert Island and contributed to the intensity of the fire was replaced by early successional species. Acadia National Park is evaluating the potential for using a deciduous fuelbreak to prevent a future fire from causing comparable damage.

Read More

Northeast Wildfire Risk Assessment -USDA Forest Service

The objectives of this assessment were to identify areas in the Northeast and Midwest that are prone to wildfire; identify where hazard mitigation practices would be most effective in reducing fire risk within each State; identify and prioritize Communities at Risk from wildfire and; focus resources in the areas of greatest need within each State.

Read More

Managing Fuels in Northeastern Barrens: Cape Cod National Seashore

In 1986, the National Park Service, in cooperation with the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, initiated applied research on the effectiveness of varying season and frequency of treatments on forest composition, fuel loading, and fire behavior on sixty, 0.1 acre plots at the Lombard Paradise site. Flammable shrub understories have been treated by brush cutting (mowing) or prescribed fire in either the dormant (winter) or growing (summer) season. All treatments are replicated three times, with treatments applied at 1-, 2-, 3- or 4-year intervals.

Visit the site >

Author: William Patterson - UMASS Fuel Demonstration Sites

Managing Fuels in Northeastern Barrens: Montague Plains Wildlife Management Area

Starting in 2000, small prescribed burns have been conducted on a portion of the Montague Plains WMA for ecological management and training purposes. Two main areas of management and research have been ongoing at the Plains since 2000: pitch pine crown fuels characterization and crown fire behavior prediction, and scrub oak fuels and biodiversity management.

Visit the site >

Author: William Patterson - UMASS Fuel Demonstration Sites

Managing Fuels in Northeastern Barrens: Manuel F. Correllus State Forest on Martha's Vineyard

Manuel F. Correllus State Forest (MFCSF) is located in Duke's County on the 100mi2 island of Martha's Vineyard , six miles off the south coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts . The forest comprises 5,190 acres of scrub oak, oak woodland, pitch pine forest, and conifer plantation vegetation in the center of the island. In 2003, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) in cooperation with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst initiated research to evaluate various fuel treatment methods including: thinning of pitch pine stands, mowing of shrub understories, and grazing of regrowth by sheep.

Visit the site >

Katama Plains Conservation Area Analysis of 1999--‐2014 Species Composition and Cover Data

For this analysis, I considered species composition and cover data collected in 1x1 m plots in Management Units F (unit 3) and G (unit 1) of the Katama Plains Conservation Area from 1999 to 2014 (Figure 1). I compiled data from eight years of summer vegetation monitoring (1999, 2003--‐2008, 2014 in MU G; 2000, 2003--‐2008, 2014 in MUF).

Read More

Prescribed Fire Management in Sandplain Grasslands and Heathlands: Impacts of Burn Seasonality and Intensity on Vegetation Composition, Head of the Plains, Nantucket MA

The effectiveness of prescribed fire as a tool for maintaining sandplain grasslands and coastal heathlands by reducing the encroachment of woody species and perpetuating important plant species has not been definitively documented (Dunwiddie, 1998; Niering & Dreyer, 1989; Vickery, 2002).

Read More

New England Fire History 'Stress Test' Project: Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact

NFFPC Stress Test Project – Document Index

This project covering fire history in New England and Eastern Canada was completed by Lloyd Irland, Founder and President, The Irland Group at the behest of the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact. These documents contain a plethora of information for each state and province as well as analyses of trends and mega-fire preparedness needs.

For Action

NFFPC Fire History Trends and Comparisons: United States 1984-2010 (Revised)

Fires and Acres by Size (Revised 2011-08-05)

U.S. Forest Service Fire Data (Revised 2011-07-31)

Atlantics Canada Fire History, 1919-2011 (Working Paper) (Revised 2012-04-18)

The Northeast's Great Sixties Drought: The Fire Outbreak (Working Paper)

Northeastern Regional Fire Outbreak of 1947 (Revised 2012-05-31)

Québec Fire History and Implications (Working Paper) (Revised 2012-06-14)

Vermont's Fire History, 1905-2011 (Working Paper) (Revised 2012-05-23)

Massachusetts Fire History (Working Paper) (Revised 2012-05-24)

Connecticut Forest Fire History and Analysis, 1905-2010 (Working Paper) (Revised 2012-05-18)

Documents for Information

NFFPC Stress Test Project Overview (2011-08-03)

NFFPC Stress Test Project Update (2012-01-24)

Northeast Compact Fire Analysis: Canada Four Jurisdictions (Revised 2011-07-05)

Northeast Compact Fire History Analysis, 1970-2009: Canada Four Jurisdictions (Revised 2011-07-05)

Compact White Paper (Final) (Revised 2013-07-12)

Forest Fire Statistics by Province/Territory/Agency: 1970-2010

Trends in Large Fires in Canada, 1959-2007 (EN) (Revised 2011-08-01)

Trends in Large Fires in Canada, 1959-2007 (FR) (Revised 2011-08-01)

Irland Montana Memo for NFFPC, 2011

Mack Lake Fire, Michigan, 1980

Richburg Patterson Report, 2000

Northeast Regional Fire Outbreak of October 1947

Report on the Survey of Timber Damage by Forest Fires in Southwestern Maine, October 1947 (1948-01-30)

Fire Type Map 1947

Vermont Fire History, 1908-2010: Initial Observations (Revised 2011-10-02)

Fire History of New York State, 1920-2010 (Working Paper)

In What Year Did the Following Events Occur?

UNFAO Megafire Global Fire Assessment, 2011

Notes on Megafires Conference (Tallahassee, FL, November 14-18, 2011)

An Assessment of the Impact of Fire on Rare Lepidoptera in the Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve

Abstract: The Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), was once part of a much larger pine barrens ecosystem. Currently, the pine barrens stretch across the towns of Madison, Freedom, Ossipee, and Tamworth in Carroll County, New Hampshire. The pine barrens ecosystem is an imperiled rare natural community that was historically maintained by fire. Pitch pine, the dominant tree in the pine barrens, is well adapted to a fire regime. Scrub oak and blueberry, the dominant shrub and ground cover, can also flourish post-fire. 

Read More

Monitoring Protocols for the Ossipee and Waterboro Pine Barrens

Abstract: Fire suppression during the last 50-100 years has changed the composition and structure of northeastern pine barrens, a globally rare and fire-dependent natural community that provides habitat for numerous rare and declining Lepidopteran, plant and early successional/shrubland bird species. These changes have resulted in a number of deleterious effects to the natural community, including an increase in canopy cover and organic soils and the proliferation of tree species less tolerant of fire (such as red maple, white pine, red oak, aspen, and American beech).

Read More