Research Brief-- Fire and Invasives: Ailanthus altissima

Photo by Jan Samanek, Phytosanitary Administration,

Photo by Jan Samanek, Phytosanitary Administration,

We have to admire non-native invasive species for their tenacity and what seems to be an amazing ability to survive anything we throw at them! Read about how Joanne Rebeck and her colleagues used prescribed fire and herbicide to understand how these methods would affect the non-native species Ailanthus altissima (stink tree).


In the Eye of the Fire - 360° video of crown fire in NJ pinelands

National Institute of Standards and Technology

“Putting a camera close to a fire wasn't good enough for NIST researchers, so they created a camera system that can take 360-degree video from WITHIN a fire.The New Jersey Forest Fire Service, in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, conducts prescribed forest management burns there as part of a fuel reduction plan This video shows a forest fire that spreads from treetop to treetop, called a crown fire. The video has been sped up as the fire approaches and leaves the field of view but plays in real time as the fire pass by the camera. The video was captured using a water-cooled glass enclosure developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to protect 360° cameras in fires. For more information and additional 360° fire videos visit the 360-Degree Video in Fire Research project webpage. The burn was performed in conjunction with work by researchers from the University of Edinburgh's Fire Safety Engineering program to study ember generation and transport.” - Jennifer Huergo, May 28, 2019


Research Brief: Insect damage versus prescribed fire: comparing long-term carbon impacts

Photo by Jan Christian Thomas

Photo by Jan Christian Thomas

Do prescribed fires create long-term carbon losses from the forest? How about insect defoliations? How long does it take a forest to re-capture that carbon from the atmosphere? Dr. Kenneth Clark and his fellow researchers investigated all of this and more with their latest research in the pinelands of New Jersey. Click below to access the brief.

Research Brief.pdf>

Research Brief: Understanding fire behavior using modern equipment and methods

Check out this research brief on Dr. Eric Mueller's most recent paper describing the instrumentation needed to measure prescribed burns in the pinelands of New Jersey. This type of research would not be possible without the help of local managers and should help them understand how fire will behave in their system.


Prescribed fire effects: Tick management

WELCOME TO TICK SEASON IN THE NORTHEAST! Tick-borne disease is a huge issue in our region and prescribed fire could be one way to decrease tick densities for several years. Check out the latest NAFSE research brief on a study by Shane Tripp highlighting the interactions between prescribed fire and ticks in the North Atlantic region. 

For another great resource on ticks and prescribed fire check out our March webinarpresented by Dr. Liz Gleim.     

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Prescribed fire effects: Aspen’s varied response

This research brief helps set the stage for our Maine fire history panel and field trip. The research covered here focuses on short and long-term prescribed fire effects on aspen regeneration. There is very little research on prescribed fire and aspen, so this long-term study is an important one!


April 2016 Newsletter

In this month's newsletter:
NAFSE's Activities: Graduate Student Group Established
NAFSE's two upcoming webinars: Register now!
NAFSE's Oak Capstone Workshop: Registration and travel funding available
New Tool for WUI Communities
In The News: Rolling Stones article on NJ fire, goats, students, and longer fire seasons
Upcoming Events: Conferences, webinars, training courses
One Fire Day: Neil Gifford's Albany Pine Bush Experience
North Atlantic Fire Science Resource Highlight: How to design a prescribed fire demonstration area

Prioritizing prescribed fire areas: a geographical approach

Click here to check out NAFSE's February 2016 research brief. This month we searched for a recent paper using LANDFIRE data in preparation for our March 16th webinar highlighting the LANDFIRE resource. We found a very recent paper out of Wisconsin by Tracy Hmielowski and colleagues using LANDFIRE vegetation and fire return intervals to help pinpoint high priority areas for prescribed fire in the WUI, and throughout the state. Don't miss this brief describing Hmielowski et. al.'s methods to find out how you might be able to use them for your own area! 

October 2015 Newsletter

In this month's Newsletter:
Upcoming NAFSE workshop - Don't miss it!
September Pennsylvania Rx Fire Council field trip review
JFSP Funding Announcement
In The News: Rx burning in PA, 100 acre fire in Adirondacks, Labor Day Fire in NJ, FBAT Team
Upcoming Events: Conferences, webinars, training courses
One Fire Day: Short Stories of Memorable Fires, "The Kings Grant Fire"
Regional Research Project Showcase: Noémie Gonzalez, 
North Atlantic Fire Science Resource Highlights: Seven Best Practices for Prescribed Fire Communication, JFSP's Smoke Science Plan

Wildland urban interface focus: Public perceptions of hazard reduction in an intermix environment

Check out this June research brief focusing in perceptions of risk in the Plymouth, MA wildland urban interface. This study used a survey to ascertain how residents viewed fuel treatments and prescribed fire near their homes.


Authors: Inga La Puma, author of the brief; Brian Blanchard and Robert Ryan, authors of the article

House in the wildland urban interface in Plymouth, MA – Photo by Brian Blanchard 

House in the wildland urban interface in Plymouth, MA – Photo by Brian Blanchard 

May 2015 Newsletter

In this month's Newsletter:
Announcing our NEW WEBSITE
March Field Trip Recap
Smoke Modeling Resources
In The News: NJ's Stockton University, Senate hearings, and regional articles and news clips on this year's fire season.
Upcoming Events: NAFSE Webinar and Workshops
Fire in Eastern Oak Forests Conference
One Fire Day: Short Stories of Memorable Fires
North Atlantic Fire Science Resource Highlight: Ecological Effects of Prescribed Fire Season


Fire Management Plan for Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve

Organization: The Nature Conservancy

Contact person: Jeff Lougee, Director of Stewardship and Ecological Management


Description: This fire management plan fulfills TNC’s requirements for an approved site fire management plan (Heumann 2012). This plan includes ecological goals, objectives and a program of actions to be implemented over the next five to ten years to: 


·       Restore and maintain the pitch pine - scrub oak woodland community and structural variants 

·       Enhance habitat for nineteen lepidoptera and five shrubland and early successional birds

·       Manage fuels to reduce the potential for wildfire that may threaten life and property 


Management will continue to include mechanical treatments to reduce fuels and improve habitat combined with prescribed burns to maintain the pitch pine - scrub oak woodland community and structural types. Mechanical treatments will include mowing of dense tall scrub oak and timber harvesting to reduce canopy cover and remove encroaching fire intolerant tree species. Prescribed burning will be used to reduce residual fuels from mechanical treatments, to maintain the natural community and habitat by promoting the germination of pitch pine and the persistence of fire maintained plants, and to reduce fuels. This plan provides for an adaptive management approach to balance the ecological needs of the conservation targets and the need to reduce fuels. Monitoring, documenting methods, and reviewing results will direct future management. The Nature Conservancy will work with state and local partner organizations to reduce hazardous fuels and apply prescribed fire to maintain natural communities and rare species populations. 

Over the next five years, approximately 500 - 750 acres will be treated using mechanical fuel reduction methods and prescribed burning on Conservancy and partner-owned lands (Map 1). More areas may be treated depending on resources and the results of treatment of this first set of management units. The Nature Conservancy will also work with partner organizations and landowners to reduce fuels within the WUI.

Recent Research: Fire management and carbon in pine barrens forests

Check out this February 2015 research brief highlighting a new prescribed fire and carbon paper by Clark, Skowronski, and Gallagher.

This paper was part of a special fire science issue of the Journal of Sustainable Forestry. The special issue arose out of the February 2014 Fire Ecology of the Northeast conference co-sponsored by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Tall Timbers research station.

Download .pdf

Author: Inga La Puma; Authors of Paper: Ken Clark, Nick Skowronski and Mike Gallagher

NJ Pinelands Prescribed Burn Research Project Video: Northern Research Station Overview of Project

In 2014, with assistance from the New Jersey State Forestry Services, U.S. Forest Service and international researchers from the United Kingdom and Russia teamed up to collect data on a prescribed fire conducted in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.

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