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Sample records for severe forest fires

  1. Severe fire weather and intensive forest management increase fire severity in a multi-ownership landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zald, Harold S J; Dunn, Christopher J

    2018-04-26

    Many studies have examined how fuels, topography, climate, and fire weather influence fire severity. Less is known about how different forest management practices influence fire severity in multi-owner landscapes, despite costly and controversial suppression of wildfires that do not acknowledge ownership boundaries. In 2013, the Douglas Complex burned over 19,000 ha of Oregon & California Railroad (O&C) lands in Southwestern Oregon, USA. O&C lands are composed of a checkerboard of private industrial and federal forestland (Bureau of Land Management, BLM) with contrasting management objectives, providing a unique experimental landscape to understand how different management practices influence wildfire severity. Leveraging Landsat based estimates of fire severity (Relative differenced Normalized Burn Ratio, RdNBR) and geospatial data on fire progression, weather, topography, pre-fire forest conditions, and land ownership, we asked (1) what is the relative importance of different variables driving fire severity, and (2) is intensive plantation forestry associated with higher fire severity? Using Random Forest ensemble machine learning, we found daily fire weather was the most important predictor of fire severity, followed by stand age and ownership, followed by topographic features. Estimates of pre-fire forest biomass were not an important predictor of fire severity. Adjusting for all other predictor variables in a general least squares model incorporating spatial autocorrelation, mean predicted RdNBR was higher on private industrial forests (RdNBR 521.85 ± 18.67 [mean ± SE]) vs. BLM forests (398.87 ± 18.23) with a much greater proportion of older forests. Our findings suggest intensive plantation forestry characterized by young forests and spatially homogenized fuels, rather than pre-fire biomass, were significant drivers of wildfire severity. This has implications for perceptions of wildfire risk, shared fire management responsibilities, and developing

  2. Northwest California National Forests fire severity monitoring 1987-2008

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    Jay D. Miller; Carl N. Skinner; Hugh D. Safford; Eric E. Knapp; Carlos M. Ramirez

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last several years has indicated that the frequency of large fires is on the rise in western US forests. Although fire size and frequency are important, they do not necessarily provide information concerning the effects of fire on ecosystems, as ecosystems differ in ecological and evolutionary relationships with fire. Our study focused on the four...

  3. Modeling impacts of fire severity on successional trajectories and future fire behavior in Alaskan boreal forests

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    Jill F. Johnstone; T. Scott Rupp; Mark Olson; David. Verbyla

    2011-01-01

    Much of the boreal forest in western North America and Alaska experiences frequent, stand-replacing wildfires. Secondary succession after fire initiates most forest stands and variations in fire characteristics can have strong effects on pathways of succession. Variations in surface fire severity that influence whether regenerating forests are dominated by coniferous...

  4. Tree mortality based fire severity classification for forest inventories: A Pacific Northwest national forests example

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    Thomas R. Whittier; Andrew N. Gray

    2016-01-01

    Determining how the frequency, severity, and extent of forest fires are changing in response to changes in management and climate is a key concern in many regions where fire is an important natural disturbance. In the USA the only national-scale fire severity classification uses satellite image changedetection to produce maps for large (>400 ha) fires, and is...

  5. Relating fire-caused change in forest structure to remotely sensed estimates of fire severity

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    Jamie M. Lydersen; Brandon M. Collins; Jay D. Miller; Danny L. Fry; Scott L. Stephens

    2016-01-01

    Fire severity maps are an important tool for understanding fire effects on a landscape. The relative differenced normalized burn ratio (RdNBR) is a commonly used severity index in California forests, and is typically divided into four categories: unchanged, low, moderate, and high. RdNBR is often calculated twice--from images collected the year of the fire (initial...

  6. Fuel variability following wildfire in forests with mixed severity fire regimes, Cascade Range, USA

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    Jessica L. Hudec; David L. Peterson

    2012-01-01

    Fire severity influences post-burn structure and composition of a forest and the potential for a future fire to burn through the area. The effects of fire on forests with mixed severity fire regimes are difficult to predict and interpret because the quantity, structure, and composition of forest fuels vary considerably. This study examines the relationship between fire...

  7. Modelling Variable Fire Severity in Boreal Forests: Effects of Fire Intensity and Stand Structure.

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    Miquelajauregui, Yosune; Cumming, Steven G; Gauthier, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    It is becoming clear that fires in boreal forests are not uniformly stand-replacing. On the contrary, marked variation in fire severity, measured as tree mortality, has been found both within and among individual fires. It is important to understand the conditions under which this variation can arise. We integrated forest sample plot data, tree allometries and historical forest fire records within a diameter class-structured model of 1.0 ha patches of mono-specific black spruce and jack pine stands in northern Québec, Canada. The model accounts for crown fire initiation and vertical spread into the canopy. It uses empirical relations between fire intensity, scorch height, the percent of crown scorched and tree mortality to simulate fire severity, specifically the percent reduction in patch basal area due to fire-caused mortality. A random forest and a regression tree analysis of a large random sample of simulated fires were used to test for an effect of fireline intensity, stand structure, species composition and pyrogeographic regions on resultant severity. Severity increased with intensity and was lower for jack pine stands. The proportion of simulated fires that burned at high severity (e.g. >75% reduction in patch basal area) was 0.80 for black spruce and 0.11 for jack pine. We identified thresholds in intensity below which there was a marked sensitivity of simulated fire severity to stand structure, and to interactions between intensity and structure. We found no evidence for a residual effect of pyrogeographic region on simulated severity, after the effects of stand structure and species composition were accounted for. The model presented here was able to produce variation in fire severity under a range of fire intensity conditions. This suggests that variation in stand structure is one of the factors causing the observed variation in boreal fire severity.

  8. Modeling of multi-strata forest fire severity using Landsat TM data

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    Q. Meng; R.K. Meentemeyer

    2011-01-01

    Most of fire severity studies use field measures of composite burn index (CBI) to represent forest fire severity and fit the relationships between CBI and Landsat imagery derived differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR) to predict and map fire severity at unsampled locations. However, less attention has been paid on the multi-strata forest fire severity, which...

  9. A new forest fire paradigm: The need for high-severity fires

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    Monica L. Bond; Rodney B. Siegel; Richard L. Hutto; Victoria A. Saab; Stephen A. Shunk

    2012-01-01

    Bond, Monica L.; Siegel, Rodney B.; Hutto, Richard L.; Saab, Victoria A.; Shunk, Stephen A. 2012. A new forest fire paradigm: The need for high-severity fires. The Wildlife Professional. Winter 2012: 46-49. During the 2012 fire season from June through August, wildfires in the drought-stricken western and central United States burned more than 3.6 million acres of...

  10. The largest forest fires in Portugal: the constraints of burned area size on the comprehension of fire severity.

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    Tedim, Fantina; Remelgado, Ruben; Martins, João; Carvalho, Salete

    2015-01-01

    Portugal is a European country with highest forest fires density and burned area. Since beginning of official forest fires database in 1980, an increase in number of fires and burned area as well as appearance of large and catastrophic fires have characterized fire activity in Portugal. In 1980s, the largest fires were just a little bit over 10,000 ha. However, in the beginning of 21st century several fires occurred with a burned area over 20,000 ha. Some of these events can be classified as mega-fires due to their ecological and socioeconomic severity. The present study aimed to discuss the characterization of large forest fires trend, in order to understand if the largest fires that occurred in Portugal were exceptional events or evidences of a new trend, and the constraints of fire size to characterize fire effects because, usually, it is assumed that larger the fire higher the damages. Using Portuguese forest fire database and satellite imagery, the present study showed that the largest fires could be seen at the same time as exceptional events and as evidence of a new fire regime. It highlighted the importance of size and patterns of unburned patches within fire perimeter as well as heterogeneity of fire ecological severity, usually not included in fire regime description, which are critical to fire management and research. The findings of this research can be used in forest risk reduction and suppression planning.

  11. Climatic stress increases forest fire severity across the western United States

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    van Mantgem, Philip J.; Nesmith, Jonathan C. B.; Keifer, MaryBeth; Knapp, Eric E.; Flint, Alan; Flint, Lorriane

    2013-01-01

    Pervasive warming can lead to chronic stress on forest trees, which may contribute to mortality resulting from fire-caused injuries. Longitudinal analyses of forest plots from across the western US show that high pre-fire climatic water deficit was related to increased post-fire tree mortality probabilities. This relationship between climate and fire was present after accounting for fire defences and injuries, and appeared to influence the effects of crown and stem injuries. Climate and fire interactions did not vary substantially across geographical regions, major genera and tree sizes. Our findings support recent physiological evidence showing that both drought and heating from fire can impair xylem conductivity. Warming trends have been linked to increasing probabilities of severe fire weather and fire spread; our results suggest that warming may also increase forest fire severity (the number of trees killed) independent of fire intensity (the amount of heat released during a fire).

  12. Severity of an uncharacteristically large wildfire, the Rim Fire, in forests with relatively restored frequent fire regimes

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    Jamie Lydersen; Malcolm North; Brandon M. Collins

    2014-01-01

    The 2013 Rim Fire, originating on Forest Service land, burned into old-growth forests within Yosemite National Park with relatively restored frequent-fire regimes (¡Ý2 predominantly low and moderate severity burns within the last 35 years). Forest structure and fuels data were collected in the field 3-4 years before the fire, providing a rare chance to use pre-existing...

  13. Effects of Burn Severity and Environmental Conditions on Post-Fire Regeneration in Siberian Larch Forest

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    Thuan Chu

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Post-fire forest regeneration is strongly influenced by abiotic and biotic heterogeneity in the pre- and post-fire environments, including fire regimes, species characteristics, landforms, hydrology, regional climate, and soil properties. Assessing these drivers is key to understanding the long-term effects of fire disturbances on forest succession. We evaluated multiple factors influencing patterns of variability in a post-fire boreal Larch (Larix sibirica forest in Siberia. A time-series of remote sensing images was analyzed to estimate post-fire recovery as a response variable across the burned area in 1996. Our results suggested that burn severity and water content were primary controllers of both Larch forest recruitment and green vegetation cover as defined by the forest recovery index (FRI and the fractional vegetation cover (FVC, respectively. We found a high rate of Larch forest recruitment in sites of moderate burn severity, while a more severe burn was the preferable condition for quick occupation by vegetation that included early seral communities of shrubs, grasses, conifers and broadleaf trees. Sites close to water and that received higher solar energy during the summer months showed a higher rate of both recovery types, defined by the FRI and FVC, dependent on burn severity. In addition to these factors, topographic variables and pre-fire condition were important predictors of post-fire forest patterns. These results have direct implications for the post-fire forest management in the Siberian boreal Larch region.

  14. Mixed-severity fire fosters heterogeneous spatial patterns of conifer regeneration in a dry conifer forest

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    Sparkle L. Malone; Paula J. Fornwalt; Mike A. Battaglia; Marin E. Chambers; Jose M. Iniguez; Carolyn H. Sieg

    2018-01-01

    We examined spatial patterns of post-fire regenerating conifers in a Colorado, USA, dry conifer forest 11-12 years following the reintroduction of mixed-severity fire. We mapped and measured all post-fire regenerating conifers, as well as all other post-fire regenerating trees and all residual (i.e., surviving) trees, in three 4-ha plots following the 2002 Hayman Fire...

  15. Fire severity unaffected by spruce beetle outbreak in spruce-fir forests in southwestern Colorado.

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    Andrus, Robert A; Veblen, Thomas T; Harvey, Brian J; Hart, Sarah J

    2016-04-01

    Recent large and severe outbreaks of native bark beetles have raised concern among the general public and land managers about potential for amplified fire activity in western North America. To date, the majority of studies examining bark beetle outbreaks and subsequent fire severity in the U.S. Rocky Mountains have focused on outbreaks of mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests, but few studies, particularly field studies, have addressed the effects of the severity of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis Kirby) infestation on subsequent fire severity in subalpine Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) forests. In Colorado, the annual area infested by spruce beetle outbreaks is rapidly rising, while MPB outbreaks are subsiding; therefore understanding this relationship is of growing importance. We collected extensive field data in subalpine forests in the eastern San Juan Mountains, southwestern Colorado, USA, to investigate whether a gray-stage (fire) spruce beetle infestation affected fire severity. Contrary to the expectation that bark beetle infestation alters subsequent fire severity, correlation and multivariate generalized linear regression analysis revealed no influence of pre-fire spruce beetle severity on nearly all field or remotely sensed measurements of fire severity. Findings were consistent across moderate and extreme burning conditions. In comparison to severity of the pre-fire beetle outbreak, we found that topography, pre-outbreak basal area, and weather conditions exerted a stronger effect on fire severity. Our finding that beetle infestation did not alter fire severity is consistent with previous retrospective studies examining fire activity following other bark beetle outbreaks and reiterates the overriding influence of climate that creates conditions conducive to large, high-severity fires in the subalpine zone of Colorado. Both bark beetle outbreaks and

  16. Restoring and managing low-severity fire in dry-forest landscapes of the western USA.

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    Baker, William L

    2017-01-01

    Low-severity fires that killed few canopy trees played a significant historical role in dry forests of the western USA and warrant restoration and management, but historical rates of burning remain uncertain. Past reconstructions focused on on dating fire years, not measuring historical rates of burning. Past statistics, including mean composite fire interval (mean CFI) and individual-tree fire interval (mean ITFI) have biases and inaccuracies if used as estimators of rates. In this study, I used regression, with a calibration dataset of 96 cases, to test whether these statistics could accurately predict two equivalent historical rates, population mean fire interval (PMFI) and fire rotation (FR). The best model, using Weibull mean ITFI, had low prediction error and R2adj = 0.972. I used this model to predict historical PMFI/FR at 252 sites spanning dry forests. Historical PMFI/FR for a pool of 342 calibration and predicted sites had a mean of 39 years and median of 30 years. Short ( 55 years) mean PMFI/FRs were mainly from northern New Mexico to South Dakota. Mountain sites often had a large range in PMFI/FR. Nearly all 342 estimates are for old forests with a history of primarily low-severity fire, found across only about 34% of historical dry-forest area. Frequent fire (PMFI/FR dry-forest area, with 86% having multidecadal rates of low-severity fire. Historical fuels (e.g., understory shrubs and small trees) could fully recover between multidecadal fires, allowing some denser forests and some ecosystem processes and wildlife habitat to be less limited by fire. Lower historical rates mean less restoration treatment is needed before beginning managed fire for resource benefits, where feasible. Mimicking patterns of variability in historical low-severity fire regimes would likely benefit biological diversity and ecosystem functioning.

  17. Mixed-Severity Fire Fosters Heterogeneous Spatial Patterns of Conifer Regeneration in a Dry Conifer Forest

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    Sparkle L. Malone

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We examined spatial patterns of post-fire regenerating conifers in a Colorado, USA, dry conifer forest 11–12 years following the reintroduction of mixed-severity fire. We mapped and measured all post-fire regenerating conifers, as well as all other post-fire regenerating trees and all residual (i.e., surviving trees, in three 4-ha plots following the 2002 Hayman Fire. Residual tree density ranged from 167 to 197 trees ha−1 (TPH, and these trees were clustered at distances up to 30 m. Post-fire regenerating conifers, which ranged in density from 241 to 1036 TPH, were also clustered at distances up to at least 30 m. Moreover, residual tree locations drove post-fire regenerating conifer locations, with the two showing a pattern of repulsion. Topography and post-fire sprouting tree species locations further drove post-fire conifer regeneration locations. These results provide a foundation for anticipating how the reintroduction of mixed-severity fire may affect long-term forest structure, and also yield insights into how historical mixed-severity fire may have regulated the spatially heterogeneous conditions commonly described for pre-settlement dry conifer forests of Colorado and elsewhere.

  18. High-severity fire: evaluating its key drivers and mapping its probability across western US forests

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    Parks, Sean A.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Panunto, Matthew H.; Jolly, W. Matt; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.; Dillon, Gregory K.

    2018-04-01

    Wildland fire is a critical process in forests of the western United States (US). Variation in fire behavior, which is heavily influenced by fuel loading, terrain, weather, and vegetation type, leads to heterogeneity in fire severity across landscapes. The relative influence of these factors in driving fire severity, however, is poorly understood. Here, we explore the drivers of high-severity fire for forested ecoregions in the western US over the period 2002–2015. Fire severity was quantified using a satellite-inferred index of severity, the relativized burn ratio. For each ecoregion, we used boosted regression trees to model high-severity fire as a function of live fuel, topography, climate, and fire weather. We found that live fuel, on average, was the most important factor driving high-severity fire among ecoregions (average relative influence = 53.1%) and was the most important factor in 14 of 19 ecoregions. Fire weather was the second most important factor among ecoregions (average relative influence = 22.9%) and was the most important factor in five ecoregions. Climate (13.7%) and topography (10.3%) were less influential. We also predicted the probability of high-severity fire, were a fire to occur, using recent (2016) satellite imagery to characterize live fuel for a subset of ecoregions in which the model skill was deemed acceptable (n = 13). These ‘wall-to-wall’ gridded ecoregional maps provide relevant and up-to-date information for scientists and managers who are tasked with managing fuel and wildland fire. Lastly, we provide an example of the predicted likelihood of high-severity fire under moderate and extreme fire weather before and after fuel reduction treatments, thereby demonstrating how our framework and model predictions can potentially serve as a performance metric for land management agencies tasked with reducing hazardous fuel across large landscapes.

  19. Effects of fire severity on plant nutrient uptake reinforce alternate pathways of succession in boreal forests

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    A. Shenoy; K. Kielland; J.F. Johnstone

    2013-01-01

    Fire activity in the North American boreal region is projected to increase under a warming climate and trigger changes in vegetation composition. In black spruce forests of interior Alaska, fire severity impacts residual organic layer depth which is strongly linked to the relative dominance of deciduous versus coniferous trees in early succession. These alternate...

  20. Forest fires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuller, M.

    1991-01-01

    This book examines the many complex and sensitive issues relating to wildland fires. Beginning with an overview of the fires of 1980s, the book discusses the implications of continued drought and considers the behavior of wildland fires, from ignition and spread to spotting and firestorms. Topics include the effects of weather, forest fuels, fire ecology, and the effects of fire on plants and animals. In addition, the book examines firefighting methods and equipment, including new minimum impact techniques and compressed air foam; prescribed burning; and steps that can be taken to protect individuals and human structures. A history of forest fire policies in the U.S. and a discussion of solutions to fire problems around the world completes the coverage. With one percent of the earth's surface burning every year in the last decade, this is a penetrating book on a subject of undeniable importance

  1. Ectomycorrhizal fungal spore bank recovery after a severe forest fire: some like it hot.

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    Glassman, Sydney I; Levine, Carrie R; DiRocco, Angela M; Battles, John J; Bruns, Thomas D

    2016-05-01

    After severe wildfires, pine recovery depends on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal spores surviving and serving as partners for regenerating forest trees. We took advantage of a large, severe natural forest fire that burned our long-term study plots to test the response of ECM fungi to fire. We sampled the ECM spore bank using pine seedling bioassays and high-throughput sequencing before and after the California Rim Fire. We found that ECM spore bank fungi survived the fire and dominated the colonization of in situ and bioassay seedlings, but there were specific fire adapted fungi such as Rhizopogon olivaceotinctus that increased in abundance after the fire. The frequency of ECM fungal species colonizing pre-fire bioassay seedlings, post-fire bioassay seedlings and in situ seedlings were strongly positively correlated. However, fire reduced the ECM spore bank richness by eliminating some of the rare species, and the density of the spore bank was reduced as evidenced by a larger number of soil samples that yielded uncolonized seedlings. Our results show that although there is a reduction in ECM inoculum, the ECM spore bank community largely remains intact, even after a high-intensity fire. We used advanced techniques for data quality control with Illumina and found consistent results among varying methods. Furthermore, simple greenhouse bioassays can be used to determine which fungi will colonize after fires. Similar to plant seed banks, a specific suite of ruderal, spore bank fungi take advantage of open niche space after fires.

  2. Mixed-severity fire history at a forest-grassland ecotone in west central British Columbia, Canada.

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    Harvey, Jill E; Smith, Dan J; Veblen, Thomas T

    2017-09-01

    This study examines spatially variable stand structure and fire-climate relationships at a low elevation forest-grassland ecotone in west central British Columbia, Canada. Fire history reconstructions were based on samples from 92 fire-scarred trees and stand demography from 27 plots collected over an area of about 7 km 2 . We documented historical chronologies of widespread fires and localized grassland fires between AD 1600 and 1900. Relationships between fire events, reconstructed values of the Palmer Drought Severity Index, and annual precipitation were examined using superposed epoch and bivariate event analyses. Widespread fires occurred during warm, dry years and were preceded by multiple anomalously dry, warm years. Localized fires that affected only grassland-proximal forests were more frequent than widespread fires. These localized fires showed a lagged, positive relationship with wetter conditions. The landscape pattern of forest structure provided further evidence of complex fire activity with multiple plots shown to have experienced low-, mixed-, and/or high-severity fires over the last four centuries. We concluded that this forest-grassland ecotone was characterized by fires of mixed severity, dominated by frequent, low-severity fires punctuated by widespread fires of moderate to high severity. This landscape-level variability in fire-climate relationships and patterns in forest structure has important implications for fire and grassland management in west central British Columbia and similar environments elsewhere. Forest restoration techniques such as prescribed fire and thinning are oftentimes applied at the forest-grassland ecotone on the basis that historically high frequency, low-severity fires defined the character of past fire activity. This study provides forest managers and policy makers with important information on mixed-severity fire activity at a low elevation forest-grassland ecotone, a crucial prerequisite for the effective management

  3. Opposing effects of fire severity on climate feedbacks in Siberian larch forests

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    Loranty, M. M.; Alexander, H. D.; Natali, S.; Kropp, H.; Mack, M. C.; Bunn, A. G.; Davydov, S. P.; Erb, A.; Kholodov, A. L.; Schaaf, C.; Wang, Z.; Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    Boreal larch forests in northeastern Siberia comprise nearly 25% of the continuous permafrost zone. Structural and functional changes in these ecosystems will have important climate feedbacks at regional and global scales. Like boreal ecosystems in North America, fire is an important determinant of landscape scale forest distribution, and fire regimes are intensifying as climate warms. In Siberian larch forests are dominated by a single tree species, and there is evidence that fire severity influences post-fire forest density via impacts on seedling establishment. The extent to which these effects occur, or persist, and the associated climate feedbacks are not well quantified. In this study we use forest stand inventories, in situ observations, and satellite remote sensing to examine: 1) variation in forest density within and between fire scars, and 2) changes in land surface albedo and active layer dynamics associated with forest density variation. At the landscape scale we observed declines in Landsat derived albedo as forests recovered in the first several decades after fire, though canopy cover varied widely within and between individual fire scars. Within an individual mid-successional fire scar ( 75 years) we observed canopy cover ranging from 15-90% with correspondingly large ranges of albedo during periods of snow cover, and relatively small differences in albedo during the growing season. We found an inverse relationship between canopy density and soil temperature within this fire scar; high-density low-albedo stands had cooler soils and shallower active layers, while low-density stands had warmer soils and deeper active layers. Intensive energy balance measurements at a high- and low- density site show that canopy cover alters the magnitude and timing of ground heat fluxes that affect active layer properties. Our results show that fire impacts on stand structure in Siberian larch forests affect land surface albedo and active layer dynamics in ways that

  4. Fire-induced Carbon Emissions and Regrowth Uptake in Western U.S. Forests: Documenting Variation Across Forest Types, Fire Severity, and Climate Regions

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    Ghimire, Bardan; Williams, Christopher A.; Collatz, George James; Vanderhoof, Melanie

    2012-01-01

    The forest area in the western United States that burns annually is increasing with warmer temperatures, more frequent droughts, and higher fuel densities. Studies that examine fire effects for regional carbon balances have tended to either focus on individual fires as examples or adopt generalizations without considering how forest type, fire severity, and regional climate influence carbon legacies. This study provides a more detailed characterization of fire effects and quantifies the full carbon impacts in relation to direct emissions, slow release of fire-killed biomass, and net carbon uptake from forest regrowth. We find important variations in fire-induced mortality and combustion across carbon pools (leaf, live wood, dead wood, litter, and duff) and across low- to high-severity classes. This corresponds to fire-induced direct emissions from 1984 to 2008 averaging 4 TgC/yr and biomass killed averaging 10.5 TgC/yr, with average burn area of 2723 sq km/yr across the western United States. These direct emission and biomass killed rates were 1.4 and 3.7 times higher, respectively, for high-severity fires than those for low-severity fires. The results show that forest regrowth varies greatly by forest type and with severity and that these factors impose a sustained carbon uptake legacy. The western U.S. fires between 1984 and 2008 imposed a net source of 12.3 TgC/yr in 2008, accounting for both direct fire emissions (9.5 TgC/yr) and heterotrophic decomposition of fire-killed biomass (6.1 TgC yr1) as well as contemporary regrowth sinks (3.3 TgC/yr). A sizeable trend exists toward increasing emissions as a larger area burns annually.

  5. Bat Response to Differing Fire Severity in Mixed-Conifer Forest California, USA

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    Heady, Paul A.; Hayes, John P.; Frick, Winifred F.

    2013-01-01

    Wildlife response to natural disturbances such as fire is of conservation concern to managers, policy makers, and scientists, yet information is scant beyond a few well-studied groups (e.g., birds, small mammals). We examined the effects of wildfire severity on bats, a taxon of high conservation concern, at both the stand (Bat activity in burned areas was either equivalent or higher than in unburned stands for all six phonic groups measured, with four groups having significantly greater activity in at least one burn severity level. Evidence of differentiation between fire severities was observed with some Myotis species having higher levels of activity in stands of high-severity burn. Larger-bodied bats, typically adapted to more open habitat, showed no response to fire. We found differential use of riparian and upland habitats among the phonic groups, yet no interaction of habitat type by fire severity was found. Extent of high-severity fire damage in the landscape had no effect on activity of bats in unburned sites suggesting no landscape effect of fire on foraging site selection and emphasizing stand-scale conditions driving bat activity. Results from this fire in mixed-conifer forests of California suggest that bats are resilient to landscape-scale fire and that some species are preferentially selecting burned areas for foraging, perhaps facilitated by reduced clutter and increased post-fire availability of prey and roosts. PMID:23483936

  6. Pattern and process of prescribed fires influence effectiveness at reducing wildfire severity in dry coniferous forests

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    Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Welty, Justin L.

    2012-01-01

    We examined the effects of three early season (spring) prescribed fires on burn severity patterns of summer wildfires that occurred 1–3 years post-treatment in a mixed conifer forest in central Idaho. Wildfire and prescribed fire burn severities were estimated as the difference in normalized burn ratio (dNBR) using Landsat imagery. We used GIS derived vegetation, topography, and treatment variables to generate models predicting the wildfire burn severity of 1286–5500 30-m pixels within and around treated areas. We found that wildfire severity was significantly lower in treated areas than in untreated areas and significantly lower than the potential wildfire severity of the treated areas had treatments not been implemented. At the pixel level, wildfire severity was best predicted by an interaction between prescribed fire severity, topographic moisture, heat load, and pre-fire vegetation volume. Prescribed fire severity and vegetation volume were the most influential predictors. Prescribed fire severity, and its influence on wildfire severity, was highest in relatively warm and dry locations, which were able to burn under spring conditions. In contrast, wildfire severity peaked in cooler, more mesic locations that dried later in the summer and supported greater vegetation volume. We found considerable evidence that prescribed fires have landscape-level influences within treatment boundaries; most notable was an interaction between distance from the prescribed fire perimeter and distance from treated patch edges, which explained up to 66% of the variation in wildfire severity. Early season prescribed fires may not directly target the locations most at risk of high severity wildfire, but proximity of these areas to treated patches and the discontinuity of fuels following treatment may influence wildfire severity and explain how even low severity treatments can be effective management tools in fire-prone landscapes.

  7. Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley D. Pinno

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant impact. Total plant species richness and cover decreased with disturbance severity, such that the greatest richness was in low severity burns (average 28 species per 1-m2 quadrat and plant cover was lowest in the high severity burns (average 16%. However, the response of individual plant groups differed. Lichens and bryophytes were most common in low severity burns and were effectively eliminated from the regenerating plant community at higher burn severities. In contrast, graminoid cover and richness were positively related to burn severity, while forbs did not respond significantly to burn severity, but were impacted by changes in soil chemistry with increased cover at pH >4.9. Our results indicate the importance of non-vascular plants to the overall plant community in this harsh environment and that the plant community is environmentally limited rather than recruitment or competition limited, as is often the case in more mesic forest types. If fire frequency and severity increase as predicted, we may see a shift in plant communities from stress-tolerant species, such as lichens and ericaceous shrubs, to more colonizing species, such as certain graminoids.

  8. Fire severity filters regeneration traits to shape community assembly in Alaska's boreal forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa N Hollingsworth

    Full Text Available Disturbance can both initiate and shape patterns of secondary succession by affecting processes of community assembly. Thus, understanding assembly rules is a key element of predicting ecological responses to changing disturbance regimes. We measured the composition and trait characteristics of plant communities early after widespread wildfires in Alaska to assess how variations in disturbance characteristics influenced the relative success of different plant regeneration strategies. We compared patterns of post-fire community composition and abundance of regeneration traits across a range of fire severities within a single pre-fire forest type- black spruce forests of Interior Alaska. Patterns of community composition, as captured by multivariate ordination with nonmetric multidimensional scaling, were primarily related to gradients in fire severity (biomass combustion and residual vegetation and secondarily to gradients in soil pH and regional climate. This pattern was apparent in both the full dataset (n = 87 sites and for a reduced subset of sites (n = 49 that minimized the correlation between site moisture and fire severity. Changes in community composition across the fire-severity gradient in Alaska were strongly correlated to variations in plant regeneration strategy and rooting depth. The tight coupling of fire severity with regeneration traits and vegetation composition after fire supports the hypothesis that disturbance characteristics influence patterns of community assembly by affecting the relative success of different regeneration strategies. This study further demonstrated that variations in disturbance characteristics can dominate over environmental constraints in determining early patterns of community assembly. By affecting the success of regeneration traits, changes in fire regime directly shape the outcomes of community assembly, and thus may override the effects of slower environmental change on boreal forest

  9. Historic Frequency and Severity of Fire in Whitebark Pine Forests of the Cascade Mountain Range, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P. Murray

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm. is a foundation species of high elevation forest ecosystems in the Cascade Mountain Range of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. We examined fire evidence on 55 fire history sites located in the Cascade Range. To estimate dates of historic fires we analyzed 57 partial cross-sections from fire-scarred trees plus 700 increment cores. The resulting 101 fire events indicate fire has been a widespread component of Cascadian whitebark pine stands. Results are site specific and vary considerably. Whitebark pine stands appear to burn in a variety of severities and frequencies. Sites where fire intervals were detected ranged from 9 to 314 years, with a median of 49 years, and averaging 67 years. Fire intervals shortened significantly with higher latitudes. In assessing the most recent fire event at each site, overall, 56 percent burned as stand replacing events. In the 20th century, the number of fires diminished significantly. Due to conservation imperatives, re-introducing fire should be undertaken with extreme care to avoid substantial mortality of this endangered species.

  10. Persistent Effects of Fire Severity on Early Successional Forests in Interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenoy, Aditi; Johnstone, Jill F.; Kasischke, Eric S.; Kielland, Knut

    2011-01-01

    There has been a recent increase in the frequency and extent of wildfires in interior Alaska, and this trend is predicted to continue under a warming climate. Although less well documented, corresponding increases in fire severity are expected. Previous research from boreal forests in Alaska and western Canada indicate that severe fire promotes the recruitment of deciduous tree species and decreases the relative abundance of black spruce (Picea mariana) immediately after fire. Here we extend these observations by (1) examining changes in patterns of aspen and spruce density and biomass that occurred during the first two decades of post-fire succession, and (2) comparing patterns of tree composition in relation to variations in post-fire organic layer depth in four burned black spruce forests in interior Alaska after 10-20 years of succession.Wefound that initial effects of fire severity on recruitment and establishment of aspen and black spruce were maintained by subsequent effects of organic layer depth and initial plant biomass on plant growth during post-fire succession. The proportional contribution of aspen (Populus tremuloides) to total stand biomass remained above 90% during the first and second decades of succession in severely burned sites, while in lightly burned sites the proportional contribution of aspen was reduced due to a 40- fold increase in spruce biomass in these sites. Relationships between organic layer depth and stem density and biomass were consistently negative for aspen, and positive or neutral for black spruce in all four burns. Our results suggest that initial effects of post-fire organic layer depths on deciduous recruitment are likely to translate into a prolonged phase of deciduous dominance during post-fire succession in severely burned stands. This shift in vegetation distribution has important implications for climate-albedo feedbacks, future fire regime, wildlife habitat quality and natural resources for indigenous subsistence

  11. Landscape-scale effects of fire severity on mixed-conifer and red fir forest structure in Yosemite National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Van R.; Lutz, James A.; Roberts, Susan L.; Smith, Douglas F.; McGaughey, Robert J.; Povak, Nicholas A.; Brooks, Matthew L.

    2013-01-01

    While fire shapes the structure of forests and acts as a keystone process, the details of how fire modifies forest structure have been difficult to evaluate because of the complexity of interactions between fires and forests. We studied this relationship across 69.2 km2 of Yosemite National Park, USA, that was subject to 32 fires ⩾40 ha between 1984 and 2010. Forests types included ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), white fir-sugar pine (Abies concolor/Pinus lambertiana), and red fir (Abies magnifica). We estimated and stratified burned area by fire severity using the Landsat-derived Relativized differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (RdNBR). Airborne LiDAR data, acquired in July 2010, measured the vertical and horizontal structure of canopy material and landscape patterning of canopy patches and gaps. Increasing fire severity changed structure at the scale of fire severity patches, the arrangement of canopy patches and gaps within fire severity patches, and vertically within tree clumps. Each forest type showed an individual trajectory of structural change with increasing fire severity. As a result, the relationship between estimates of fire severity such as RdNBR and actual changes appears to vary among forest types. We found three arrangements of canopy patches and gaps associated with different fire severities: canopy-gap arrangements in which gaps were enclosed in otherwise continuous canopy (typically unburned and low fire severities); patch-gap arrangements in which tree clumps and gaps alternated and neither dominated (typically moderate fire severity); and open-patch arrangements in which trees were scattered across open areas (typically high fire severity). Compared to stands outside fire perimeters, increasing fire severity generally resulted first in loss of canopy cover in lower height strata and increased number and size of gaps, then in loss of canopy cover in higher height strata, and eventually the transition to open areas with few or no trees. However

  12. Prioritizing forest fuels treatments based on the probability of high-severity fire restores adaptive capacity in Sierran forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krofcheck, Daniel J; Hurteau, Matthew D; Scheller, Robert M; Loudermilk, E Louise

    2018-02-01

    In frequent fire forests of the western United States, a legacy of fire suppression coupled with increases in fire weather severity have altered fire regimes and vegetation dynamics. When coupled with projected climate change, these conditions have the potential to lead to vegetation type change and altered carbon (C) dynamics. In the Sierra Nevada, fuels reduction approaches that include mechanical thinning followed by regular prescribed fire are one approach to restore the ability of the ecosystem to tolerate episodic fire and still sequester C. Yet, the spatial extent of the area requiring treatment makes widespread treatment implementation unlikely. We sought to determine if a priori knowledge of where uncharacteristic wildfire is most probable could be used to optimize the placement of fuels treatments in a Sierra Nevada watershed. We developed two treatment placement strategies: the naive strategy, based on treating all operationally available area and the optimized strategy, which only treated areas where crown-killing fires were most probable. We ran forecast simulations using projected climate data through 2,100 to determine how the treatments differed in terms of C sequestration, fire severity, and C emissions relative to a no-management scenario. We found that in both the short (20 years) and long (100 years) term, both management scenarios increased C stability, reduced burn severity, and consequently emitted less C as a result of wildfires than no-management. Across all metrics, both scenarios performed the same, but the optimized treatment required significantly less C removal (naive=0.42 Tg C, optimized=0.25 Tg C) to achieve the same treatment efficacy. Given the extent of western forests in need of fire restoration, efficiently allocating treatments is a critical task if we are going to restore adaptive capacity in frequent-fire forests. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Effects of Burn Severity and Environmental Conditions on Post-Fire Regeneration in Siberian Larch Forest

    OpenAIRE

    Thuan Chu; Xulin Guo; Kazuo Takeda

    2017-01-01

    Post-fire forest regeneration is strongly influenced by abiotic and biotic heterogeneity in the pre- and post-fire environments, including fire regimes, species characteristics, landforms, hydrology, regional climate, and soil properties. Assessing these drivers is key to understanding the long-term effects of fire disturbances on forest succession. We evaluated multiple factors influencing patterns of variability in a post-fire boreal Larch (Larix sibirica) forest in Siberia. A time-series o...

  14. Climatic stress increases forest fire severity across the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillip J. van Mantgem; Jonathan C.B. Nesmith; MaryBeth Keifer; Eric E. Knapp; Alan Flint; Lorriane Flint

    2013-01-01

    Pervasive warming can lead to chronic stress on forest trees, which may contribute to mortality resulting from fire-caused injuries. Longitudinal analyses of forest plots from across the western US show that high pre-fire climatic water deficit was related to increased post-fire tree mortality probabilities. This relationship between climate and fire was present after...

  15. Predicting Potential Fire Severity Using Vegetation, Topography and Surface Moisture Availability in a Eurasian Boreal Forest Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Fang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Severity of wildfires is a critical component of the fire regime and plays an important role in determining forest ecosystem response to fire disturbance. Predicting spatial distribution of potential fire severity can be valuable in guiding fire and fuel management planning. Spatial controls on fire severity patterns have attracted growing interest, but few studies have attempted to predict potential fire severity in fire-prone Eurasian boreal forests. Furthermore, the influences of fire weather variation on spatial heterogeneity of fire severity remain poorly understood at fine scales. We assessed the relative importance and influence of pre-fire vegetation, topography, and surface moisture availability (SMA on fire severity in 21 lightning-ignited fires occurring in two different fire years (3 fires in 2000, 18 fires in 2010 of the Great Xing’an Mountains with an ensemble modeling approach of boosted regression tree (BRT. SMA was derived from 8-day moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS evapotranspiration products. We predicted the potential distribution of fire severity in two fire years and evaluated the prediction accuracies. BRT modeling revealed that vegetation, topography, and SMA explained more than 70% of variations in fire severity (mean 83.0% for 2000, mean 73.8% for 2010. Our analysis showed that evergreen coniferous forests were more likely to experience higher severity fires than the dominant deciduous larch forests of this region, and deciduous broadleaf forests and shrublands usually burned at a significantly lower fire severity. High-severity fires tended to occur in gentle and well-drained slopes at high altitudes, especially those with north-facing aspects. SMA exhibited notable and consistent negative association with severity. Predicted fire severity from our model exhibited strong agreement with the observed fire severity (mean r2 = 0.795 for 2000, 0.618 for 2010. Our results verified that spatial variation

  16. Mixed severity fire effects within the Rim fire: Relative importance of local climate, fire weather, topography, and forest structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van R. Kane; C. Alina Cansler; Nicholas A. Povak; Jonathan T. Kane; Robert J. McGaughey; James A. Lutz; Derek J. Churchill; Malcolm P. North

    2015-01-01

    Recent and projected increases in the frequency and severity of large wildfires in the western U.S. makes understanding the factors that strongly affect landscape fire patterns a management priority for optimizing treatment location. We compared the influence of variations in the local environment on burn severity patterns on the large 2013 Rim fire that burned under...

  17. Forest-fire models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haiganoush Preisler; Alan Ager

    2013-01-01

    For applied mathematicians forest fire models refer mainly to a non-linear dynamic system often used to simulate spread of fire. For forest managers forest fire models may pertain to any of the three phases of fire management: prefire planning (fire risk models), fire suppression (fire behavior models), and postfire evaluation (fire effects and economic models). In...

  18. Forest fires in Pennsylvania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald A. Haines; William A. Main; Eugene F. McNamara

    1978-01-01

    Describes factors that contribute to forest fires in Pennsylvania. Includes an analysis of basic statistics; distribution of fires during normal, drought, and wet years; fire cause, fire activity by day-of-week; multiple-fire day; and fire climatology.

  19. Landscape fragmentation, severe drought, and the new Amazon forest fire regime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alencar, Ane A; Brando, Paulo M; Asner, Gregory P; Putz, Francis E

    2015-09-01

    Changes in weather and land use are transforming the spatial and temporal characteristics of fire regimes in Amazonia, with important effects on the functioning of dense (i.e., closed-canopy), open-canopy, and transitional forests across the Basin. To quantify, document, and describe the characteristics and recent changes in forest fire regimes, we sampled 6 million ha of these three representative forests of the eastern and southern edges of the Amazon using 24 years (1983-2007) of satellite-derived annual forest fire scar maps and 16 years of monthly hot pixel information (1992-2007). Our results reveal that changes in forest fire regime properties differentially affected these three forest types in terms of area burned and fire scar size, frequency, and seasonality. During the study period, forest fires burned 15% (0.3 million ha), 44% (1 million ha), and 46% (0.6 million ha) of dense, open, and transitional forests, respectively. Total forest area burned and fire scar size tended to increase over time (even in years of average rainfall in open canopy and transitional forests). In dense forests, most of the temporal variability in fire regime properties was linked to El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-related droughts. Compared with dense forests, transitional and open forests experienced fires twice as frequently, with at least 20% of these forests' areas burning two or more times during the 24-year study period. Open and transitional forests also experienced higher deforestation rates than dense forests. During drier years, the end of the dry season was delayed by about a month, which resulted in larger burn scars and increases in overall area burned later in the season. These observations suggest that climate-mediated forest flammability is enhanced by landscape fragmentation caused by deforestation, as observed for open and transitional forests in the Eastern portion of the Amazon Basin.

  20. Forest Fire Severity Assessment Using ALS Data in a Mediterranean Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Luis Montealegre

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Mediterranean pine forests in Spain experience wildland fire events with different frequencies, intensities, and severities which result in diverse socio-ecological consequences. In order to predict fire severity, spectral indices derived from remotely sensed images have been used extensively. Such spectral indices are usually used in combination with ground sampling to relate detected radiometric changes to actual fire effects. However, the potential of the tridimensional information captured by Airborne Laser Scanners (ALS to severity mapping has been less explored. With the objective of addressing this question, in this paper, explanatory variables extracted from ALS point clouds are related to field estimations of the Composite Burn Index collected in four fires located in Aragón (Spain. Logistic regression models were developed and statistically tested and validated to map fire severity with up to 85.5% accuracy. The canopy relief ratio and the percentage of all returns above one meter height were the most significant variables and were therefore used to create a continuous map of severity levels.

  1. Post-Fire Regeneration and Diversity Response to Burn Severity in Pinus halepensis Mill. Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonsoles González-De Vega

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, fire regimes have been modified by various factors such as changes in land use, global change or forest management policies. The vulnerability of Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems is increasing due to more severe and frequent droughts. This study aimed to determine the plant response of ecosystems during the short-term post-fire period by relating alpha diversity, floristic richness and tree recruitment dynamics to burn severity 5 years after a wildfire. Our results conclude that in the short term, Pinus halepensis Mill. stands in southeastern Spain quickly recovered alpha diversity values, mainly in areas burned with low severity. We observed that moderate and high severities affected the ecosystem more significantly, showing higher values for the Shannon Index but lower for the Simpson index. Pine recruitment was higher in burned areas, and we found the highest number of Aleppo pine seedlings under a moderate burn severity. Post-fire regeneration functional groups (obligate seeders and resprouters were promoted under moderate and high burn severity, increasing their abundance. Annual species (mainly herbs colonized burned areas, persisting with higher presence under moderate burn severity. Restoration tools should be focused on reducing fire severity, mainly in areas at high risk of desertification, and promoting resistance, vulnerability and resilience of these ecosystems.

  2. Bird communities following high-severity fire: Response to single and repeat fires in a mixed-evergreen forest, Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph B. Fontaine; Daniel C. Donato; W. Douglas Robinson; Beverly E. Law; J. Boone Kauffman

    2009-01-01

    Fire is a widespread natural disturbance agent in most conifer-dominated forests. In light of climate change and the effects of fire exclusion, single and repeated high-severity (stand-replacement) fires have become prominent land management issues. We studied bird communities using point counting in the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion of Oregon, USA at various points in...

  3. Soil organic matter composition and quality across fire severity gradients in coniferous and deciduous forests of the southern boreal region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessica R. Miesel; William C. Hockaday; Randy Kolka; Philip A. Townsend

    2015-01-01

    Recent patterns of prolonged regional drought in southern boreal forests of the Great Lakes region, USA, suggest that the ecological effects of disturbance by wildfire may become increasingly severe. Losses of forest soil organic matter (SOM) during fire can limit soil nutrient availability and forest regeneration. These processes are also influenced by the composition...

  4. Extreme fire severity patterns in topographic, convective and wind-driven historical wildfires of Mediterranean pine forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judit Lecina-Diaz

    Full Text Available Crown fires associated with extreme fire severity are extremely difficult to control. We have assessed fire severity using differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR from Landsat imagery in 15 historical wildfires of Pinus halepensis Mill. We have considered a wide range of innovative topographic, fuel and fire behavior variables with the purposes of (1 determining the variables that influence fire severity patterns among fires (considering the 15 wildfires together and (2 ascertaining whether different variables affect extreme fire severity within the three fire types (topographic, convective and wind-driven fires. The among-fires analysis showed that fires in less arid climates and with steeper slopes had more extreme severity. In less arid conditions there was more crown fuel accumulation and closer forest structures, promoting high vertical and horizontal fuel continuity and extreme fire severity. The analyses carried out for each fire separately (within fires showed more extreme fire severity in areas in northern aspects, with steeper slopes, with high crown biomass and in climates with more water availability. In northern aspects solar radiation was lower and fuels had less water limitation to growth which, combined with steeper slopes, produced more extreme severity. In topographic fires there was more extreme severity in northern aspects with steeper slopes and in areas with more water availability and high crown biomass; in convection-dominated fires there was also more extreme fire severity in northern aspects with high biomass; while in wind-driven fires there was only a slight interaction between biomass and water availability. This latter pattern could be related to the fact that wind-driven fires spread with high wind speed, which could have minimized the effect of other variables. In the future, and as a consequence of climate change, new zones with high crown biomass accumulated in non-common drought areas will be available to burn

  5. Extreme fire severity patterns in topographic, convective and wind-driven historical wildfires of Mediterranean pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecina-Diaz, Judit; Alvarez, Albert; Retana, Javier

    2014-01-01

    Crown fires associated with extreme fire severity are extremely difficult to control. We have assessed fire severity using differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) from Landsat imagery in 15 historical wildfires of Pinus halepensis Mill. We have considered a wide range of innovative topographic, fuel and fire behavior variables with the purposes of (1) determining the variables that influence fire severity patterns among fires (considering the 15 wildfires together) and (2) ascertaining whether different variables affect extreme fire severity within the three fire types (topographic, convective and wind-driven fires). The among-fires analysis showed that fires in less arid climates and with steeper slopes had more extreme severity. In less arid conditions there was more crown fuel accumulation and closer forest structures, promoting high vertical and horizontal fuel continuity and extreme fire severity. The analyses carried out for each fire separately (within fires) showed more extreme fire severity in areas in northern aspects, with steeper slopes, with high crown biomass and in climates with more water availability. In northern aspects solar radiation was lower and fuels had less water limitation to growth which, combined with steeper slopes, produced more extreme severity. In topographic fires there was more extreme severity in northern aspects with steeper slopes and in areas with more water availability and high crown biomass; in convection-dominated fires there was also more extreme fire severity in northern aspects with high biomass; while in wind-driven fires there was only a slight interaction between biomass and water availability. This latter pattern could be related to the fact that wind-driven fires spread with high wind speed, which could have minimized the effect of other variables. In the future, and as a consequence of climate change, new zones with high crown biomass accumulated in non-common drought areas will be available to burn as extreme

  6. Post-fire comparisons of forest floor and soil carbon, nitrogen, and mercury pools with fire severity indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randy Kolka; Brian Sturtevant; Philip Townsend; Jessica Miesel; Peter Wolter; Shawn Fraver; Tom DeSutter

    2014-01-01

    Forest fires are important contributors of C, N, and Hg to the atmosphere. In the fall of 2011, a large wildfire occurred in northern Minnesota and we were able to quickly access the area to sample the forest floor and mineral soil for C, N, and Hg pools. When compared with unburned reference soils, the mean loss of C resulting from fire in the forest floor and the...

  7. Examining historical and current mixed-severity fire regimes in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis C Odion

    Full Text Available There is widespread concern that fire exclusion has led to an unprecedented threat of uncharacteristically severe fires in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex. Laws and mixed-conifer forests of western North America. These extensive montane forests are considered to be adapted to a low/moderate-severity fire regime that maintained stands of relatively old trees. However, there is increasing recognition from landscape-scale assessments that, prior to any significant effects of fire exclusion, fires and forest structure were more variable in these forests. Biota in these forests are also dependent on the resources made available by higher-severity fire. A better understanding of historical fire regimes in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America is therefore needed to define reference conditions and help maintain characteristic ecological diversity of these systems. We compiled landscape-scale evidence of historical fire severity patterns in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests from published literature sources and stand ages available from the Forest Inventory and Analysis program in the USA. The consensus from this evidence is that the traditional reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes are inaccurate for most forests of western North America. Instead, most forests appear to have been characterized by mixed-severity fire that included ecologically significant amounts of weather-driven, high-severity fire. Diverse forests in different stages of succession, with a high proportion in relatively young stages, occurred prior to fire exclusion. Over the past century, successional diversity created by fire decreased. Our findings suggest that ecological management goals that incorporate successional diversity created by fire may support characteristic biodiversity, whereas current attempts to "restore" forests to open, low-severity fire conditions may not align with historical reference conditions in

  8. Examining historical and current mixed-severity fire regimes in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odion, Dennis C; Hanson, Chad T; Arsenault, André; Baker, William L; Dellasala, Dominick A; Hutto, Richard L; Klenner, Walt; Moritz, Max A; Sherriff, Rosemary L; Veblen, Thomas T; Williams, Mark A

    2014-01-01

    There is widespread concern that fire exclusion has led to an unprecedented threat of uncharacteristically severe fires in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex. Laws) and mixed-conifer forests of western North America. These extensive montane forests are considered to be adapted to a low/moderate-severity fire regime that maintained stands of relatively old trees. However, there is increasing recognition from landscape-scale assessments that, prior to any significant effects of fire exclusion, fires and forest structure were more variable in these forests. Biota in these forests are also dependent on the resources made available by higher-severity fire. A better understanding of historical fire regimes in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America is therefore needed to define reference conditions and help maintain characteristic ecological diversity of these systems. We compiled landscape-scale evidence of historical fire severity patterns in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests from published literature sources and stand ages available from the Forest Inventory and Analysis program in the USA. The consensus from this evidence is that the traditional reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes are inaccurate for most forests of western North America. Instead, most forests appear to have been characterized by mixed-severity fire that included ecologically significant amounts of weather-driven, high-severity fire. Diverse forests in different stages of succession, with a high proportion in relatively young stages, occurred prior to fire exclusion. Over the past century, successional diversity created by fire decreased. Our findings suggest that ecological management goals that incorporate successional diversity created by fire may support characteristic biodiversity, whereas current attempts to "restore" forests to open, low-severity fire conditions may not align with historical reference conditions in most ponderosa

  9. Soil organic matter composition and quality across fire severity gradients in coniferous and deciduous forests of the southern boreal region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miesel, Jessica R.; Hockaday, William C.; Kolka, Randall K.; Townsend, Philip A.

    2015-06-01

    Recent patterns of prolonged regional drought in southern boreal forests of the Great Lakes region, USA, suggest that the ecological effects of disturbance by wildfire may become increasingly severe. Losses of forest soil organic matter (SOM) during fire can limit soil nutrient availability and forest regeneration. These processes are also influenced by the composition of postfire SOM. We sampled the forest floor layer (i.e., full organic horizon) and 0-10 cm mineral soil from stands dominated by coniferous (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) or deciduous (Populus tremuloides Michx.) species 1-2 months after the 2011 Pagami Creek wildfire in northern Minnesota. We used solid-state 13C NMR to characterize SOM composition across a gradient of fire severity in both forest cover types. SOM composition was affected by fire, even when no statistically significant losses of total C stocks were evident. The most pronounced differences in SOM composition between burned and unburned reference areas occurred in the forest floor for both cover types. Carbohydrate stocks in forest floor and mineral horizons decreased with severity level in both cover types, whereas pyrogenic C stocks increased with severity in the coniferous forest floor and decreased in only the highest severity level in the deciduous forest floor. Loss of carbohydrate and lignin pools contributed to a decreased SOM stability index and increased decomposition index. Our results suggest that increases in fire severity expected to occur under future climate scenarios may lead to changes in SOM composition and dynamics with consequences for postfire forest recovery and C uptake.

  10. Temporal characterisation of soil-plant natural recovery related to fire severity in burned Pinus halepensis Mill. forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moya, D; González-De Vega, S; García-Orenes, F; Morugán-Coronado, A; Arcenegui, V; Mataix-Solera, J; Lucas-Borja, M E; De Las Heras, J

    2018-05-28

    Despite Mediterranean ecosystems' high resilience to fire, both climate and land use change, and alterations in fire regimes increase their vulnerability to fire by affecting the long-term natural recovery of ecosystem services. The objective of this work is to study the effects of fire severity on biochemical soil indicators, such as chemical composition or enzymatic activity, related to time after fire and natural vegetation recovery (soil-plant interphase). Soil samples from three wildfires occurring 3, 15 and 21 years ago were taken in the south-eastern Iberian Peninsula (semiarid climate). Sampling included three fire severity levels in naturally regenerated (and changing to shrublands) Pinus halepensis Mill. forests. In the short-term post-fire period, phosphorus concentration, electrical conductivity and urease activity were positively linked to fire severity, and also influenced β-glucosidade activity in a negative relationship. During the 15-21-year post-fire period, the effects related to medium-high fire severity were negligible and soil quality indicators were linked to natural regeneration success. The results showed that most soil properties recovered in the long term after fire (21 years). These outcomes will help managers and stakeholders to implement management tools to stabilise soils and to restore burned ecosystems affected by medium-high fire severity. Such knowledge can be considered in adaptive forest management to reduce the negative effects of wildfires and desertification, and to improve the resilience of vulnerable ecosystems in a global change scenario. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of experimental fuel additions on fire intensity and severity: unexpected carbon resilience of a neotropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brando, Paulo M; Oliveria-Santos, Claudinei; Rocha, Wanderley; Cury, Roberta; Coe, Michael T

    2016-07-01

    Global changes and associated droughts, heat waves, logging activities, and forest fragmentation may intensify fires in Amazonia by altering forest microclimate and fuel dynamics. To isolate the effects of fuel loads on fire behavior and fire-induced changes in forest carbon cycling, we manipulated fine fuel loads in a fire experiment located in southeast Amazonia. We predicted that a 50% increase in fine fuel loads would disproportionally increase fire intensity and severity (i.e., tree mortality and losses in carbon stocks) due to multiplicative effects of fine fuel loads on the rate of fire spread, fuel consumption, and burned area. The experiment followed a fully replicated randomized block design (N = 6) comprised of unburned control plots and burned plots that were treated with and without fine fuel additions. The fuel addition treatment significantly increased burned area (+22%) and consequently canopy openness (+10%), fine fuel combustion (+5%), and mortality of individuals ≥5 cm in diameter at breast height (dbh; +37%). Surprisingly, we observed nonsignificant effects of the fuel addition treatment on fireline intensity, and no significant differences among the three treatments for (i) mortality of large trees (≥30 cm dbh), (ii) aboveground forest carbon stocks, and (iii) soil respiration. It was also surprising that postfire tree growth and wood increment were higher in the burned plots treated with fuels than in the unburned control. These results suggest that (i) fine fuel load accumulation increases the likelihood of larger understory fires and (ii) single, low-intensity fires weakly influence carbon cycling of this primary neotropical forest, although delayed postfire mortality of large trees may lower carbon stocks over the long term. Overall, our findings indicate that increased fine fuel loads alone are unlikely to create threshold conditions for high-intensity, catastrophic fires during nondrought years. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Quantifying fire severity, carbon, and nitrogen emissions in Alaska's boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie A. Boby; Edward A.G. Schuur; Michelle C. Mack; David Verbyla; Jill F. Johnstone

    2010-01-01

    The boreal region stores a large proportion of the world's terrestrial carbon (C) and is subject to high-intensity, stand-replacing wildfires that release C and nitrogen (N) stored in biomass and soils through combustion. While severity and extent of fires drives overall emissions, methods for accurately estimating fire severity are poorly tested in this unique...

  13. Autonomous Forest Fire Detection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breejen, E. den; Breuers, M.; Cremer, F.; Kemp, R.A.W.; Roos, M.; Schutte, K.; Vries, J.S. de

    1998-01-01

    Forest fire detection is a very important issue in the pre-suppression process. Timely detection allows the suppression units to reach the fire in its initial stages and this will reduce the suppression costs considerably. The autonomous forest fire detection principle is based on temporal contrast

  14. Export of solids and nutrients from burnt areas: effects of fire severity and forest type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrantes, Nelson; Morais, Inês; Silva, Vera; Malvar, Mauxa C.; Prats, Sérgio; Coelho, Celeste; Keizer, Jan J.

    2015-04-01

    In the last few decades, the number of wildfires has markedly increased in Mediterranean Europe, including Portugal. Besides a range of direct impacts, wildfires can significantly alter the geomorphological and hydrological processes during a period commonly referred to as the "window-of-disturbance". It is now increasingly recognized that these indirect wildfire effects depend strongly on fire severity, i.e. the heating-induced changes in vegetation and litter cover as well as in topsoil properties such as infiltration capacity, aggregate stability and soil water repellency. Nonetheless, the exact role of fire severity in post-fire hydrological and erosion processes is still poorly quantified in many parts of the world, including Portugal. Another important gap in fire-related research stills to be the impacts of wildfire on soil fertility losses, in particular through erosion by runoff. Both research gaps were addressed in this study, following a wildfire that took place in July 2013 in Talhadas (Sever do Vouga, Aveiro) and burnt circa 815 ha. In the burnt area and the surrounding unburnt areas, six study sites were selected and, immediately after the fire, instrumented with slope-scale runoff plots. Two of the sites were long-unburnt, two were burnt at low severity and the other two were burnt at high severity; for all of them one being covered by a Eucalyptus globulus plantation and the other by a Pinus pinaster plantation. Following the instrumentation of the sites, runoff was measured at 1- to 2-weekly intervals and, whenever possible, runoff samples were collected for subsequent analysis in the laboratory with respect to total suspended sediments content and total nitrogen and total phosphorus concentrations. The results obtained in this study showed that the severity of the fire played a more important role in the loss of nutrients and solids than the type of vegetation. While the occurrence of fire markedly increased soil (fertility) losses, this effect

  15. Historical dominance of low-severity fire in dry and wet mixed-conifer forest habitats of the endangered terrestrial Jemez Mountains salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margolis, Ellis; Malevich, Steven B.

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic alteration of ecosystem processes confounds forest management and conservation of rare, declining species. Restoration of forest structure and fire hazard reduction are central goals of forest management policy in the western United States, but restoration priorities and treatments have become increasingly contentious. Numerous studies have documented changes in fire regimes, forest stand structure and species composition following a century of fire exclusion in dry, frequent-fire forests of the western U.S. (e.g., ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer). In contrast, wet mixed-conifer forests are thought to have historically burned infrequently with mixed- or high-severity fire—resulting in reduced impacts from fire exclusion and low restoration need—but data are limited. In this study we quantified the current forest habitat of the federally endangered, terrestrial Jemez Mountains salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus) and compared it to dendroecological reconstructions of historical habitat (e.g., stand structure and composition), and fire regime parameters along a gradient from upper ponderosa pine to wet mixed-conifer forests. We found that current fire-free intervals in Jemez Mountains salamander habitat (116–165 years) are significantly longer than historical intervals, even in wet mixed-conifer forests. Historical mean fire intervals ranged from 10 to 42 years along the forest gradient. Low-severity fires were historically dominant across all forest types (92 of 102 fires). Although some mixed- or highseverity fire historically occurred at 67% of the plots over the last four centuries, complete mortality within 1.0 ha plots was rare, and asynchronous within and among sites. Climate was an important driver of temporal variability in fire severity, such that mixed- and high-severity fires were associated with more extreme drought than low-severity fires. Tree density in dry conifer forests historically ranged from open (90 trees/ha) to

  16. The role of forest fire severity on vegetation recovery after 18 years. Implications for forest management of Quercus suber L. in Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francos, Marcos; Úbeda, Xavier; Tort, Joan; Panareda, Josep María; Cerdà, Artemio

    2016-10-01

    Wildfires are a widespread phenomenon in Mediterranean environments. Wildfires result in different fire severities, and then in contrasting plant cover and floristic composition. This paper analyses the recovery of the vegetation eighteen years after a wildfire in Catalonia. The Pinus pinaster ssp. forest was affected by three different severities in July 1994, and studied the spring of 1995 and again in 2008. After eighteen years (2012), our research found that burnt sites constitute a dense forest with a broad variety of species, including many young pines, shrubs and herbaceous plants, but that the risk of fire remains very high, due to the large quantity of fuel and the flammability of the species. The management of the post-fire is critical when high severity fires take places, and it is recommended that high-severity fires must be avoided for a sustainable forest management. We recommend that once the timber (Pinus plantations) production is not profitable, Quercus suber L. and Pinus pinaster ssp. forest should be promoted, and pine plantations avoided.

  17. "Fire Moss" Cover and Function in Severely Burned Forests of the Western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grover, H.; Doherty, K.; Sieg, C.; Robichaud, P. R.; Fulé, P. Z.; Bowker, M.

    2017-12-01

    With wildfires increasing in severity and extent throughout the Western United States, land managers need new tools to stabilize recently burned ecosystems. "Fire moss" consists of three species, Ceratodon purpureus, Funaria hygrometrica, and Bryum argentum. These mosses colonize burned landscapes quickly, aggregate soils, have extremely high water holding capacity, and can be grown rapidly ex-situ. In this talk, I will focus on our efforts to understand how Fire Moss naturally interacts with severely burned landscapes. We examined 14 fires in Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, and Idaho selecting a range of times since fire, and stratified plots within each wildfire by winter insolation and elevation. At 75+ plots we measured understory plant cover, ground cover, Fire Moss cover, and Fire Moss reproductive effort. On plots in the Southwest, we measured a suite of soil characteristics on moss covered and adjacent bare soil including aggregate stability, shear strength, compressional strength, and infiltration rates. Moss cover ranged from 0-75% with a mean of 16% across all plots and was inversely related to insolation (R2 = .32, p = stability and infiltration rates as adjacent bare ground. These results will allow us to model locations where Fire Moss will naturally increase postfire hillslope soil stability, locations for targeting moss restoration efforts, and suggest that Fire Moss could be a valuable tool to mitigate post wildfire erosion.

  18. Fire and forest meteorology

    Science.gov (United States)

    SA Ferguson; T.J. Brown; M. Flannigan

    2005-01-01

    The American Meteorological Society symposia series on Fire and Forest Meteorology provides biennial forums for atmospheric and fire scientists to introduce and discuss the latest and most relevant research on weather, climate and fire. This special issue highlights significant work that was presented at the Fifth Symposium in Orlando, Florida during 16-20 November...

  19. Are High-Severity Fires Burning at Much Higher Rates Recently than Historically in Dry-Forest Landscapes of the Western USA?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, William L

    2015-01-01

    Dry forests at low elevations in temperate-zone mountains are commonly hypothesized to be at risk of exceptional rates of severe fire from climatic change and land-use effects. Their setting is fire-prone, they have been altered by land-uses, and fire severity may be increasing. However, where fires were excluded, increased fire could also be hypothesized as restorative of historical fire. These competing hypotheses are not well tested, as reference data prior to widespread land-use expansion were insufficient. Moreover, fire-climate projections were lacking for these forests. Here, I used new reference data and records of high-severity fire from 1984-2012 across all dry forests (25.5 million ha) of the western USA to test these hypotheses. I also approximated projected effects of climatic change on high-severity fire in dry forests by applying existing projections. This analysis showed the rate of recent high-severity fire in dry forests is within the range of historical rates, or is too low, overall across dry forests and individually in 42 of 43 analysis regions. Significant upward trends were lacking overall from 1984-2012 for area burned and fraction burned at high severity. Upward trends in area burned at high severity were found in only 4 of 43 analysis regions. Projections for A.D. 2046-2065 showed high-severity fire would generally be still operating at, or have been restored to historical rates, although high projections suggest high-severity fire rotations that are too short could ensue in 6 of 43 regions. Programs to generally reduce fire severity in dry forests are not supported and have significant adverse ecological impacts, including reducing habitat for native species dependent on early-successional burned patches and decreasing landscape heterogeneity that confers resilience to climatic change. Some adverse ecological effects of high-severity fires are concerns. Managers and communities can improve our ability to live with high-severity fire in

  20. Heterogeneity in fire severity within early season and late season prescribed burns in a mixed-conifer forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, E.E.; Keeley, J.E.

    2006-01-01

    Structural heterogeneity in forests of the Sierra Nevada was historically produced through variation in fire regimes and local environmental factors. The amount of heterogeneity that prescription burning can achieve might now be more limited owing to high fuel loads and increased fuel continuity. Topography, woody fuel loading, and vegetative composition were quantified in plots within replicated early and late season burn units. Two indices of fire severity were evaluated in the same plots after the burns. Scorch height ranged from 2.8 to 25.4 m in early season plots and 3.1 to 38.5 m in late season plots, whereas percentage of ground surface burned ranged from 24 to 96% in early season plots and from 47 to 100% in late season plots. Scorch height was greatest in areas with steeper slopes, higher basal area of live trees, high percentage of basal area composed of pine, and more small woody fuel. Percentage of area burned was greatest in areas with less bare ground and rock cover (more fuel continuity), steeper slopes, and units burned in the fall (lower fuel moisture). Thus topographic and biotic factors still contribute to the abundant heterogeneity in fire severity with prescribed burning, even under the current high fuel loading conditions. Burning areas with high fuel loads in early season when fuels are moister may lead to patterns of heterogeneity in fire effects that more closely approximate the expected patchiness of historical fires.

  1. Forest Fire Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucca, Carol; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Presents a model that integrates high school science with the needs of the local scientific community. Describes how a high school ecology class conducted scientific research in fire ecology that benefited the students and a state park forest ecologist. (MKR)

  2. Resilience of Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems and fire severity in semiarid areas: Responses of Aleppo pine forests in the short, mid and long term.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-De Vega, S; De Las Heras, J; Moya, D

    2016-12-15

    In recent decades, the fire regime of the Mediterranean Basin has been disturbed by various factors: climate change; forest management policies; land cover; changed landscape. Size and severity have notably increased, which in turn have increased large fires events with >500ha burned (high severity). In spite of Mediterranean ecosystems' high resilience to fire, these changes have implied more vulnerability and reduced natural recovery with irreparable long-term negative effects. Knowledge of the response of ecosystems to increasing severity, mainly in semiarid areas, is still lacking, which is needed to rehabilitate and restore burned areas. Our approach assessed the resilience concept by focusing on the recovery of ecosystem functions and services, measured as changes in the composition and diversity of plant community vegetation and structure. This will be validated in the long term as a model of ecosystem response. Also, depending on the pre-fire characteristics of vegetation, fire severity and the post-fire management, this approach will lead to tools that can be applied to implement post-fire restoration efforts in order to help decision making in planning activities. Regarding Mediterranean ecosystems' ability to recover after wildfires, this study concludes that pre-fire communities are resilient in these fire-prone areas, but the window for natural recovery in semiarid areas of Aleppo pine forest in SE Iberian Peninsula varied from 3 to 15 post-fire years. Fire severity was also key for effects on the ecosystem: the vegetation types of areas burned with low and medium severity recovered naturally, while those areas with a high-severity burn induced shrublands. We concluded that very strong regeneration activity exists in the short term, and that the negative effects of medium- and high-severity fire are evidenced in the mid and long term, which affect natural recovery. Adaptive forest management to rehabilitate and restore burned Mediterranean ecosystems

  3. Unsupported inferences of high-severity fire in historical dry forests of the western United States: Response to Williams and Baker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulé, Peter Z.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Brown, Peter M.; Falk, Donald A.; Peterson, David L.; Allen, Craig D.; Aplet, Gregory H.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Binkley, Dan; Farris, Calvin; Keane, Robert E.; Margolis, Ellis Q.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri; Miller, Carol; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; Skinner, Carl; Stephens, Scott L.; Taylor, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Reconstructions of dry western US forests in the late 19th century in Arizona, Colorado and Oregon based on General Land Office records were used by Williams & Baker (2012; Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21, 1042–1052; hereafter W&B) to infer past fire regimes with substantial moderate and high-severity burning. The authors concluded that present-day large, high-severity fires are not distinguishable from historical patterns. We present evidence of important errors in their study. First, the use of tree size distributions to reconstruct past fire severity and extent is not supported by empirical age–size relationships nor by studies that directly quantified disturbance history in these forests. Second, the fire severity classification of W&B is qualitatively different from most modern classification schemes, and is based on different types of data, leading to an inappropriate comparison. Third, we note that while W&B asserted ‘surprising’ heterogeneity in their reconstructions of stand density and species composition, their data are not substantially different from many previous studies which reached very different conclusions about subsequent forest and fire behaviour changes. Contrary to the conclusions of W&B, the preponderance of scientific evidence indicates that conservation of dry forest ecosystems in the western United States and their ecological, social and economic value is not consistent with a present-day disturbance regime of large, high-severity fires, especially under changing climate

  4. The influence of burn severity on post-fire vegetation recovery and albedo change during early succession in North American boreal forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Y.; Randerson, J. T.; Goetz, S. J.; Beck, P. S.; Loranty, M. M.; Goulden, M.

    2011-12-01

    Severity of burning can influence multiple aspects of forest composition, carbon cycling, and climate forcing. We quantified how burn severity affected vegetation recovery and albedo change during early succession in Canadian boreal regions by combining satellite observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Canadian Large Fire Data Base (LFDB). We used the difference Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) and changes in spring albedo derived from MODIS 500m albedo product as measures of burn severity. We found that the most severe burns had the greatest reduction in summer EVI in first year after fire, indicating greater loss of vegetation cover immediately following fire. By 5-7 years after fire, summer EVI for all severity classes had recovered to within 90-110% of pre-fire levels. Burn severity had a positive effect on the increase of post-fire spring albedo during the first 7 years after fire, and a shift from low to moderate or moderate to severe fires led to amplification of the post-fire albedo increase by approximately 30%. Fire-induced increases in both spring and summer albedo became progressively larger with stand age from years 1-7, with the trend in spring albedo likely driven by continued losses of needles and branches from trees killed by the fire (and concurrent losses of black carbon coatings on remaining debris), and the summer trend associated with increases in leaf area of short-stature herbs and shrubs. Our results suggest that increases in burn severity and carbon losses observed in some areas of boreal forests (e.g., Turetsky et al., 2011) may be at least partly offset by increases in negative forcing associated with changes in surface albedo.

  5. Modeling the effects of fire severity and climate warming on active layer thickness and soil carbon storage of black spruce forests across the landscape in interior Alaska

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Genet, H; Euskirchen, E S; McGuire, A D; Barrett, K; Breen, A; Bennett, A; Rupp, T S; Johnstone, J F; Kasischke, E S; Melvin, A M; Mack, M C; Schuur, A E G; Turetsky, M R; Yuan, F

    2013-01-01

    There is a substantial amount of carbon stored in the permafrost soils of boreal forest ecosystems, where it is currently protected from decomposition. The surface organic horizons insulate the deeper soil from variations in atmospheric temperature. The removal of these insulating horizons through consumption by fire increases the vulnerability of permafrost to thaw, and the carbon stored in permafrost to decomposition. In this study we ask how warming and fire regime may influence spatial and temporal changes in active layer and carbon dynamics across a boreal forest landscape in interior Alaska. To address this question, we (1) developed and tested a predictive model of the effect of fire severity on soil organic horizons that depends on landscape-level conditions and (2) used this model to evaluate the long-term consequences of warming and changes in fire regime on active layer and soil carbon dynamics of black spruce forests across interior Alaska. The predictive model of fire severity, designed from the analysis of field observations, reproduces the effect of local topography (landform category, the slope angle and aspect and flow accumulation), weather conditions (drought index, soil moisture) and fire characteristics (day of year and size of the fire) on the reduction of the organic layer caused by fire. The integration of the fire severity model into an ecosystem process-based model allowed us to document the relative importance and interactions among local topography, fire regime and climate warming on active layer and soil carbon dynamics. Lowlands were more resistant to severe fires and climate warming, showing smaller increases in active layer thickness and soil carbon loss compared to drier flat uplands and slopes. In simulations that included the effects of both warming and fire at the regional scale, fire was primarily responsible for a reduction in organic layer thickness of 0.06 m on average by 2100 that led to an increase in active layer thickness

  6. Use of remote sensing tools for severity analysis and greenhouse gases estimation in large forest fires. Case study of La Rufina forest fire, VI Region of L. G. B. O´Higgins, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Vidal

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Wildfires destroy thousands of hectares of vegetation every year in Chile, a phenomenon that has steadily increased over time, both in terms of the number of fires and the area affected. Since 1985 until 2016 have occurred 1,476 wildfires severe in intensity (> 200 ha, that burned a total of about 1,243,407 ha of vegetation, and an average of 40,000 ha affected per year. Depending on the type and intensity of the fire, there are different levels of severity with which the fire affects the vegetation, a variation that is crucial for the estimation GEI in the event. The purpose of this research was to analyze the burn severity of Rufina wildfires occurred in 1999, in the VI Region of L. G. B. O’Higgins in Chile, south of the capital Santiago, using Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 7 ETM+ imagery, including in the analysis the estimated greenhouse gases emitted in relation to with the vegetation and burn severity. Burn severity was estimated through the Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR and GEI with the equation proposed by IPCC in 2006, which was adjusted with the combustion efficiency coefficients proposed by De Santis et al. (2010. The results show that around 16,783 ha were affected by fires of different severity and the native forest and tree plantations were affected by high severity. The ton of GEI for each level of burn severity and type of vegetation was estimated, being carbon dioxide (CO2 the main GEI emitted to the atmosphere in the fire. The highest emissions occurred in the areas of grasslands and scrublands, with high severity, with values ranging between 186 and 170 t/ha respectively

  7. Detecting post-fire burn severity and vegetation recovery using multitemporal remote sensing spectral indices and field-collected composite burn index data in a ponderosa pine forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xuexia; Vogelmann, James E.; Rollins, Matt; Ohlen, Donald; Key, Carl H.; Yang, Limin; Huang, Chengquan; Shi, Hua

    2011-01-01

    It is challenging to detect burn severity and vegetation recovery because of the relatively long time period required to capture the ecosystem characteristics. Multitemporal remote sensing data can providemultitemporal observations before, during and after a wildfire, and can improve the change detection accuracy. The goal of this study is to examine the correlations between multitemporal spectral indices and field-observed burn severity, and to provide a practical method to estimate burn severity and vegetation recovery. The study site is the Jasper Fire area in the Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota, that burned during August and September 2000. Six multitemporal Landsat images acquired from 2000 (pre-fire), 2001 (post-fire), 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 were used to assess burn severity. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), enhanced vegetation index (EVI), normalized burn ratio (NBR), integrated forest index (IFI) and the differences of these indices between the pre-fire and post-fire years were computed and analysed with 66 field-based composite burn index (CBI) plots collected in 2002. Results showed that differences of NDVI and differences of EVI between the pre-fire year and the first two years post-fire were highly correlated with the CBI scores. The correlations were low beyond the second year post-fire. Differences of NBR had good correlation with CBI scores in all study years. Differences of IFI had low correlation with CBI in the first year post-fire and had good correlation in later years. A CBI map of the burnt area was produced using regression tree models and the multitemporal images. The dynamics of four spectral indices from 2000 to 2007 indicated that both NBR and IFI are valuable for monitoring long-term vegetation recovery. The high burn severity areas had a much slower recovery than the moderate and low burn areas.

  8. Evidence of fuels management and fire weather influencing fire severity in an extreme fire event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lydersen, Jamie M; Collins, Brandon M; Brooks, Matthew L; Matchett, John R; Shive, Kristen L; Povak, Nicholas A; Kane, Van R; Smith, Douglas F

    2017-10-01

    Following changes in vegetation structure and pattern, along with a changing climate, large wildfire incidence has increased in forests throughout the western United States. Given this increase, there is great interest in whether fuels treatments and previous wildfire can alter fire severity patterns in large wildfires. We assessed the relative influence of previous fuels treatments (including wildfire), fire weather, vegetation, and water balance on fire-severity in the Rim Fire of 2013. We did this at three different spatial scales to investigate whether the influences on fire severity changed across scales. Both fuels treatments and previous low to moderate-severity wildfire reduced the prevalence of high-severity fire. In general, areas without recent fuels treatments and areas that previously burned at high severity tended to have a greater proportion of high-severity fire in the Rim Fire. Areas treated with prescribed fire, especially when combined with thinning, had the lowest proportions of high severity. The proportion of the landscape burned at high severity was most strongly influenced by fire weather and proportional area previously treated for fuels or burned by low to moderate severity wildfire. The proportion treated needed to effectively reduce the amount of high severity fire varied by spatial scale of analysis, with smaller spatial scales requiring a greater proportion treated to see an effect on fire severity. When moderate and high-severity fire encountered a previously treated area, fire severity was significantly reduced in the treated area relative to the adjacent untreated area. Our results show that fuels treatments and low to moderate-severity wildfire can reduce fire severity in a subsequent wildfire, even when burning under fire growth conditions. These results serve as further evidence that both fuels treatments and lower severity wildfire can increase forest resilience. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. Biophysical Mechanistic Modelling Quantifies the Effects of Plant Traits on Fire Severity: Species, Not Surface Fuel Loads, Determine Flame Dimensions in Eucalypt Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zylstra, Philip; Bradstock, Ross A; Bedward, Michael; Penman, Trent D; Doherty, Michael D; Weber, Rodney O; Gill, A Malcolm; Cary, Geoffrey J

    2016-01-01

    The influence of plant traits on forest fire behaviour has evolutionary, ecological and management implications, but is poorly understood and frequently discounted. We use a process model to quantify that influence and provide validation in a diverse range of eucalypt forests burnt under varying conditions. Measured height of consumption was compared to heights predicted using a surface fuel fire behaviour model, then key aspects of our model were sequentially added to this with and without species-specific information. Our fully specified model had a mean absolute error 3.8 times smaller than the otherwise identical surface fuel model (p fire severity are the species of plants present rather than the surface fuel load, and demonstrate the accuracy and versatility of the model for quantifying this.

  10. Fighting forest fires in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    José Carlos Mendes de Morais

    2013-01-01

    Fire has been used in Brazil for many years, but the increased use of this tool, combined with natural events and the presence of large forest and agricultural areas, has led to a significant jump in the number of forest fires, most of them caused by accident. To optimize existing resources and to cope with growing demand, action levels were adopted according to the...

  11. Modern fire regime resembles historical fire regime in a ponderosa pine forest on Native American land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amanda B. Stan; Peter Z. Fule; Kathryn B. Ireland; Jamie S. Sanderlin

    2014-01-01

    Forests on tribal lands in the western United States have seen the return of low-intensity surface fires for several decades longer than forests on non-tribal lands. We examined the surface fire regime in a ponderosa pinedominated (Pinus ponderosa) forest on the Hualapai tribal lands in the south-western United States. Using fire-scarred trees, we inferred temporal (...

  12. Modeling Fire Severity in Black Spruce Stands in the Alaskan Boreal Forest Using Spectral and Non-Spectral Geospatial Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, K.; Kasischke, E. S.; McGuire, A. D.; Turetsky, M. R.; Kane, E. S.

    2010-01-01

    Biomass burning in the Alaskan interior is already a major disturbance and source of carbon emissions, and is likely to increase in response to the warming and drying predicted for the future climate. In addition to quantifying changes to the spatial and temporal patterns of burned areas, observing variations in severity is the key to studying the impact of changes to the fire regime on carbon cycling, energy budgets, and post-fire succession. Remote sensing indices of fire severity have not consistently been well-correlated with in situ observations of important severity characteristics in Alaskan black spruce stands, including depth of burning of the surface organic layer. The incorporation of ancillary data such as in situ observations and GIS layers with spectral data from Landsat TM/ETM+ greatly improved efforts to map the reduction of the organic layer in burned black spruce stands. Using a regression tree approach, the R2 of the organic layer depth reduction models was 0.60 and 0.55 (pb0.01) for relative and absolute depth reduction, respectively. All of the independent variables used by the regression tree to estimate burn depth can be obtained independently of field observations. Implementation of a gradient boosting algorithm improved the R2 to 0.80 and 0.79 (pb0.01) for absolute and relative organic layer depth reduction, respectively. Independent variables used in the regression tree model of burn depth included topographic position, remote sensing indices related to soil and vegetation characteristics, timing of the fire event, and meteorological data. Post-fire organic layer depth characteristics are determined for a large (N200,000 ha) fire to identify areas that are potentially vulnerable to a shift in post-fire succession. This application showed that 12% of this fire event experienced fire severe enough to support a change in post-fire succession. We conclude that non-parametric models and ancillary data are useful in the modeling of the surface

  13. How resilient are southwestern ponderosa pine forests after crown fires?

    OpenAIRE

    Savage, M; Mast, J N

    2005-01-01

    The exclusion of low-severity surface fire from ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson) forests of the Southwest has changed ecosystem structure and function such that severe crown fires are increasingly causing extensive stand mortality. This altered fire regime has resulted from the intersection of natural drought cycles with human activities that have suppressed natural fires for over a century. What is the trajectory of forest recovery after such fires? This study explores the reg...

  14. Forest fires and air quality issues in southern Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ana Isabel Miranda; Enrico Marchi; Marco Ferretti; Millán M. Millán

    2009-01-01

    Each summer forest fires in southern Europe emit large quantities of pollutants to the atmosphere. These fires can generate a number of air pollution episodes as measured by air quality monitoring networks. We analyzed the impact of forest fires on air quality of specific regions of southern Europe. Data from several summer seasons were studied with the aim of...

  15. Identifying the location of fire refuges in wet forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Laurence E; Driscoll, Don A; Stein, John A; Blanchard, Wade; Banks, Sam C; Bradstock, Ross A; Lindenmayer, David B

    2015-12-01

    The increasing frequency of large, high-severity fires threatens the survival of old-growth specialist fauna in fire-prone forests. Within topographically diverse montane forests, areas that experience less severe or fewer fires compared with those prevailing in the landscape may present unique resource opportunities enabling old-growth specialist fauna to survive. Statistical landscape models that identify the extent and distribution of potential fire refuges may assist land managers to incorporate these areas into relevant biodiversity conservation strategies. We used a case study in an Australian wet montane forest to establish how predictive fire simulation models can be interpreted as management tools to identify potential fire refuges. We examined the relationship between the probability of fire refuge occurrence as predicted by an existing fire refuge model and fire severity experienced during a large wildfire. We also examined the extent to which local fire severity was influenced by fire severity in the surrounding landscape. We used a combination of statistical approaches, including generalized linear modeling, variogram analysis, and receiver operating characteristics and area under the curve analysis (ROC AUC). We found that the amount of unburned habitat and the factors influencing the retention and location of fire refuges varied with fire conditions. Under extreme fire conditions, the distribution of fire refuges was limited to only extremely sheltered, fire-resistant regions of the landscape. During extreme fire conditions, fire severity patterns were largely determined by stochastic factors that could not be predicted by the model. When fire conditions were moderate, physical landscape properties appeared to mediate fire severity distribution. Our study demonstrates that land managers can employ predictive landscape fire models to identify the broader climatic and spatial domain within which fire refuges are likely to be present. It is essential

  16. Real time forest fire warning and forest fire risk zoning: a Vietnamese case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, T.; Pham, D.; Phung, T.; Ha, A.; Paschke, M.

    2016-12-01

    Forest fire occurs seriously in Vietnam and has been considered as one of the major causes of forest lost and degradation. Several studies of forest fire risk warning were conducted using Modified Nesterov Index (MNI) but remaining shortcomings and inaccurate predictions that needs to be urgently improved. In our study, several important topographic and social factors such as aspect, slope, elevation, distance to residential areas and road system were considered as "permanent" factors while meteorological data were updated hourly using near-real-time (NRT) remotely sensed data (i.e. MODIS Terra/Aqua and TRMM) for the prediction and warning of fire. Due to the limited number of weather stations in Vietnam, data from all active stations (i.e. 178) were used with the satellite data to calibrate and upscale meteorological variables. These data with finer resolution were then used to generate MNI. The only significant "permanent" factors were selected as input variables based on the correlation coefficients that computed from multi-variable regression among true fire-burning (collected from 1/2007) and its spatial characteristics. These coefficients also used to suggest appropriate weight for computing forest fire risk (FR) model. Forest fire risk model was calculated from the MNI and the selected factors using fuzzy regression models (FRMs) and GIS based multi-criteria analysis. By this approach, the FR was slightly modified from MNI by the integrated use of various factors in our fire warning and prediction model. Multifactor-based maps of forest fire risk zone were generated from classifying FR into three potential danger levels. Fire risk maps were displayed using webgis technology that is easy for managing data and extracting reports. Reported fire-burnings thereafter have been used as true values for validating the forest fire risk. Fire probability has strong relationship with potential danger levels (varied from 5.3% to 53.8%) indicating that the higher

  17. The Short Term Effects of Fire Severity on Composition and Diversity of Soil Seed Bank in Zagros Forest Ecosystem, Servan County

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Heydari

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In most ecosystems, disturbance is an important agent of variation in community structure and composition. Determining the diversity and composition of soil seed bank is essential for designing conservation and restoration programs because it can markedly contribute to future plant communities. Despite the important role of soil seed banks in the composition of different plant communities, and thus in their conservation, the floristic studies in Zagros forests have only focused on aboveground vegetation. In this study, the characteristics of soil seed banks were examined in three conditions after one year of fire high severity burned, low severity burned and control (not burned in Shirvanchardavol city in northeast of Ilam Province. The result of DCA showed that different fire severities and their effects on site conditions have been reflected clearly in the composition of the soil seed bank. The results also indicated that soil seed bank composition between control and high severity burned spots was specifically different. The shanon diversity, Margalef richness and evenness indices differed significantly between three treatments and the highest diversity was observed at low severity. In this regard the proportion of annual forbs tended to decrease with increasing severity of fire. In soil seed bank, Therophytes were the dominant life form of low severity burned and control spots and Hemichryptophytes were dominant in high severity burned spots.

  18. Global warming and the forest fire business in Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stocks, B.J.

    1991-01-01

    The current forest fire situation in Canada is outlined, and an attempt is made to predict the impact of global warming on the forest fire business in Canada. Despite the development of extremely sophisticated provincial and territorial fire management systems, forest fires continue to exert a tremendous influence on the Canadian forest resource. Research into the relationship between climate warming and forest fires has fallen into two categories: the effect of future global warming on fire weather severity, and the current contribution of forest fires to global atmospheric greenhouse gas budgets. A 46% increase in seasonal fire severity across Canada is suggested under a doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration scenario. Approximately 89% of carbon released to the atmosphere by forest fire burning is in the form of carbon dioxide, 9% is carbon monoxide, and the remaining carbon is released as methane or non-methane hydrocarbons. It is estimated that forest fires in northern circumpolar countries contribute from 1-2% of the carbon released globally through biomass burning. Fire may be the agent by which a northerly shift of forest vegetation in Canada occurs. 13 refs., 2 figs

  19. Restoring surface fire stabilizes forest carbon under extreme fire weather in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel J. Krofcheck; Matthew D. Hurteau; Robert M. Scheller; E. Louise Loudermilk

    2017-01-01

    Climate change in the western United States has increased the frequency of extreme fire weather events and is projected to increase the area burned by wildfire in the coming decades. This changing fire regime, coupled with increased high-severity fire risk from a legacy of fire exclusion, could destabilize forest carbon (C), decrease net ecosystem exchange (...

  20. Post-fire vegetation and fuel development influences fire severity patterns in reburns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppoletta, Michelle; Merriam, Kyle E; Collins, Brandon M

    2016-04-01

    In areas where fire regimes and forest structure have been dramatically altered, there is increasing concern that contemporary fires have the potential to set forests on a positive feedback trajectory with successive reburns, one in which extensive stand-replacing fire could promote more stand-replacing fire. Our study utilized an extensive set of field plots established following four fires that occurred between 2000 and 2010 in the northern Sierra Nevada, California, USA that were subsequently reburned in 2012. The information obtained from these field plots allowed for a unique set of analyses investigating the effect of vegetation, fuels, topography, fire weather, and forest management on reburn severity. We also examined the influence of initial fire severity and time since initial fire on influential predictors of reburn severity. Our results suggest that high- to moderate-severity fire in the initial fires led to an increase in standing snags and shrub vegetation, which in combination with severe fire weather promoted high-severity fire effects in the subsequent reburn. Although fire behavior is largely driven by weather, our study demonstrates that post-fire vegetation composition and structure are also important drivers of reburn severity. In the face of changing climatic regimes and increases in extreme fire weather, these results may provide managers with options to create more fire-resilient ecosystems. In areas where frequent high-severity fire is undesirable, management activities such as thinning, prescribed fire, or managed wildland fire can be used to moderate fire behavior not only prior to initial fires, but also before subsequent reburns.

  1. Emissions of forest floor and mineral soil carbon, nitrogen and mercury pools and relationships with fire severity for the Pagami Creek Fire in the Boreal Forest of northern Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall K. Kolka; Brian R. Sturtevant; Jessica R. Miesel; Aditya Singh; Peter T. Wolter; Shawn Fraver; Thomas M. DeSutter; Phil A. Townsend

    2017-01-01

    Forest fires cause large emissions of C (carbon), N (nitrogen) and Hg (mercury) to the atmosphere and thus have important implications for global warming (e.g. via CO2 and N2O emissions), anthropogenic fertilisation of natural ecosystems (e.g. via N deposition), and bioaccumulation of harmful metals in aquatic and...

  2. The role of forest fire severity on vegetation recovery after 18 years. Implications for forest management of Quercus suber L. in Iberian Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Francos, Marcos; Úbeda, Xavier; Tort, Joan; Panareda, Josep María; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio

    2016-01-01

    Wildfires are a widespread phenomenon in Mediterranean environments. Wildfires result in different fire severities, and then in contrasting plant cover and floristic composition. This paper analyses the recovery of the vegetation eighteen years after a wildfire in Catalonia. The Pinus pinaster

  3. Effects of different types of moderate severity disturbance on forest structural complexity and ecosystem functioning: A story of ice and fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahey, R. T.; Atkins, J.; Gough, C. M.; Hardiman, B. S.; Haber, L.; Stuart-Haentjens, E.; David, O.; Campbell, J. L.; Rustad, L.; Duffy, M.

    2017-12-01

    Disturbances that alter the structure and function of forest ecosystems occur along a continuum of severity. In contrast to the extremes of the disturbance gradient (i.e., stand-replacing disturbance and small gap formation), moderate severity disturbances are poorly understood, even though they make up the majority of the gradient and their spatial extent (and likely overall importance to regional disturbance regimes) often exceeds that of more severe disturbances. Moderate severity disturbances originate from a variety of causes, such as fires, ice storms, or pest and pathogen outbreaks, and each of these could reshape structure and function in different ways. Observational data from a limited number of sites shows that moderate disturbance can increase ecosystem complexity, but the generality of this effect has not been tested across a broad range of disturbance types and severities. Here, we utilize data from a set of five case studies of experimental or natural moderate disturbance to assess the effects of different types and severities of disturbance on forest canopy structural complexity (CSC) and the relationship of canopy structure with ecosystem functioning. Using pre- and post-disturbance measures of CSC derived from aerial and terrestrial LiDAR, UAV imagery, and Landsat data we quantified changes in CSC following an experimental ice storm, a low-severity surface fire, Beech Bark Disease and Hemlock Wooly Adelgid outbreaks, and experimental accelerated succession. Our initial findings indicate that different disturbance types have highly variable effects on CSC, and also that progressive increases in disturbance severity alter CSC differently among disturbance types. Differential effects of variable disturbance types on CSC has implications for the carbon cycle, as forest structure is strongly linked with both growth-limiting resource (e.g., nutrients and light) acquisition and net primary productivity. Understanding how different types and severities of

  4. Boreal Forest Fire Cools Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randerson, J. T.; Liu, H.; Flanner, M.; Chambers, S. D.; Harden, J. W.; Hess, P. G.; Jin, Y.; Mack, M. C.; Pfister, G.; Schuur, E. A.; Treseder, K. K.; Welp, L. R.; Zender, C. S.

    2005-12-01

    We report measurements, modeling, and analysis of carbon and energy fluxes from a boreal forest fire that occurred in interior Alaska during 1999. In the first year after the fire, ozone production, atmospheric aerosol loading, greenhouse gas emissions, soot deposition, and decreases in summer albedo contributed to a positive annual radiative forcing (RF). These effects were partly offset by an increase in fall, winter, and spring albedo from reduced canopy cover and increased exposure of snow-covered surfaces. The atmospheric lifetime of aerosols and ozone and are relatively short (days to months). The radiative effects of soot on snow are also attenuated rapidly from the deposition of fresh snow. As a result, a year after the fire, only two classes of RF mechanisms remained: greenhouse gas emissions and post-fire changes in surface albedo. Summer albedo increased rapidly in subsequent years and was substantially higher than unburned control areas (by more than 0.03) after 4 years as a result of grass and shrub establishment. Satellite measurements from MODIS of other interior Alaska burn scars provided evidence that elevated levels of spring and summer albedo (relative to unburned control areas) persisted for at least 4 decades after fire. In parallel, our chamber, eddy covariance, and biomass measurements indicated that the post-fire ecosystems switch from a source to a sink within the first decade. Taken together, the extended period of increased spring and summer albedo and carbon uptake of intermediate-aged stands appears to more than offset the initial warming pulse caused by fire emissions, when compared using the RF concept. This result suggests that management of forests in northern countries to suppress fire and preserve carbon sinks may have the opposite effect on climate as that intended.

  5. Assessment of Post Forest Fire Landslides in Uttarakhand Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, N.; Singh, R. B.

    2017-12-01

    According to Forest Survey of India-State Forest Report (2015), the total geographical area of Uttarakhand is 53, 483 covers km2 out of which 24,402 km2 area covers under total forest covers. As noticed during last week of April, 2016 forest of Uttarakhand mountains was gutted down due to major incidences of fire. This incident caused huge damage to different species of flora-fauna, human being, livestock, property and destruction of mountain ecosystem. As per media reports, six people were lost their lives and recorded several charred carcasses of livestock's due to this incident. The forest fire was affected the eleven out of total thirteen districts which roughly covers the 0.2% (approx.) of total vegetation covers.The direct impact of losses are easy to be estimated but indirect impacts of this forest fire are yet to be occurred. The threat of post Forest fire induced landslides during rainfall is themain concern. Since, after forest fire top soil and rocks are loose due to loss of vegetation as binding and protecting agent against rainfall. Therefore, the pore water pressure and weathering will be very high during rainy season which can cause many landslides in regions affected by forest fire. The demarcation of areas worse affected by forest fire is necessary for issuing alerts to habitations and important infrastructures. These alerts will be based upon region specific probable rainfall forecasting through Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The main objective is to develop a tool for detecting early forest fire and to create awareness amongst mountain community, researchers and concerned government agencies to take an appropriate measures to minimize the incidences of Forest fire and impact of post forest fire landslides in future through implementation of sustainable mountain strategy.

  6. Effectiveness of Fire and Fire Surrogate Treatments For Controlling Wildfire Behavior in Piedmont Forests: A Simulation Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helen H. Mohr; Thomas A. Waldrop; Sandra Rideout; Ross J. Phillips; Charles T. Flint

    2004-01-01

    The need for fuel reduction has increased in United States forests due to decades of fire exclusion. Excessive fuel buildup has led to uncharacteristically severe fires in areas with historically short-interval, low-to-moderate-intensity fire regimes. The National Fire and Fire Surrogate (NFFS) Study compared the impacts of three fuel-reduction treatments on numerous...

  7. Impact of forest fires on particulate matter and ozone levels during the 2003, 2004 and 2005 fire seasons in Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, V; Miranda, A I; Carvalho, A; Schaap, M; Borrego, C; Sá, E

    2012-01-01

    The main purpose of this work is to estimate the impact of forest fires on air pollution applying the LOTOS-EUROS air quality modeling system in Portugal for three consecutive years, 2003-2005. Forest fire emissions have been included in the modeling system through the development of a numerical module, which takes into account the most suitable parameters for Portuguese forest fire characteristics and the burnt area by large forest fires. To better evaluate the influence of forest fires on air quality the LOTOS-EUROS system has been applied with and without forest fire emissions. Hourly concentration results have been compared to measure data at several monitoring locations with better modeling quality parameters when forest fire emissions were considered. Moreover, hourly estimates, with and without fire emissions, can reach differences in the order of 20%, showing the importance and the influence of this type of emissions on air quality. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Pyrodiversity promotes avian diversity over the decade following forest fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tingley, Morgan W; Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Viviana; Wilkerson, Robert L; Howell, Christine A; Siegel, Rodney B

    2016-10-12

    An emerging hypothesis in fire ecology is that pyrodiversity increases species diversity. We test whether pyrodiversity-defined as the standard deviation of fire severity-increases avian biodiversity at two spatial scales, and whether and how this relationship may change in the decade following fire. We use a dynamic Bayesian community model applied to a multi-year dataset of bird surveys at 1106 points sampled across 97 fires in montane California. Our results provide strong support for a positive relationship between pyrodiversity and bird diversity. This relationship interacts with time since fire, with pyrodiversity having a greater effect on biodiversity at 10 years post-fire than at 1 year post-fire. Immediately after fires, patches of differing burn severities hold similar bird communities, but over the ensuing decade, bird assemblages within patches of contrasting severities differentiate. When evaluated at the scale of individual fires, fires with a greater heterogeneity of burn severities hold substantially more species. High spatial heterogeneity in severity, sometimes called 'mixed-severity fire', is a natural part of wildfire regimes in western North America, but may be jeopardized by climate change and a legacy of fire suppression. Forest management that encourages mixed-severity fire may be critical for sustaining biodiversity across fire-prone landscapes. © 2016 The Author(s).

  9. Fire, fuels, and restoration of ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forests in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    OpenAIRE

    Baker, W. L.; Veblen, T. T.; Sherriff, R. L.

    2007-01-01

    Forest restoration in ponderosa pine and mixed ponderosa pine–Douglas fir forests in the US Rocky Mountains has been highly influenced by a historical model of frequent, low-severity surface fires developed for the ponderosa pine forests of the Southwestern USA. A restoration model, based on this low-severity fire model, focuses on thinning and prescribed burning to restore historical forest structure. However, in the US Rocky Mountains, research on fire history and forest structure, and earl...

  10. Increasing resiliency in frequent fire forests: Lessons from the Sierra Nevada and western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott L. Stephens

    2014-01-01

    This paper will primarily focus on the management and restoration of forests adapted to frequent, low-moderate intensity fire regimes. These are the forest types that are most at risk from large, high-severity wildfires and in many regions their fire regimes are changing. Fire as a landscape process can exhibit self-limiting characteristics in some forests which can...

  11. Time fluctuation analysis of forest fire sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Orozco, Carmen D.; Kanevski, Mikhaïl; Tonini, Marj; Golay, Jean; Pereira, Mário J. G.

    2013-04-01

    Forest fires are complex events involving both space and time fluctuations. Understanding of their dynamics and pattern distribution is of great importance in order to improve the resource allocation and support fire management actions at local and global levels. This study aims at characterizing the temporal fluctuations of forest fire sequences observed in Portugal, which is the country that holds the largest wildfire land dataset in Europe. This research applies several exploratory data analysis measures to 302,000 forest fires occurred from 1980 to 2007. The applied clustering measures are: Morisita clustering index, fractal and multifractal dimensions (box-counting), Ripley's K-function, Allan Factor, and variography. These algorithms enable a global time structural analysis describing the degree of clustering of a point pattern and defining whether the observed events occur randomly, in clusters or in a regular pattern. The considered methods are of general importance and can be used for other spatio-temporal events (i.e. crime, epidemiology, biodiversity, geomarketing, etc.). An important contribution of this research deals with the analysis and estimation of local measures of clustering that helps understanding their temporal structure. Each measure is described and executed for the raw data (forest fires geo-database) and results are compared to reference patterns generated under the null hypothesis of randomness (Poisson processes) embedded in the same time period of the raw data. This comparison enables estimating the degree of the deviation of the real data from a Poisson process. Generalizations to functional measures of these clustering methods, taking into account the phenomena, were also applied and adapted to detect time dependences in a measured variable (i.e. burned area). The time clustering of the raw data is compared several times with the Poisson processes at different thresholds of the measured function. Then, the clustering measure value

  12. Trends and causes of severity, size, and number of fires in northwestern California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. D. Miller; Carl Skinner; H. D. Safford; Eric E. Knapp; C. M. Ramirez

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last several years has indicated that fire size and frequency are on the rise in western U.S. forests. Although fire size and frequency are important, they do not necessarily scale with ecosystem effects of fire, as different ecosystems have different ecological and evolutionary relationships with fire. Our study assessed trends and patterns in fire...

  13. Application Study of Fire Severity Classification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, In Hwan; Kim, Hyeong Taek; Jee, Moon Hak; Kim, Yun Jung

    2013-01-01

    This paper introduces the Fire Incidents Severity Classification Method for Korean NPPs that may be derived directly from the data fields and feasibility study for domestic uses. FEDB was characterized in more detail and assessed based on the significance of fire incidents in the updated database and five fire severity categories were defined. The logical approach to determine the fire severity starts from the most severe characteristics, namely challenging fires, and continues to define the less challenging and undetermined categories in progress. If the FEDB is utilized for Korean NPPs, the ways of Fire Severity Classification suggested in 2.4 above can be utilized for the quantitative fire risk analysis in future. The Fire Events Database (FEDB) is the primary source of fire data which are used for fire frequency in Fire PSA (Probabilistic Safety Assessment). The purpose of its development is to calculate the quantitative fire frequency at the comprehensive and consolidated source derived from the fire incident information available for Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs). Recently, the Fire Events Database (FEDB) was updated by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in U. S. The FEDB is intended to update the fire event history up to 2009. A significant enhancement to it is the reorganization and refinement of the database structure and data fields. It has been expanded and improved data fields, coding consistency, incident detail, data review fields, and reference data source traceability. It has been designed to better support several Fire PRA uses as well

  14. Natural Variability of Mexican Forest Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasco-Herrera, Graciela; Velasco Herrera, Victor Manuel; Kemper-Valverdea, N.

    The purpose of this paper was 1) to present a new algorithm for analyzing the forest fires, 2) to discuss the present understanding of the natural variability at different scales with special emphasis on Mexico conditions since 1972, 3) to analyze the internal and external factors affecting forest fires for example ENSO and Total Solar Irradiance, and 4) to discuss the implications of this knowledge, on research and on restoration and management methods, which purpose is to enhance forest biodiversity conservation. 5) We present an estimate of the Mexican forest fires for the next decade. These results may be useful to minimize human and economic losses.

  15. Assessing fire impacts on the carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Lauren T; Bruce, Matthew J; Machunter, Josephine; Kohout, Michele; Krishnaraj, Saravanan Jangammanaidu; Aponte, Cristina

    2017-12-01

    The carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests is often assumed but less frequently assessed, limiting the potential to anticipate threats to forest carbon posed by predicted increases in forest fire activity. Assessing the carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests requires multi-indicator approaches that recognize the myriad ways that fires influence the carbon balance, including combustion, deposition of pyrogenic material, and tree death, post-fire decomposition, recruitment, and growth. Five years after a large-scale wildfire in southeastern Australia, we assessed the impacts of low- and high-severity wildfire, with and without prescribed fire (≤10 yr before), on carbon stocks in multiple pools, and on carbon stability indicators (carbon stock percentages in live trees and in small trees, and carbon stocks in char and fuels) in fire-tolerant eucalypt forests. Relative to unburned forest, high-severity wildfire decreased short-term (five-year) carbon stability by significantly decreasing live tree carbon stocks and percentage stocks in live standing trees (reflecting elevated tree mortality), by increasing the percentage of live tree carbon in small trees (those vulnerable to the next fire), and by potentially increasing the probability of another fire through increased elevated fine fuel loads. In contrast, low-severity wildfire enhanced carbon stability by having negligible effects on aboveground stocks and indicators, and by significantly increasing carbon stocks in char and, in particular, soils, indicating pyrogenic carbon accumulation. Overall, recent preceding prescribed fire did not markedly influence wildfire effects on short-term carbon stability at stand scales. Despite wide confidence intervals around mean stock differences, indicating uncertainty about the magnitude of fire effects in these natural forests, our assessment highlights the need for active management of carbon assets in fire-tolerant eucalypt forests under contemporary fire regimes

  16. Fuels planning: science synthesis and integration; forest structure and fire hazard fact sheet 01: forest structure and fire hazard overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocky Mountain Research Station USDA Forest Service

    2004-01-01

    Many managers and policymakers guided by the National Environmental Policy Act process want to understand the scientific principles on which they can base fuel treatments for reducing the size and severity of wildfires. These Forest Structure and Fire Hazard fact sheets discuss how to estimate fire hazard, how to visualize fuel treatments, and how the role of...

  17. Advanced analysis of forest fire clustering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanevski, Mikhail; Pereira, Mario; Golay, Jean

    2017-04-01

    Analysis of point pattern clustering is an important topic in spatial statistics and for many applications: biodiversity, epidemiology, natural hazards, geomarketing, etc. There are several fundamental approaches used to quantify spatial data clustering using topological, statistical and fractal measures. In the present research, the recently introduced multi-point Morisita index (mMI) is applied to study the spatial clustering of forest fires in Portugal. The data set consists of more than 30000 fire events covering the time period from 1975 to 2013. The distribution of forest fires is very complex and highly variable in space. mMI is a multi-point extension of the classical two-point Morisita index. In essence, mMI is estimated by covering the region under study by a grid and by computing how many times more likely it is that m points selected at random will be from the same grid cell than it would be in the case of a complete random Poisson process. By changing the number of grid cells (size of the grid cells), mMI characterizes the scaling properties of spatial clustering. From mMI, the data intrinsic dimension (fractal dimension) of the point distribution can be estimated as well. In this study, the mMI of forest fires is compared with the mMI of random patterns (RPs) generated within the validity domain defined as the forest area of Portugal. It turns out that the forest fires are highly clustered inside the validity domain in comparison with the RPs. Moreover, they demonstrate different scaling properties at different spatial scales. The results obtained from the mMI analysis are also compared with those of fractal measures of clustering - box counting and sand box counting approaches. REFERENCES Golay J., Kanevski M., Vega Orozco C., Leuenberger M., 2014: The multipoint Morisita index for the analysis of spatial patterns. Physica A, 406, 191-202. Golay J., Kanevski M. 2015: A new estimator of intrinsic dimension based on the multipoint Morisita index

  18. Evaluation of fire severity via analysis of photosynthetic pigments: Oak, eucalyptus and cork oak leaves in a Mediterranean forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, M; Úbeda, X

    2018-01-15

    Few studies to date have examined the effect of the high temperatures attained during wildfire events on the pigments present in forest foliage. Here, we seek to analyse the main photosynthetic pigments in the leaves of the oak, cork oak and eucalyptus following a wildfire. We also subject leaves of these last two species to a range of contact temperatures (100-500 °C) in the laboratory using a muffle furnace. The samples were left in the muffle for two hours at 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400 and 500 °C, in line with other soil study models (Úbeda et al., 2009; Düdaite et al., 2013). At temperatures above 250 °C, chromatography fails to detect any pigments. A minimal increase in temperature degrades chlorophyll, the process being more rapid in eucalyptus than in cork oak, while it increases pheophytin concentrations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The relation between forest structure and soil burn severity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theresa B. Jain; Russell T. Graham; David S. Pilliod

    2006-01-01

    A study funded through National Fire Plan evaluates the relation between pre-wildfire forest structure and post-wildfire soil burn severity across three forest types: dry, moist, and cold forests. Over 73 wildfires were sampled in Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, and Utah, which burned between 2000 and 2003. Because of the study’s breadth, the results are applicable...

  20. Forest Fire Finder - DOAS application to long-range forest fire detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente de Almeida, Rui; Vieira, Pedro

    2017-06-01

    Fires are an important factor in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Plant and animal life, in almost every land habitat, are at least partially dependent on the effects of fire. However, their destructive force, which has often proven uncontrollable, is one of our greatest concerns, effectively resulting in several policies in the most important industrialised regions of the globe. This paper aims to comprehensively characterise the Forest Fire Finder (FFF), a forest fire detection system based mainly upon a spectroscopic technique called differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). The system is designed and configured with the goal of detecting higher-than-the-horizon smoke columns by measuring and comparing scattered sunlight spectra. The article covers hardware and software, as well as their interactions and specific algorithms for day mode operation. An analysis of data retrieved from several installations deployed in the course of the last 5 years is also presented. Finally, this paper features a discussion on the most prominent future improvements planned for the system, as well as its ramifications and adaptations, such as a thermal imaging system for short-range fire seeking or environmental quality control.

  1. Composition and Structure of Forest Fire Refugia: What Are the Ecosystem Legacies across Burned Landscapes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garrett W. Meigs

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Locations within forest fires that remain unburned or burn at low severity—known as fire refugia—are important components of contemporary burn mosaics, but their composition and structure at regional scales are poorly understood. Focusing on recent, large wildfires across the US Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington, our research objectives are to (1 classify fire refugia and burn severity based on relativized spectral change in Landsat time series; (2 quantify the pre-fire composition and structure of mapped fire refugia; (3 in forested areas, assess the relative abundance of fire refugia and other burn severity classes across forest composition and structure types. We analyzed a random sample of 99 recent fires in forest-dominated landscapes from 2004 to 2015 that collectively encompassed 612,629 ha. Across the region, fire refugia extent was substantial but variable from year to year, with an annual mean of 38% of fire extent and range of 15–60%. Overall, 85% of total fire extent was forested, with the other 15% being non-forest. In comparison, 31% of fire refugia extent was non-forest prior to the most recent fire, highlighting that mapped refugia do not necessarily contain tree-based ecosystem legacies. The most prevalent non-forest cover types in refugia were vegetated: shrub (40%, herbaceous (33%, and crops (18%. In forested areas, the relative abundance of fire refugia varied widely among pre-fire forest types (20–70% and structural conditions (23–55%. Consistent with fire regime theory, fire refugia and high burn severity areas were inversely proportional. Our findings underscore that researchers, managers, and other stakeholders should interpret burn severity maps through the lens of pre-fire land cover, especially given the increasing importance of fire and fire refugia under global change.

  2. Characterization of biomass burning aerosols from forest fire in Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Y.; Iriana, W.; Okumura, M.; Lestari, P.; Tohno, S.; Akira, M.; Okuda, T.

    2012-12-01

    Biomass burning (forest fire, wild fire) is a major source of pollutants, generating an estimate of 104 Tg per year of aerosol particles worldwide. These particles have adverse human health effects and can affect the radiation budget and climate directly and indirectly. Eighty percent of biomass burning aerosols are generated in the tropics and about thirty percent of them originate in the tropical regions of Asia (Andreae, 1991). Several recent studies have reported on the organic compositions of biomass burning aerosols in the tropical regions of South America and Africa, however, there is little data about forest fire aerosols in the tropical regions of Asia. It is important to characterize biomass burning aerosols in the tropical regions of Asia because the aerosol properties vary between fires depending on type and moisture of wood, combustion phase, wind conditions, and several other variables (Reid et al., 2005). We have characterized PM2.5 fractions of biomass burning aerosols emitted from forest fire in Indonesia. During the dry season in 2012, PM2.5 aerosols from several forest fires occurring in Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia were collected on quartz and teflon filters with two mini-volume samplers. Background aerosols in forest were sampled during transition period of rainy season to dry season (baseline period). Samples were analyzed with several analytical instruments. The carbonaceous content (organic and elemental carbon, OC and EC) of the aerosols was analyzed by a thermal optical reflectance technique using IMPROVE protocol. The metal, inorganic ion and organic components of the aerosols were analyzed by X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), ion chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, respectively. There was a great difference of chemical composition between forest fire and non-forest fire samples. Smoke aerosols for forest fires events were composed of ~ 45 % OC and ~ 2.5 % EC. On the other hand, background aerosols for baseline periods were

  3. Deriving forest fire ignition risk with biogeochemical process modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastaugh, C S; Hasenauer, H

    2014-05-01

    Climate impacts the growth of trees and also affects disturbance regimes such as wildfire frequency. The European Alps have warmed considerably over the past half-century, but incomplete records make it difficult to definitively link alpine wildfire to climate change. Complicating this is the influence of forest composition and fuel loading on fire ignition risk, which is not considered by purely meteorological risk indices. Biogeochemical forest growth models track several variables that may be used as proxies for fire ignition risk. This study assesses the usefulness of the ecophysiological model BIOME-BGC's 'soil water' and 'labile litter carbon' variables in predicting fire ignition. A brief application case examines historic fire occurrence trends over pre-defined regions of Austria from 1960 to 2008. Results show that summer fire ignition risk is largely a function of low soil moisture, while winter fire ignitions are linked to the mass of volatile litter and atmospheric dryness.

  4. Deriving forest fire ignition risk with biogeochemical process modelling☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastaugh, C.S.; Hasenauer, H.

    2014-01-01

    Climate impacts the growth of trees and also affects disturbance regimes such as wildfire frequency. The European Alps have warmed considerably over the past half-century, but incomplete records make it difficult to definitively link alpine wildfire to climate change. Complicating this is the influence of forest composition and fuel loading on fire ignition risk, which is not considered by purely meteorological risk indices. Biogeochemical forest growth models track several variables that may be used as proxies for fire ignition risk. This study assesses the usefulness of the ecophysiological model BIOME-BGC's ‘soil water’ and ‘labile litter carbon’ variables in predicting fire ignition. A brief application case examines historic fire occurrence trends over pre-defined regions of Austria from 1960 to 2008. Results show that summer fire ignition risk is largely a function of low soil moisture, while winter fire ignitions are linked to the mass of volatile litter and atmospheric dryness. PMID:26109905

  5. A heuristic expert system for forest fire guidance in Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iliadis, Lazaros S; Papastavrou, Anastasios K; Lefakis, Panagiotis D

    2002-07-01

    Forests and forestlands are common inheritance for all Greeks and a piece of the national wealth that must be handed over to the next generations in the best possible condition. After 1974, Greece faces a severe forest fire problem and forest fire forecasting is the process that will enable the Greek ministry of Agriculture to reduce the destruction. This paper describes the basic design principles of an Expert System that performs forest fire forecasting (for the following fire season) and classification of the prefectures of Greece into forest fire risk zones. The Expert system handles uncertainty and uses heuristics in order to produce scenarios based on the presence or absence of various qualitative factors. The initial research focused on the construction of a mathematical model which attempted to describe the annual number of forest fires and burnt area in Greece based on historical data. However this has proven to be impossible using regression analysis and time series. A closer analysis of the fire data revealed that two qualitative factors dramatically affect the number of forest fires and the hectares of burnt areas annually. The first is political stability and national elections and the other is drought cycles. Heuristics were constructed that use political stability and drought cycles, to provide forest fire guidance. Fuzzy logic was applied to produce a fuzzy expected interval for each prefecture of Greece. A fuzzy expected interval is a narrow interval of values that best describes the situation in the country or a part of the country for a certain time period. A successful classification of the prefectures of Greece in forest fire risk zones was done by the system, by comparing the fuzzy expected intervals to each other. The system was tested for the years 1994 and 1995. The testing has clearly shown that the system can predict accurately, the number of forest fires for each prefecture for the following year. The average accuracy was as high as 85

  6. Burn Severities, Fire Intensities, and Impacts to Major Vegation Types from the Cerro Grande Fire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balice, R.G.; Bennett, K.D.; Wright, M.A.

    2005-01-01

    The Cerro Grande Fire resulted in major impacts and changes to the ecosystems that were burned. To partially document these effects, we estimated the acreage of major vegetation types that were burned at selected burn severity levels and fire intensity levels. To accomplish this, we adopted independently developed burn severity and fire intensity maps, in combination with a land cover map developed for habitat management purposes, as a basis for the analysis. To provide a measure of confidence in the acreage estimates, the accuracies of these maps were also assessed. In addition, two other maps of comparable quality were assessed for accuracy: one that was developed for mapping fuel risk and a second map that resulted from a preliminary application of an evolutionary computation software system, called GENIE. According to the burn severity map and the fire intensity map, the Cerro Grande Fire is estimated to have covered 42,885.4 acres and 42,854.7 acres, respectively. Of this, 57.0 percent was burned at low severity and 34.7 percent was burned at high severity. Similarly, 40.0 percent of the Cerro Grande Fire burned at high fire intensity, greater than 70 percent mortality, while 33.1 percent burned at moderately low intensity, 10 to 40 percent mortality. The most frequently burned cover types over the entire Cerro Grande Fire were ponderosa pine forest and mixed conifer forest, at approximately 43 percent each. However, portions of the fire that burned on Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) property were predominantly in ponderosa pine forests, whereas the Cerro Grande Fire burned primarily in mixed conifer forests on lands managed by other agencies. Some of the polygons of burn severities and fire intensities were extensive. The two largest burn severity polygons were 10,111 acres and 10,903 acres and these were burned at low severity. The next two largest polygons were 8999 acres (14 square miles) and 1551 acres (2.4 square miles) and both of these polygons

  7. Historical, observed, and modeled wildfire severity in montane forests of the Colorado Front Range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherriff, Rosemary L; Platt, Rutherford V; Veblen, Thomas T; Schoennagel, Tania L; Gartner, Meredith H

    2014-01-01

    Large recent fires in the western U.S. have contributed to a perception that fire exclusion has caused an unprecedented occurrence of uncharacteristically severe fires, particularly in lower elevation dry pine forests. In the absence of long-term fire severity records, it is unknown how short-term trends compare to fire severity prior to 20th century fire exclusion. This study compares historical (i.e. pre-1920) fire severity with observed modern fire severity and modeled potential fire behavior across 564,413 ha of montane forests of the Colorado Front Range. We used forest structure and tree-ring fire history to characterize fire severity at 232 sites and then modeled historical fire-severity across the entire study area using biophysical variables. Eighteen (7.8%) sites were characterized by low-severity fires and 214 (92.2%) by mixed-severity fires (i.e. including moderate- or high-severity fires). Difference in area of historical versus observed low-severity fire within nine recent (post-1999) large fire perimeters was greatest in lower montane forests. Only 16% of the study area recorded a shift from historical low severity to a higher potential for crown fire today. An historical fire regime of more frequent and low-severity fires at low elevations (historically and continue to be so today. Thinning treatments at higher elevations of the montane zone will not return the fire regime to an historic low-severity regime, and are of questionable effectiveness in preventing severe wildfires. Based on present-day fuels, predicted fire behavior under extreme fire weather continues to indicate a mixed-severity fire regime throughout most of the montane forest zone. Recent large wildfires in the Front Range are not fundamentally different from similar events that occurred historically under extreme weather conditions.

  8. Remote Sensing Techniques in Monitoring Post-Fire Effects and Patterns of Forest Recovery in Boreal Forest Regions: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thuan Chu

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The frequency and severity of forest fires, coupled with changes in spatial and temporal precipitation and temperature patterns, are likely to severely affect the characteristics of forest and permafrost patterns in boreal eco-regions. Forest fires, however, are also an ecological factor in how forest ecosystems form and function, as they affect the rate and characteristics of tree recruitment. A better understanding of fire regimes and forest recovery patterns in different environmental and climatic conditions will improve the management of sustainable forests by facilitating the process of forest resilience. Remote sensing has been identified as an effective tool for preventing and monitoring forest fires, as well as being a potential tool for understanding how forest ecosystems respond to them. However, a number of challenges remain before remote sensing practitioners will be able to better understand the effects of forest fires and how vegetation responds afterward. This article attempts to provide a comprehensive review of current research with respect to remotely sensed data and methods used to model post-fire effects and forest recovery patterns in boreal forest regions. The review reveals that remote sensing-based monitoring of post-fire effects and forest recovery patterns in boreal forest regions is not only limited by the gaps in both field data and remotely sensed data, but also the complexity of far-northern fire regimes, climatic conditions and environmental conditions. We expect that the integration of different remotely sensed data coupled with field campaigns can provide an important data source to support the monitoring of post-fire effects and forest recovery patterns. Additionally, the variation and stratification of pre- and post-fire vegetation and environmental conditions should be considered to achieve a reasonable, operational model for monitoring post-fire effects and forest patterns in boreal regions.

  9. Increasing elevation of fire in the Sierra Nevada and implications for forest change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark W. Schwartz; Nathalie Butt; Christopher R. Dolanc; Andrew Holguin; Max A. Moritz; Malcolm P. North; Hugh D. Safford; Nathan L. Stephenson; James H. Thorne; Phillip J. van Mantgem

    2015-01-01

    Fire in high-elevation forest ecosystems can have severe impacts on forest structure, function and biodiversity. Using a 105-year data set, we found increasing elevation extent of fires in the Sierra Nevada, and pose five hypotheses to explain this pattern. Beyond the recognized pattern of increasing fire frequency in the Sierra Nevada since the late 20th century, we...

  10. Forest fires in 2017: a useful lesson

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Battipaglia G

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Forest fires in 2017: a useful lesson. Forest fires, together with the decline of silviculture practice, are one of the most important natural disturbances affecting Mediterranean forests. The year 2017 is shaping up to be a record breaking fire season all around Southern Europe and especially in Italy for the sheer amount of hectares burned. Here we discuss about the importance of forest fire management, highlighting the role of prescribed burning and mechanical treatment (e.g., manual removal, thinning in reducing the risk of high-intensity wildfires. We report on the successful applications of those fire management techniques on the pinewoods of Vesuvio National Park and Castel Fusano Natural Reserve. The information compiled in the present article aims to demonstrate the potential relevance and impact of forest resources management for fire hazard reduction and shows the necessity of strong interaction among not only the scientific community, but also forest managers, decision makers and the civic responsibility of society at large.

  11. Remote sensing techniques in monitoring areas affected by forest fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karagianni, Aikaterini Ch.; Lazaridou, Maria A.

    2017-09-01

    Forest fire is a part of nature playing a key role in shaping ecosystems. However, fire's environmental impacts can be significant, affecting wildlife habitat and timber, human settlements, man-made technical constructions and various networks (road, power networks) and polluting the air with emissions harmful to human health. Furthermore, fire's effect on the landscape may be long-lasting. Monitoring the development of a fire occurs as an important aspect at the management of natural hazards in general. Among the used methods for monitoring, satellite data and remote sensing techniques can be proven of particular importance. Satellite remote sensing offers a useful tool for forest fire detection, monitoring, management and damage assessment. Especially for fire scars detection and monitoring, satellite data derived from Landsat 8 can be a useful research tool. This paper includes critical considerations of the above and concerns in particular an example of the Greek area (Thasos Island). This specific area was hit by fires several times in the past and recently as well (September 2016). Landsat 8 satellite data are being used (pre and post fire imagery) and digital image processing techniques are applied (enhancement techniques, calculation of various indices) for fire scars detection. Visual interpretation of the example area affected by the fires is also being done, contributing to the overall study.

  12. The principles of measuring forest fire danger

    Science.gov (United States)

    H. T. Gisborne

    1936-01-01

    Research in fire danger measurement was commenced in 1922 at the Northern Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station of the U. S. Forest Service, with headquarters at Missoula, Mont. Since then investigations have been made concerning ( 1) what to measure, (2) how to measure, and ( 3) field use of these measurements. In all cases the laboratory or restricted...

  13. Western forests, fire risk, and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valerie. Rapp

    2004-01-01

    Climate warming may first show up in forests as increased growth, which occurs as warmer temperatures, increased carbon dioxide, and more precipitation encourage higher rates of photosynthesis. The second way that climate change may show up in forests is through changes in disturbance regimes—the long-term patterns of fire, drought, insects, and diseases that are basic...

  14. Western forest, fire risk, and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valerie Rapp

    2004-01-01

    Climate warming may first show up in forests as increased growth, which occurs as warmer temperatures, increased carbon dioxide, and more precipitation encourage higher rates of photosynthesis. The second way that climate change may show up in forests is through changes in disturbance regimes—the long-term patterns of fire, drought, insects, and diseases that are basic...

  15. Ecosystem Carbon Emissions from 2015 Forest Fires in Interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Christopher S.

    2018-01-01

    In the summer of 2015, hundreds of wildfires burned across the state of Alaska, and consumed more than 1.6 million ha of boreal forest and wetlands in the Yukon-Koyukuk region. Mapping of 113 large wildfires using Landsat satellite images from before and after 2015 indicated that nearly 60% of this area was burned at moderate-to-high severity levels. Field measurements near the town of Tanana on the Yukon River were carried out in July of 2017 in both unburned and 2015 burned forested areas (nearly adjacent to one-another) to visually verify locations of different Landsat burn severity classes (low, moderate, or high). Results: Field measurements indicated that the loss of surface organic layers in boreal ecosystem fires is a major factor determining post-fire soil temperature changes, depth of thawing, and carbon losses from the mineral topsoil layer. Measurements in forest sites showed that soil temperature profiles to 30 cm depth at burned forest sites increased by an average of 8o - 10o C compared to unburned forest sites. Sampling and laboratory analysis indicated a 65% reduction in soil carbon content and a 58% reduction in soil nitrogen content in severely burned sample sites compared to soil mineral samples from nearby unburned spruce forests. Conclusions: Combined with nearly unprecedented forest areas severely burned in the Interior region of Alaska in 2015, total ecosystem fire emission of carbon to the atmosphere exceeded most previous estimates for the state.

  16. Effects of a low severity prescribed fire on water-soluble elements in ash from a cork oak (Quercus suber) forest located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Paulo; Ubeda, Xavier; Martin, Deborah; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Guerrero, César

    2011-02-01

    Wildfire is the major disturbance in Mediterranean forests. Prescribed fire can be an alternative to reduce the amount of fuel and hence decrease the wildfire risk. However the effects of prescribed fire must be studied, especially on ash properties, because ash is an important nutrient source for ecosystem recovery. The aim of this study is to determine the effects of a low severity prescribed fire on water-soluble elements in ash including pH, electrical conductivity (EC), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), potassium (K), aluminum (Al), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), silica (SiO(2)) and total sulphur (TS). A prescribed fire was conducted in a cork oak (Quercus suber) (Q.S) forest located in the northeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Samples were collected from a flat plot of 40×70m mainly composed of Q.S and Quercus robur (Q.R) trees. In order to understand the effects of the prescribed fire on the soluble elements in ash, we conducted our data analysis on three data groups: all samples, only Q.S samples and only Q.R samples. All three sample groups exhibited a significant increase in pH, EC (pfire induced a higher variability in the ash soluble elements, especially in Q.S samples, that at some points burned with higher severity. The increase of pH, EC, Ca, Mg, Na and K will improve soil fertility, mainly in the study area where soils are acidic. The application of this low severity prescribed fire will improve soil nutrient status without causing soil degradation and thus is considered to be a good management strategy. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Site properties have a stronger influence than fire severity on ectomycorrhizal fungi and associated N-cycling bacteria in regenerating post-beetle-killed lodgepole pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Nabla M; Robertson, Susan J; Green, D Scott; Scholefield, Scott R; Arocena, Joselito M; Tackaberry, Linda E; Massicotte, Hugues B; Egger, Keith N

    2015-09-01

    Following a pine beetle epidemic in British Columbia, Canada, we investigated the effect of fire severity on rhizosphere soil chemistry and ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM) and associated denitrifying and nitrogen (N)-fixing bacteria in the root systems of regenerating lodgepole pine seedlings at two site types (wet and dry) and three fire severities (low, moderate, and high). The site type was found to have a much larger impact on all measurements than fire severity. Wet and dry sites differed significantly for almost all soil properties measured, with higher values identified from wet types, except for pH and percent sand that were greater on dry sites. Fire severity caused few changes in soil chemical status. Generally, bacterial communities differed little, whereas ECM morphotype analysis revealed ectomycorrhizal diversity was lower on dry sites, with a corresponding division in community structure between wet and dry sites. Molecular profiling of the fungal ITS region confirmed these results, with a clear difference in community structure seen between wet and dry sites. The ability of ECM fungi to colonize seedlings growing in both wet and dry soils may positively contribute to subsequent regeneration. We conclude that despite consecutive landscape disturbances (mountain pine beetle infestation followed by wildfire), the "signature" of moisture on chemistry and ECM community structure remained pronounced.

  18. Aerial wildland firefighting resources in fire suppression activities: an example USDA Forest Service

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. González-Cabán

    2011-01-01

    Wildfires are a significant social problem affecting millions of people worldwide and causing major economic impacts at all levels. In the US, the severe fires of 1910 in Idaho and Montana galvanized a fire policy excluding fire from the ecosystem by the U.S.Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USDAFS). Fire management policy changed in 1935, 1978,1995, and 2001....

  19. The Zoning of Forest Fire Potential of Gulestan Province Forests Using Granular Computing and MODIS Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Jalilzadeh Shadlouei

    2013-09-01

    , 6 determinative criterias contributing to forest fires have been designated as follows: vegetation (NDVI, slope, aspect, temperature, humidity and proximity to roadways. By applying these variables on several tentatively selected areas and formation information tables and producing granular decision tree and extraction of rules, the zoning rules (for the areas in question were extracted. According to them the zoning of the entire area has been conducted. The zoned areas have been classified into 5 categories: high hazard, medium hazard (high, medium hazard (low, low hazard (high, low hazard (low. According to the map, the zoning of most of the areas fall into the low hazard (high class while the least number of areas have been classified as low hazard (low. Comparing the forest fires in these regions in 2010 with the MODIS data base for forest fires, it is concluded that areas with high hazards of forest fire have been classified with a 64 percent precision. In other word 64 percent of pixels that are in high hazard classification are classified according to MODIS data base. Using this method we obtain a good range of Perception. Manager will reduce forest fire concern using precautionary proceeding on hazardous area.

  20. Previous fires moderate burn severity of subsequent wildland fires in two large western US wilderness areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sean A. Parks; Carol Miller; Cara R. Nelson; Zachary A. Holden

    2014-01-01

    Wildland fire is an important natural process in many ecosystems. However, fire exclusion has reduced frequency of fire and area burned in many dry forest types, which may affect vegetation structure and composition, and potential fire behavior. In forests of the western U.S., these effects pose a challenge for fire and land managers who seek to restore the ecological...

  1. Fire risk and adaptation strategies in Northern Eurasian forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shvidenko, Anatoly; Schepaschenko, Dmitry

    2013-04-01

    On-going climatic changes substantially accelerate current fire regimes in Northern Eurasian ecosystems, particularly in forests. During 1998-2012, wildfires enveloped on average ~10.5 M ha year-1 in Russia with a large annual variation (between 3 and 30 M ha) and average direct carbon emissions at ~150 Tg C year-1. Catastrophic fires, which envelope large areas, spread in usually incombustible wetlands, escape from control and provide extraordinary negative impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, economics, infrastructure, environment, and health of population, become a typical feature of the current fire regimes. There are new evidences of correlation between catastrophic fires and large-scale climatic anomalies at a continental scale. While current climatic predictions suggest the dramatic warming (at the average at 6-7 °C for the country and up to 10-12°C in some northern continental regions), any substantial increase of summer precipitation does not expected. Increase of dryness and instability of climate will impact fire risk and severity of consequences. Current models suggest a 2-3 fold increase of the number of fires by the end of this century in the boreal zone. They predict increases of the number of catastrophic fires; a significant increase in the intensity of fire and amount of consumed fuel; synergies between different types of disturbances (outbreaks of insects, unregulated anthropogenic impacts); acceleration of composition of the gas emissions due to enhanced soil burning. If boreal forests would become a typing element, the mass mortality of trees would increase fire risk and severity. Permafrost melting and subsequent change of hydrological regimes very likely will lead to the degradation and destruction of boreal forests, as well as to the widespread irreversible replacement of forests by other underproductive vegetation types. A significant feedback between warming and escalating fire regimes is very probable in Russia and particularly in the

  2. Fire severity classification: Uses and abuses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theresa B. Jain; Russell T. Graham

    2003-01-01

    Burn severity (also referred to as fire severity) is not a single definition, but rather a concept and its classification is a function of the measured units unique to the system of interest. The systems include: flora and fauna, soil microbiology and hydrologic processes, atmospheric inputs, fire management, and society. Depending on the particular system of interest...

  3. Dipterocarpaceae: forest fires and forest recovery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Priadjati, A.

    2002-01-01

    One of the serious problems Indonesia is facing today is deforestation. Forests have been playing a very important role in Indonesia as the main natural resources for the economic growth of the country. Large areas of tropical forests, worldwide

  4. Quantitative analysis of forest fire extinction efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel E. Castillo-Soto

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: Evaluate the economic extinction efficiency of forest fires, based on the study of fire combat undertaken by aerial and terrestrial means. Area of study, materials and methods: Approximately 112,000 hectares in Chile. Records of 5,876 forest fires that occurred between 1998 and 2009 were analyzed. The area further provides a validation sector for results, by incorporating databases for the years 2010 and 2012. The criteria used for measuring extinction efficiency were economic value of forestry resources, Contraction Factor analysis and definition of the extinction costs function. Main results: It is possible to establish a relationship between burnt area, extinction costs and economic losses. The method proposed may be used and adapted to other fire situations, requiring unit costs for aerial and terrestrial operations, economic value of the property to be protected and speed attributes of fire spread in free advance. Research highlights: The determination of extinction efficiency in containment works of forest fires and potential projection of losses, different types of plant fuel and local conditions favoring the spread of fire broaden the admissible ranges of a, φ and Ce considerably.

  5. Avian response to fire in pine–oak forests of Great Smoky Mountains National Park following decades of fire suppression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Eli T.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2016-01-01

    Fire suppression in southern Appalachian pine–oak forests during the past century dramatically altered the bird community. Fire return intervals decreased, resulting in local extirpation or population declines of many bird species adapted to post-fire plant communities. Within Great Smoky Mountains National Park, declines have been strongest for birds inhabiting xeric pine–oak forests that depend on frequent fire. The buildup of fuels after decades of fire suppression led to changes in the 1996 Great Smoky Mountains Fire Management Plan. Although fire return intervals remain well below historic levels, management changes have helped increase the amount of fire within the park over the past 20 years, providing an opportunity to study patterns of fire severity, time since burn, and bird occurrence. We combined avian point counts in burned and unburned areas with remote sensing indices of fire severity to infer temporal changes in bird occurrence for up to 28 years following fire. Using hierarchical linear models that account for the possibility of a species presence at a site when no individuals are detected, we developed occurrence models for 24 species: 13 occurred more frequently in burned areas, 2 occurred less frequently, and 9 showed no significant difference between burned and unburned areas. Within burned areas, the top models for each species included fire severity, time since burn, or both, suggesting that fire influenced patterns of species occurrence for all 24 species. Our findings suggest that no single fire management strategy will suit all species. To capture peak occupancy for the entire bird community within xeric pine–oak forests, at least 3 fire regimes may be necessary; one applying frequent low severity fire, another using infrequent low severity fire, and a third using infrequently applied high severity fire.

  6. Drought effects on large fire activity in Canadian and Alaskan forests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao Jingfeng; Zhuang Qianlai

    2007-01-01

    Fire is the dominant disturbance in forest ecosystems across Canada and Alaska, and has important implications for forest ecosystems, terrestrial carbon dioxide emissions and the forestry industry. Large fire activity had increased in Canadian and Alaskan forests during the last four decades of the 20th century. Here we combined the Palmer Drought Severity Index and historical large fire databases to demonstrate that Canada and Alaska forest regions experienced summer drying over this time period, and drought during the fire season significantly affected forest fire activity in these regions. Climatic warming, positive geopotential height anomalies and ocean circulation patterns were spatially and temporally convolved in causing drought conditions, which in turn enhanced fuel flammability and thereby indirectly affected fire activity. Future fire regimes will likely depend on drought patterns under global climate change scenarios

  7. Forest fires prevention and limitation of the greenhouse effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The contribution of forest fires to the carbon budget and greenhouse effect is examined at global and national (Italian scale and forest management options directed to preventing fires are briefly outlined.

  8. Computer simulation of forest fire and its possible usage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halada, L.; Weisenpacher, P.; Glasa, J.

    2005-01-01

    In this presentation authors deal with computer modelling of forest fires. Their possible usage is discussed. Results of modelling are compared with real forest fire in the National Park Slovensky Raj (Slovak Paradise) in 2000 year

  9. Effects of a low severity prescribed fire on water-soluble elements in ash from a cork oak (Quercus suber) forest located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, P.; beda, X.; Martin, D.; Mataix-Solera, J.; Guerrero, C.

    2011-01-01

    Wildfire is the major disturbance in Mediterranean forests. Prescribed fire can be an alternative to reduce the amount of fuel and hence decrease the wildfire risk. However the effects of prescribed fire must be studied, especially on ash properties, because ash is an important nutrient source for ecosystem recovery. The aim of this study is to determine the effects of a low severity prescribed fire on water-soluble elements in ash including pH, electrical conductivity (EC), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), potassium (K), aluminum (Al), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), silica (SiO2) and total sulphur (TS). A prescribed fire was conducted in a cork oak (Quercus suber) (Q.S) forest located in the northeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Samples were collected from a flat plot of 40??70m mainly composed of Q.S and Quercus robur (Q.R) trees. In order to understand the effects of the prescribed fire on the soluble elements in ash, we conducted our data analysis on three data groups: all samples, only Q.S samples and only Q.R samples. All three sample groups exhibited a significant increase in pH, EC (p<0.001), water-soluble Ca, Mg, Na, SiO2 and TS and a decrease in water-soluble Mn, Fe and Zn. Differences were identified between oak species for water-soluble K, Al and Fe. In Q.S samples we registered a significant increase in the first two elements p<0.001 and p<0.01, respectively, and a non-significant impact in the third, at p<0.05. In Q.R data we identified a non-significant impact on water-soluble K and Al and a significant decrease in water-soluble Fe (p<0.05). These differences are probably due to vegetation characteristics and burn severity. The fire induced a higher variability in the ash soluble elements, especially in Q.S samples, that at some points burned with higher severity. The increase of pH, EC, Ca, Mg, Na and K will improve soil fertility, mainly in the study area where soils are acidic. The application of this low severity prescribed

  10. Nitrogen balance along a northern boreal forest fire chronosequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palviainen, Marjo; Pumpanen, Jukka; Berninger, Frank; Ritala, Kaisa; Duan, Baoli; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Sun, Hui; Köster, Egle; Köster, Kajar

    2017-01-01

    Fire is a major natural disturbance factor in boreal forests, and the frequency of forest fires is predicted to increase due to climate change. Nitrogen (N) is a key determinant of carbon sequestration in boreal forests because the shortage of N limits tree growth. We studied changes in N pools and fluxes, and the overall N balance across a 155-year non stand-replacing fire chronosequence in sub-arctic Pinus sylvestris forests in Finland. Two years after the fire, total ecosystem N pool was 622 kg ha-1 of which 16% was in the vegetation, 8% in the dead biomass and 76% in the soil. 155 years after the fire, total N pool was 960 kg ha-1, with 27% in the vegetation, 3% in the dead biomass and 69% in the soil. This implies an annual accumulation rate of 2.28 kg ha-1 which was distributed equally between soil and biomass. The observed changes in N pools were consistent with the computed N balance +2.11 kg ha-1 yr-1 over the 155-year post-fire period. Nitrogen deposition was an important component of the N balance. The biological N fixation increased with succession and constituted 9% of the total N input during the 155 post-fire years. N2O fluxes were negligible (≤ 0.01 kg ha-1 yr-1) and did not differ among post-fire age classes. The number and intensity of microbial genes involved in N cycling were lower at the site 60 years after fire compared to the youngest and the oldest sites indicating potential differences in soil N cycling processes. The results suggest that in sub-arctic pine forests, the non-stand-replacing, intermediate-severity fires decrease considerably N pools in biomass but changes in soil and total ecosystem N pools are slight. Current fire-return interval does not seem to pose a great threat to ecosystem productivity and N status in these sub-arctic forests.

  11. Forest fire risk zonation mapping using remote sensing technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandra, Sunil; Arora, M. K.

    2006-12-01

    Forest fires cause major losses to forest cover and disturb the ecological balance in our region. Rise in temperature during summer season causing increased dryness, increased activity of human beings in the forest areas, and the type of forest cover in the Garhwal Himalayas are some of the reasons that lead to forest fires. Therefore, generation of forest fire risk maps becomes necessary so that preventive measures can be taken at appropriate time. These risk maps shall indicate the zonation of the areas which are in very high, high, medium and low risk zones with regard to forest fire in the region. In this paper, an attempt has been made to generate the forest fire risk maps based on remote sensing data and other geographical variables responsible for the occurrence of fire. These include altitude, temperature and soil variations. Key thematic data layers pertaining to these variables have been generated using various techniques. A rule-based approach has been used and implemented in GIS environment to estimate fuel load and fuel index leading to the derivation of fire risk zonation index and subsequently to fire risk zonation maps. The fire risk maps thus generated have been validated on the ground for forest types as well as for forest fire risk areas. These maps would help the state forest departments in prioritizing their strategy for combating forest fires particularly during the fire seasons.

  12. The frequency of forest fires in Scots pine stands of Tuva, Russia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ivanova, G A; Kukavskaya, E A [Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Branch, V N Sukachev Institute of Forest, Akademgorodok, Krasnoyarsk, 660036 (Russian Federation); Ivanov, V A [Siberian State Technological University, Krasnoyarsk, 660049 (Russian Federation); Soja, A J, E-mail: GAIvanova@ksc.krasn.r [National Institute of Aerospace, Resident at NASA Langley Research Center, MS 420, Hampton, VA 23681-2199 (United States)

    2010-01-15

    Forest fires resulting from long periods of drought cause extensive forest ecosystem destruction and can impact on the carbon balance and air quality and feed back to the climate system, regionally and globally. Past fire frequency is reconstructed for Tuvan Scots pine stands using dendrochronology and statistics. Central Tuvan Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) stands are subject to annual fire regimes; however high intensity fires are rare but they are responsible for most of the damage. Low, medium, and high severity fires have shaped the multi-story Scots pine communities, locally and regionally. Fire type and frequency are directly related to weather and climate and are also dependent on anthropogenic influences. The primary dry period, which promotes fire ignition and spread, in Tuva occurs in April and May. In some years, the precipitation deficit combined with high air temperatures induces long periods of drought. Unlike the typical surface fire regime, forest fires that burn during these extreme droughts often become crown fires that result in substantial forest damage and carbon release. The mean fire interval (MFI) is found to be 10.4 years in Balgazyn stands, and the landscape-scale MFI is 22.4 years. High severity, stand-replacing crown fires have a longer MFI. The warmer and dryer weather that is predicted by global climate models is evident in Tuva, and we believe that these changes in weather and climate have resulted in increased fire intensity and severity, rather than fire frequency in the Tuvan region.

  13. The frequency of forest fires in Scots pine stands of Tuva, Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ivanova, G A; Kukavskaya, E A; Ivanov, V A; Soja, A J

    2010-01-01

    Forest fires resulting from long periods of drought cause extensive forest ecosystem destruction and can impact on the carbon balance and air quality and feed back to the climate system, regionally and globally. Past fire frequency is reconstructed for Tuvan Scots pine stands using dendrochronology and statistics. Central Tuvan Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) stands are subject to annual fire regimes; however high intensity fires are rare but they are responsible for most of the damage. Low, medium, and high severity fires have shaped the multi-story Scots pine communities, locally and regionally. Fire type and frequency are directly related to weather and climate and are also dependent on anthropogenic influences. The primary dry period, which promotes fire ignition and spread, in Tuva occurs in April and May. In some years, the precipitation deficit combined with high air temperatures induces long periods of drought. Unlike the typical surface fire regime, forest fires that burn during these extreme droughts often become crown fires that result in substantial forest damage and carbon release. The mean fire interval (MFI) is found to be 10.4 years in Balgazyn stands, and the landscape-scale MFI is 22.4 years. High severity, stand-replacing crown fires have a longer MFI. The warmer and dryer weather that is predicted by global climate models is evident in Tuva, and we believe that these changes in weather and climate have resulted in increased fire intensity and severity, rather than fire frequency in the Tuvan region.

  14. Challenges of assessing fire and burn severity using field measures, remote sensing and modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penelope Morgan; Robert E. Keane; Gregory K. Dillon; Theresa B. Jain; Andrew T. Hudak; Eva C. Karau; Pamela G. Sikkink; Zachery A. Holden; Eva K. Strand

    2014-01-01

    Comprehensive assessment of ecological change after fires have burned forests and rangelands is important if we are to understand, predict and measure fire effects. We highlight the challenges in effective assessment of fire and burn severity in the field and using both remote sensing and simulation models. We draw on diverse recent research for guidance on assessing...

  15. Production and Transport of Ozone From Boreal Forest Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarasick, David; Liu, Jane; Osman, Mohammed; Sioris, Christopher; Liu, Xiong; Najafabadi, Omid; Parrington, Mark; Palmer, Paul; Strawbridge, Kevin; Duck, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    In the summer of 2010, the BORTAS (Quantifying the impact of BOReal forest fires on Tropospheric oxidants over the Atlantic using Aircraft and Satellites) mission was planned by several universities and government agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, and USA. Nearly 100 ozone soundings were made at 13 stations through the BORTAS Intensive Sounding Network, although aircraft measurements were unfortunately cancelled due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland. 2010 was actually an exceptional year for Canadian boreal fires. MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) fire count data shows large fire events in Saskatchewan on several days in July. High amounts of NO2 close to the large fires are observed from OMI satellite data, indicating that not all NO2 is converted to PAN. Also associated with the fires, large amounts of CO, another precursor of ozone, are observed in MOPITT (Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere), AIRS and TES (Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer) satellite data in the middle to upper troposphere. These chemical conditions combined with sunny weather all favour ozone production. Following days with large fire activity, layers of elevated ozone mixing ratio (over 100 ppbv) are observed downwind at several sites. Back-trajectories suggest the elevated ozone in the profile is traceable to the fires in Saskatchewan. Lidar profiles also detect layers of aerosol at the same heights. However, the layers of high ozone are also associated with low humidity, which is not expected from a combustion source, and suggests the possibility of entrainment of stratospheric air.

  16. Emissions from forest fires near Mexico City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. J. Yokelson

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The emissions of NOx (defined as NO (nitric oxide + NO2 (nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen cyanide (HCN, per unit amount of fuel burned, from fires in the pine forests that dominate the mountains surrounding Mexico City (MC are about 2 times higher than normally observed for forest burning. The ammonia (NH3 emissions are about average for forest burning. The upper limit for the mass ratio of NOx to volatile organic compounds (VOC for these MC-area mountain fires was ~0.38, which is similar to the NOx/VOC ratio in the MC urban area emissions inventory of 0.34, but much larger than the NOx/VOC ratio for tropical forest fires in Brazil (~0.068. The nitrogen enrichment in the fire emissions may be due to deposition of nitrogen-containing pollutants in the outflow from the MC urban area. This effect may occur worldwide wherever biomass burning coexists with large urban areas (e.g. the tropics, southeastern US, Los Angeles Basin. The molar emission ratio of HCN to carbon monoxide (CO for the mountain fires was 0.012±0.007, which is 2–9 times higher than widely used literature values for biomass burning. The ambient molar ratio HCN/CO in the MC-area outflow is about 0.003±0.0003. Thus, if only mountain fires emit significant amounts of HCN, these fires may be contributing about 25% of the CO production in the MC-area (~98–100 W and 19–20 N. Comparing the PM10/CO and PM2.5/CO mass ratios in the MC Metropolitan Area emission inventory (0.0115 and 0.0037 to the PM1/CO mass ratio for the mountain fires (0.133 then suggests that these fires could produce as much as ~79–92% of the primary fine particle mass generated in the MC-area. Considering both the uncertainty in the HCN/CO ratios and secondary aerosol formation in the urban and fire emissions implies that about 50±30% of the "aged" fine particle mass in the March 2006 MC-area outflow could be from these fires.

  17. Integrating remote sensing and terrain data in forest fire modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medler, Michael Johns

    Forest fire policies are changing. Managers now face conflicting imperatives to re-establish pre-suppression fire regimes, while simultaneously preventing resource destruction. They must, therefore, understand the spatial patterns of fires. Geographers can facilitate this understanding by developing new techniques for mapping fire behavior. This dissertation develops such techniques for mapping recent fires and using these maps to calibrate models of potential fire hazards. In so doing, it features techniques that strive to address the inherent complexity of modeling the combinations of variables found in most ecological systems. Image processing techniques were used to stratify the elements of terrain, slope, elevation, and aspect. These stratification images were used to assure sample placement considered the role of terrain in fire behavior. Examination of multiple stratification images indicated samples were placed representatively across a controlled range of scales. The incorporation of terrain data also improved preliminary fire hazard classification accuracy by 40%, compared with remotely sensed data alone. A Kauth-Thomas transformation (KT) of pre-fire and post-fire Thematic Mapper (TM) remotely sensed data produced brightness, greenness, and wetness images. Image subtraction indicated fire induced change in brightness, greenness, and wetness. Field data guided a fuzzy classification of these change images. Because fuzzy classification can characterize a continuum of a phenomena where discrete classification may produce artificial borders, fuzzy classification was found to offer a range of fire severity information unavailable with discrete classification. These mapped fire patterns were used to calibrate a model of fire hazards for the entire mountain range. Pre-fire TM, and a digital elevation model produced a set of co-registered images. Training statistics were developed from 30 polygons associated with the previously mapped fire severity. Fuzzy

  18. Water quality impacts of forest fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecle Aregai; Daniel Neary

    2015-01-01

    Forest fires have been serious menace, many times resulting in tremendous economic, cultural and ecological damage to many parts of the United States. One particular area that has been significantly affected is the water quality of streams and lakes in the water thirsty southwestern United States. This is because the surface water coming off burned areas has resulted...

  19. Forest Fire: A Crisis Reality for Camp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Don; Mickelson, Rhonda

    2002-01-01

    Two camp directors were interviewed about evacuations from their camps due to forest fires. Topics covered include descriptions of the events; actions taken; aspects of advance planning that proved helpful; unexpected portions of the experience and resultant changes made in plans; relations with outside agencies, the media, and parents; working…

  20. Do multiple fires interact to affect vegetation structure in temperate eucalypt forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haslem, Angie; Leonard, Steve W J; Bruce, Matthew J; Christie, Fiona; Holland, Greg J; Kelly, Luke T; MacHunter, Josephine; Bennett, Andrew F; Clarke, Michael F; York, Alan

    2016-12-01

    Fire plays an important role in structuring vegetation in fire-prone regions worldwide. Progress has been made towards documenting the effects of individual fire events and fire regimes on vegetation structure; less is known of how different fire history attributes (e.g., time since fire, fire frequency) interact to affect vegetation. Using the temperate eucalypt foothill forests of southeastern Australia as a case study system, we examine two hypotheses about such interactions: (1) post-fire vegetation succession (e.g., time-since-fire effects) is influenced by other fire regime attributes and (2) the severity of the most recent fire overrides the effect of preceding fires on vegetation structure. Empirical data on vegetation structure were collected from 540 sites distributed across central and eastern Victoria, Australia. Linear mixed models were used to examine these hypotheses and determine the relative influence of fire and environmental attributes on vegetation structure. Fire history measures, particularly time since fire, affected several vegetation attributes including ground and canopy strata; others such as low and sub-canopy vegetation were more strongly influenced by environmental characteristics like rainfall. There was little support for the hypothesis that post-fire succession is influenced by fire history attributes other than time since fire; only canopy regeneration was influenced by another variable (fire type, representing severity). Our capacity to detect an overriding effect of the severity of the most recent fire was limited by a consistently weak effect of preceding fires on vegetation structure. Overall, results suggest the primary way that fire affects vegetation structure in foothill forests is via attributes of the most recent fire, both its severity and time since its occurrence; other attributes of fire regimes (e.g., fire interval, frequency) have less influence. The strong effect of environmental drivers, such as rainfall and

  1. Continuing fire regimes in remote forests of Grand Canyon National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter Z. Fule; Thomas A. Heinlein; W. Wallace Covington; Margaret H. Moore

    2000-01-01

    Ponderosa pine forests in which frequent fire regimes continue up to the present would be invaluable points of reference for assessing natural ecological attributes. A few remote forests on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park come close to this ideal: never-harvested, distant from human communities and fire suppression resources, and with several low-intensity...

  2. Fire intensity impacts on post-fire temperate coniferous forest net primary productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, Aaron M.; Kolden, Crystal A.; Smith, Alistair M. S.; Boschetti, Luigi; Johnson, Daniel M.; Cochrane, Mark A.

    2018-02-01

    Fire is a dynamic ecological process in forests and impacts the carbon (C) cycle through direct combustion emissions, tree mortality, and by impairing the ability of surviving trees to sequester carbon. While studies on young trees have demonstrated that fire intensity is a determinant of post-fire net primary productivity, wildland fires on landscape to regional scales have largely been assumed to either cause tree mortality, or conversely, cause no physiological impact, ignoring the impacted but surviving trees. Our objective was to understand how fire intensity affects post-fire net primary productivity in conifer-dominated forested ecosystems on the spatial scale of large wildland fires. We examined the relationships between fire radiative power (FRP), its temporal integral (fire radiative energy - FRE), and net primary productivity (NPP) using 16 years of data from the MOderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) for 15 large fires in western United States coniferous forests. The greatest NPP post-fire loss occurred 1 year post-fire and ranged from -67 to -312 g C m-2 yr-1 (-13 to -54 %) across all fires. Forests dominated by fire-resistant species (species that typically survive low-intensity fires) experienced the lowest relative NPP reductions compared to forests with less resistant species. Post-fire NPP in forests that were dominated by fire-susceptible species were not as sensitive to FRP or FRE, indicating that NPP in these forests may be reduced to similar levels regardless of fire intensity. Conversely, post-fire NPP in forests dominated by fire-resistant and mixed species decreased with increasing FRP or FRE. In some cases, this dose-response relationship persisted for more than a decade post-fire, highlighting a legacy effect of fire intensity on post-fire C dynamics in these forests.

  3. Climate drives inter-annual variability in probability of high severity fire occurrence in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keyser, Alisa; Westerling, Anthony LeRoy

    2017-05-01

    A long history of fire suppression in the western United States has significantly changed forest structure and ecological function, leading to increasingly uncharacteristic fires in terms of size and severity. Prior analyses of fire severity in California forests showed that time since last fire and fire weather conditions predicted fire severity very well, while a larger regional analysis showed that topography and climate were important predictors of high severity fire. There has not yet been a large-scale study that incorporates topography, vegetation and fire-year climate to determine regional scale high severity fire occurrence. We developed models to predict the probability of high severity fire occurrence for the western US. We predict high severity fire occurrence with some accuracy, and identify the relative importance of predictor classes in determining the probability of high severity fire. The inclusion of both vegetation and fire-year climate predictors was critical for model skill in identifying fires with high fractional fire severity. The inclusion of fire-year climate variables allows this model to forecast inter-annual variability in areas at future risk of high severity fire, beyond what slower-changing fuel conditions alone can accomplish. This allows for more targeted land management, including resource allocation for fuels reduction treatments to decrease the risk of high severity fire.

  4. Fuel treatments and landform modify landscape patterns of burn severity in an extreme fire event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan J. Prichard; Maureen C. Kennedy

    2014-01-01

    Under a rapidly warming climate, a critical management issue in semiarid forests of western North America is how to increase forest resilience to wildfire. We evaluated relationships between fuel reduction treatments and burn severity in the 2006 Tripod Complex fires, which burned over 70 000 ha of mixed-conifer forests in the North Cascades range of Washington State...

  5. Adapting fire management to future fire regimes: impacts on boreal forest composition and carbon balance in Canadian National Parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Groot, W. J.; Flannigan, M. D.; Cantin, A.

    2009-04-01

    The effects of future fire regimes altered by climate change, and fire management in adaptation to climate change were studied in the boreal forest region of western Canada. Present (1975-90) and future (2080-2100) fire regimes were simulated for several National Parks using data from the Canadian (CGCM1) and Hadley (HadCM3) Global Climate Models (GCM) in separate simulation scenarios. The long-term effects of the different fire regimes on forests were simulated using a stand-level, boreal fire effects model (BORFIRE). Changes in forest composition and biomass storage due to future altered fire regimes were determined by comparing current and future simulation results. This was used to assess the ecological impact of altered fire regimes on boreal forests, and the future role of these forests as carbon sinks or sources. Additional future simulations were run using adapted fire management strategies, including increased fire suppression and the use of prescribed fire to meet fire cycle objectives. Future forest composition, carbon storage and emissions under current and adapted fire management strategies were also compared to determine the impact of various future fire management options. Both of the GCM's showed more severe burning conditions under future fire regimes. This includes fires with higher intensity, greater depth of burn, greater total fuel consumption and shorter fire cycles (or higher rates of annual area burned). The Canadian GCM indicated burning conditions more severe than the Hadley GCM. Shorter fire cycles of future fire regimes generally favoured aspen, birch, and jack pine because it provided more frequent regeneration opportunity for these pioneer species. Black spruce was only minimally influenced by future fire regimes, although white spruce declined sharply. Maintaining representation of pure and mixed white spruce ecosystems in natural areas will be a concern under future fire regimes. Active fire suppression is required in these areas. In

  6. Landscape development, forest fires, and wilderness management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, H E

    1974-11-08

    fire. Major fires occur so often that the vegetation pattern is a record of fire history. All elements in the forest mosaic are in various stages of postfire succession, with only a few approaching climax. Fire interrupts the successful sequence toward climax. Geomorphic and edaphic factors in vegetational distribution are largely submerged by the fire regime, except for bog and other lowland vegetation. Fire recycles nutrients and renews succession. Nevertheless, despite the fire regime, the resulting long-term equilibrium of the forest mosaic, characterized by severe and irregular fluctuations of individual elements, reflects regional climate. In the BWCA and the western mountains, large virgin forests can be preserved for study and wilderness recreation. These wilderness areas must be managed to return them to the natural equilibrium which has been disturbed by 50 to 70 years of fire suppression. The goal should be to maintain virgin forests as primeval wilderness. This can be done by management that permits fire and other natural processes to determine the forest mosaic. Mechanized tree-felling and other human disturbances should be kept to an absolute minimum. Natural landforms also should be preserved for study and for certain nondestructive recreational activities. It is somewhat late for the Colorado River and other rivers of the West, because natural balances are upset by drainagebasin disturbances. Modification of plant cover on hillslopes changes infiltration and erosion rates and thus the stream discharge and sediment load, so the stream balance is altered from primeval conditions. Scenic Rivers legislation should thus be used to restore certain river systems and their drainage basins. Mountain meadows, badlands, desert plains, and patterned permafrost terrain are extremely fragile and sensitive. Intricate stream and weathering processes leave patterns easily obliterated by mechanized vehicles. Tire tracks can last for decades or centuries. The mineral

  7. Trends and causes of severity, size, and number of fires in northwestern California, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, J D; Skinner, C N; Safford, H D; Knapp, E E; Ramirez, C M

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last several years has indicated that fire size and frequency are on the rise in western U.S. forests. Although fire size and frequency are important, they do not necessarily scale with ecosystem effects of fire, as different ecosystems have different ecological and evolutionary relationships with fire. Our study assessed trends and patterns in fire size and frequency from 1910 to 2008 (all fires > 40 ha), and the percentage of high-severity in fires from 1987 to 2008 (all fires > 400 ha) on the four national forests of northwestern California. During 1910-2008, mean and maximum fire size and total annual area burned increased, but we found no temporal trend in the percentage of high-severity fire during 1987-2008. The time series of severity data was strongly influenced by four years with region-wide lightning events that burned huge areas at primarily low-moderate severity. Regional fire rotation reached a high of 974 years in 1984 and fell to 95 years by 2008. The percentage of high-severity fire in conifer-dominated forests was generally higher in areas dominated by smaller-diameter trees than in areas with larger-diameter trees. For Douglas-fir forests, the percentage of high-severity fire did not differ significantly between areas that re-burned and areas that only burned once (10% vs. 9%) when re-burned within 30 years. Percentage of high-severity fire decreased to 5% when intervals between first and second fires were > 30 years. In contrast, in both mixed-conifer and fir/high-elevation conifer forests, the percentage of high-severity fire was less when re-burned within 30 years compared to first-time burned (12% vs. 16% for mixed conifer; 11% vs. 19% for fir/high-elevation conifer). Additionally, the percentage of high-severity fire did not differ whether the re-burn interval was less than or greater than 30 years. Years with larger fires and greatest area burned were produced by region-wide lightning events, and characterized by less winter

  8. Fire forbids fifty-fifty forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staal, Arie; Hantson, Stijn; Holmgren, Milena; Pueyo, Salvador; Bernardi, Rafael E.; Flores, Bernardo M.; Xu, Chi; Scheffer, Marten

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies have interpreted patterns of remotely sensed tree cover as evidence that forest with intermediate tree cover might be unstable in the tropics, as it will tip into either a closed forest or a more open savanna state. Here we show that across all continents the frequency of wildfires rises sharply as tree cover falls below ~40%. Using a simple empirical model, we hypothesize that the steepness of this pattern causes intermediate tree cover (30‒60%) to be unstable for a broad range of assumptions on tree growth and fire-driven mortality. We show that across all continents, observed frequency distributions of tropical tree cover are consistent with this hypothesis. We argue that percolation of fire through an open landscape may explain the remarkably universal rise of fire frequency around a critical tree cover, but we show that simple percolation models cannot predict the actual threshold quantitatively. The fire-driven instability of intermediate states implies that tree cover will not change smoothly with climate or other stressors and shifts between closed forest and a state of low tree cover will likely tend to be relatively sharp and difficult to reverse. PMID:29351323

  9. Fire forbids fifty-fifty forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Nes, Egbert H; Staal, Arie; Hantson, Stijn; Holmgren, Milena; Pueyo, Salvador; Bernardi, Rafael E; Flores, Bernardo M; Xu, Chi; Scheffer, Marten

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies have interpreted patterns of remotely sensed tree cover as evidence that forest with intermediate tree cover might be unstable in the tropics, as it will tip into either a closed forest or a more open savanna state. Here we show that across all continents the frequency of wildfires rises sharply as tree cover falls below ~40%. Using a simple empirical model, we hypothesize that the steepness of this pattern causes intermediate tree cover (30‒60%) to be unstable for a broad range of assumptions on tree growth and fire-driven mortality. We show that across all continents, observed frequency distributions of tropical tree cover are consistent with this hypothesis. We argue that percolation of fire through an open landscape may explain the remarkably universal rise of fire frequency around a critical tree cover, but we show that simple percolation models cannot predict the actual threshold quantitatively. The fire-driven instability of intermediate states implies that tree cover will not change smoothly with climate or other stressors and shifts between closed forest and a state of low tree cover will likely tend to be relatively sharp and difficult to reverse.

  10. Synergy between land use and climate change increases future fire risk in Amazon forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Page, Yannick; Morton, Douglas; Hartin, Corinne; Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Cardoso Pereira, José Miguel; Hurtt, George; Asrar, Ghassem

    2017-12-01

    Tropical forests have been a permanent feature of the Amazon basin for at least 55 million years, yet climate change and land use threaten the forest's future over the next century. Understory forest fires, which are common under the current climate in frontier forests, may accelerate Amazon forest losses from climate-driven dieback and deforestation. Far from land use frontiers, scarce fire ignitions and high moisture levels preclude significant burning, yet projected climate and land use changes may increase fire activity in these remote regions. Here, we used a fire model specifically parameterized for Amazon understory fires to examine the interactions between anthropogenic activities and climate under current and projected conditions. In a scenario of low mitigation efforts with substantial land use expansion and climate change - Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 - projected understory fires increase in frequency and duration, burning 4-28 times more forest in 2080-2100 than during 1990-2010. In contrast, active climate mitigation and land use contraction in RCP4.5 constrain the projected increase in fire activity to 0.9-5.4 times contemporary burned area. Importantly, if climate mitigation is not successful, land use contraction alone is very effective under low to moderate climate change, but does little to reduce fire activity under the most severe climate projections. These results underscore the potential for a fire-driven transformation of Amazon forests if recent regional policies for forest conservation are not paired with global efforts to mitigate climate change.

  11. CONSIDERATIONS ON RISK MANAGEMENT APPLIED TO FOREST FIRES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioan Valentin Marcel Posea

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Forest risk and management are ubiquitous in any socio-economic activity. Forestry, more than any other field, is at risk from fire. Consequently, it appears the necessity to implement a fire risk management that could resolve, at least partially, the specific problems. This study attempts to identify the specific stages and processes of forest fire risk management and their content. At the same time, I will try to highlight how a forest fire risk management process planning can be achieved and to present a way of achieving the Plan. I also deem necessary a forest fire risk monitoring and control system that I have built using the Deming cycle.

  12. Does fire severity influence shrub resprouting after spring prescribed burning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Cristina; Vega, José A.; Fonturbel, Teresa

    2013-04-01

    Prescribed burning is commonly used to reduce the risk of severe wildfire. However, further information about the associated environmental effects is required to help forest managers select the most appropriate treatment. To address this question, we evaluated if fire severity during spring prescribed burning significantly affects the resprouting ability of two common shrub species in shrubland under a Mediterranean climate in NW Spain. Fire behaviour and temperatures were recorded in tagged individuals of Erica australis and Pterospartum tridentatum during prescribed burning. The number and length of resprouted shoots were measured three times (6, 12 and 18 months) after the prescribed burning. The influence of a series of fire severity indicators on some plant resprouting vigour parameters was tested by canonical correlation analysis. Six months and one year after prescribed burning, soil burn severity (measured by the absolute reduction in depth of the organic soil layer, maximum temperatures in the organic soil layer and the mineral soil surface during burning and the post-fire depth of the organic soil layer) reduced the resprouting vigour of E. australis and P. tridentatum. In contrast, direct measurements of fire effects on plants (minimum branch diameter, duration of temperatures above 300 °C in the shrub crown and fireline intensity) did not affect the post-fire plant vigour. Soil burn severity during spring prescribed burning significantly affected the short-term resprouting vigour in a mixed heathland in Galicia. The lack of effects eighteen months after prescribed burning indicates the high resilience of these species and illustrates the need to conciliate fire prevention and conservation goals.

  13. Fire regimes approaching historic norms reduce wildfire-facilitated conversion from forest to non-forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan B. Walker; Jonathan D. Coop; Sean A. Parks; Laura Trader

    2018-01-01

    Extensive high-severity wildfires have driven major losses of ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests in the southwestern United States, in some settings catalyzing enduring conversions to nonforested vegetation types. Management interventions to reduce the probability of stand-replacing wildfire have included mechanical fuel treatments, prescribed fire, and wildfire...

  14. Testing the potential of multi-spectral remote sensing for retrospectively estimating fire severity in African savannahs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alistair M.S. Smith; Martin J. Wooster; Nick A. Drake; Frederick M. Dipotso; Michael J. Falkowski; Andrew T. Hudak

    2005-01-01

    The remote sensing of fire severity is a noted goal in studies of forest and grassland wildfires. Experiments were conducted to discover and evaluate potential relationships between the characteristics of African savannah fires and post-fire surface spectral reflectance in the visible to shortwave infrared spectral region. Nine instrumented experimental fires were...

  15. Plant diversity after rain-forest fires in Borneo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eichhorn, Karl August Otto

    2006-01-01

    In the last two decades El-Niño-induced fires have caused widespread destruction of forests in East Kalimantan. The 1997-98 fires were the most extensive yet. The post-fire situation was studied in detail by field assessments and high-resolution SAR-images. My results show that rain forests are

  16. Vegetation, topography and daily weather influenced burn severity in central Idaho and western Montana forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan S. Birch; Penelope Morgan; Crystal A. Kolden; John T. Abatzoglou; Gregory K. Dillon; Andrew T. Hudak; Alistair M. S. Smith

    2015-01-01

    Burn severity as inferred from satellite-derived differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) is useful for evaluating fire impacts on ecosystems but the environmental controls on burn severity across large forest fires are both poorly understood and likely to be different than those influencing fire extent. We related dNBR to environmental variables including vegetation,...

  17. Forest fire situation analysis over forest reserve land in Tomsk petroleum province

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pasko, O A; Baranova, A V

    2015-01-01

    The paper delivers the analysis of space-time characteristics of forest fire ignition and spread in the North of Tomsk oblast, i.e. petroleum production area (Kargasok, Parabel and Teguldet districts). It also presents long-term and seasonal forest fire behavior including fire ignition and spread frequency (annual and seasonal), the fire season duration and their zonality. The main driving factors of forest fire ignition both human and natural ones are revealed

  18. Post-fire regeneration in a Mediterranean pine forest with historically low fire frequency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buhk, Constanze; Götzenberger, Lars; Wesche, Karsten; Gómez, Pedro Sánchez; Hensen, Isabell

    2006-11-01

    Species of Mediterranean vegetation are known to regenerate directly after fire. The phenomenon of autosuccession (direct regeneration) has been found to be often combined with an increase of species richness during the first years after fire due to the high abundance of short-lived herbaceous plants facilitated by plentiful nutrients and light. The high degree of vegetation resilience, which is expressed in terms of autosuccession, has been explained by the selective pressure of fire in historic times. According to existing palaeoecological data, however, the Pinus halepensis forests in the Ricote Mountains (Province of Murcia, SE Spain) did not experience substantial fire impact before the presence of man nor are they especially fire-prone today. Therefore, we studied post-fire regeneration to find out if direct succession is present or if species from pre-fire vegetation are absent during the post-fire regeneration stages. Patterns of succession were deduced from observations made in sample plots on sites of a known regeneration age as well as in adjacent unburnt areas. The results of the vegetation analyses, including a Detrended Correspondence Analysis, indicate that Pinus halepensis forest regeneration after fire resembles autosuccession. As regards the presence of woody species, there is a high percentage similarity on north (83%) and south (70%) facing slopes during the first year after fire vs. reference areas which is due, for example, to direct regeneration of the resprouting Quercus coccifera or seeders like Pinus halepensis or Fumana laevipes. However, if herbaceous species are included in the comparison, the similarity on north-facing sites decreases (to 53%) with the presence of additional species, mainly ruderals like Anagallis arvensis or Reseda phyteuma, and even woody species on the burnt plots. This effect indicates "enhanced autosuccession", which was not found on south-facing sites where overall species richness was very high irrespective of

  19. Strategies for preventing invasive plant outbreaks after prescribed fire in ponderosa pine forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Newton, Wesley E.; Swanson, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    Land managers use prescribed fire to return a vital process to fire-adapted ecosystems, restore forest structure from a state altered by long-term fire suppression, and reduce wildfire intensity. However, fire often produces favorable conditions for invasive plant species, particularly if it is intense enough to reveal bare mineral soil and open previously closed canopies. Understanding the environmental or fire characteristics that explain post-fire invasive plant abundance would aid managers in efficiently finding and quickly responding to fire-caused infestations. To that end, we used an information-theoretic model-selection approach to assess the relative importance of abiotic environmental characteristics (topoedaphic position, distance from roads), pre-and post-fire biotic environmental characteristics (forest structure, understory vegetation, fuel load), and prescribed fire severity (measured in four different ways) in explaining invasive plant cover in ponderosa pine forest in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Environmental characteristics (distance from roads and post-fire forest structure) alone provided the most explanation of variation (26%) in post-fire cover of Verbascum thapsus (common mullein), but a combination of surface fire severity and environmental characteristics (pre-fire forest structure and distance from roads) explained 36–39% of the variation in post-fire cover of Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) and all invasives together. For four species and all invasives together, their pre-fire cover explained more variation (26–82%) in post-fire cover than environmental and fire characteristics did, suggesting one strategy for reducing post-fire invasive outbreaks may be to find and control invasives before the fire. Finding them may be difficult, however, since pre-fire environmental characteristics explained only 20% of variation in pre-fire total invasive cover, and less for individual species. Thus, moderating fire intensity or targeting areas

  20. Longleaf pine forests and woodlands: old growth under fire!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joan L. Walker

    1999-01-01

    The author discusses a once widespread forest type of the Southeast – longleaf pine dominated forests and woodlands. This system depends on fire – more or less frequent, and often of low intensity. Because human-mediated landscape fragmentation has drastically changed the behavior of fire on longleaf pine dominated landscapes, these forests and woodlands will never be...

  1. Predicting fire severity using surface fuels and moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamela G. Sikkink; Robert E. Keane

    2012-01-01

    Fire severity classifications have been used extensively in fire management over the last 30 years to describe specific environmental or ecological impacts of fire on fuels, vegetation, wildlife, and soils in recently burned areas. New fire severity classifications need to be more objective, predictive, and ultimately more useful to fire management and planning. Our...

  2. Quantifying the fire regime distributions for severity in Yosemite National Park, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thode, Andrea E.; van Wagtendonk, Jan W.; Miller, Jay D.; Quinn, James F.

    2011-01-01

    This paper quantifies current fire severity distributions for 19 different fire-regime types in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Landsat Thematic Mapper remote sensing data are used to map burn severity for 99 fires (cumulatively over 97 000 ha) that burned in Yosemite over a 20-year period. These maps are used to quantify the frequency distributions of fire severity by fire-regime type. A classification is created for the resultant distributions and they are discussed within the context of four vegetation zones: the foothill shrub and woodland zone; the lower montane forest zone; the upper montane forest zone and the subalpine forest zone. The severity distributions can form a building block from which to discuss current fire regimes across the Sierra Nevada in California. This work establishes a framework for comparing the effects of current fires on our landscapes with our notions of how fires historically burned, and how current fire severity distributions differ from our desired future conditions. As this process is refined, a new set of information will be available to researchers and land managers to help understand how fire regimes have changed from the past and how we might attempt to manage them in the future.

  3. Targeting Forest Management through Fire and Erosion Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliot, William J.; Miller, Mary Ellen; MacDonald, Lee H.

    2013-04-01

    Forests deliver a number of ecosystem services, including clean water. When forests are disturbed by wildfire, the timing and quantity of runoff can be altered, and the quality can be severely degraded. A modeling study for about 1500 km2 in the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed in California was conducted to determine the risk of wildfire and the associated potential sediment delivery should a wildfire occur, and to calculate the potential reduction in sediment delivery that might result from fuel reduction treatments. The first step was to predict wildfire severity and probability of occurrence under current vegetation conditions with FlamMap fire prediction tool. FlamMap uses current vegetation, topography, and wind characteristics to predict the speed, flame length, and direction of a simulated flame front for each 30-m pixel. As the first step in the erosion modeling, a geospatial interface for the WEPP model (GeoWEPP) was used to delineate approximately 6-ha hillslope polygons for the study area. The flame length values from FlamMap were then aggregated for each hillslope polygon to yield a predicted fire intensity. Fire intensity and pre-fire vegetation conditions were used to estimate fire severity (either unburned, low, moderate or high). The fire severity was combined with soil properties from the STATSGO database to build the vegetation and soil files needed to run WEPP for each polygon. Eight different stochastic climates were generated to account for the weather variability within the basin. A modified batching version of GeoWEPP was used to predict the first-year post-fire sediment yield from each hillslope and subwatershed. Estimated sediment yields ranged from 0 to more than 100 Mg/ha, and were typical of observed values. The polygons that generated the greatest amount of sediment or that were critical for reducing fire spread were identified, and these were "treated" by reducing the amount of fuel available for a wildfire. The erosion associated with

  4. A review of the relationships between drought and forest fire in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littell, Jeremy; Peterson, David L.; Riley, Karin L.; Yongquiang Liu,; Luce, Charles H.

    2016-01-01

    The historical and pre-settlement relationships between drought and wildfire are well documented in North America, with forest fire occurrence and area clearly increasing in response to drought. There is also evidence that drought interacts with other controls (forest productivity, topography, fire weather, management activities) to affect fire intensity, severity, extent, and frequency. Fire regime characteristics arise across many individual fires at a variety of spatial and temporal scales, so both weather and climate—including short- and long-term droughts—are important and influence several, but not all, aspects of fire regimes. We review relationships between drought and fire regimes in United States forests, fire-related drought metrics and expected changes in fire risk, and implications for fire management under climate change. Collectively, this points to a conceptual model of fire on real landscapes: fire regimes, and how they change through time, are products of fuels and how other factors affect their availability (abundance, arrangement, continuity) and flammability (moisture, chemical composition). Climate, management, and land use all affect availability, flammability, and probability of ignition differently in different parts of North America. From a fire ecology perspective, the concept of drought varies with scale, application, scientific or management objective, and ecosystem.

  5. A review of the relationships between drought and forest fire in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littell, Jeremy S; Peterson, David L; Riley, Karin L; Liu, Yongquiang; Luce, Charles H

    2016-07-01

    The historical and presettlement relationships between drought and wildfire are well documented in North America, with forest fire occurrence and area clearly increasing in response to drought. There is also evidence that drought interacts with other controls (forest productivity, topography, fire weather, management activities) to affect fire intensity, severity, extent, and frequency. Fire regime characteristics arise across many individual fires at a variety of spatial and temporal scales, so both weather and climate - including short- and long-term droughts - are important and influence several, but not all, aspects of fire regimes. We review relationships between drought and fire regimes in United States forests, fire-related drought metrics and expected changes in fire risk, and implications for fire management under climate change. Collectively, this points to a conceptual model of fire on real landscapes: fire regimes, and how they change through time, are products of fuels and how other factors affect their availability (abundance, arrangement, continuity) and flammability (moisture, chemical composition). Climate, management, and land use all affect availability, flammability, and probability of ignition differently in different parts of North America. From a fire ecology perspective, the concept of drought varies with scale, application, scientific or management objective, and ecosystem. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  6. Remote sensing of fire severity: linking post-fire reflectance data with physiological responses in two western conifer species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, A. M.; Smith, A. M.; Kolden, C.; Apostol, K. G.; Boschetti, L.

    2014-12-01

    Fire is a common disturbance in forested ecosystems in the western U.S. and can be responsible for long-term impacts on vegetation and soil. An improved understanding of how ecosystems recover after fire is necessary so that land managers can plan for and mitigate the effects of these disturbances. Although several studies have attempted to link fire intensity with severity, direct links between spectral indices of severity and key physiological changes in vegetation are not well understood. We conducted an assessment of how two western conifer species respond to four fire radiative energy treatments, with spectra acquired pre- and up to a month post-burn. After transforming the spectral data into Landsat 8 equivalent reflectance, burn severity indices commonly used in the remote sensing community were compared to concurrent physiological measurements including gas exchange and photosynthetic rate. Preliminary results indicate significant relationships between several fire severity indices and physiological responses measured in the conifer seedlings.

  7. Forest Fire Occurrence in Southern Counties, 1966-1975

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.L. Doolittle

    1977-01-01

    Forest fire occurrence data for individual protection units generally are unavailable outside particular state organization. Number of fires, area protected and fire occurrence rate (fires per 1,000,000 acres) from 1966 to 1975, are presented in tables for the 993 counties under protection in 13 southern states. These data are compared with data for the preceeding...

  8. Fire in Eastern Hardwood Forests through 14,000 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin A. Spetich; Roger W. Perry; Craig A. Harper; Stacy L. Clark

    2011-01-01

    Fire helped shape the structure and species composition of hardwood forests of the eastern United States over the past 14,000 years. Periodic fires were common in much of this area prior to European settlement, and fire-resilient species proliferated. Early European settlers commonly adopted Native American techniques of applying fire to the landscape. As the demand...

  9. PAST AND PRESENT FOREST FIRES IN ITATIAIA NATIONAL PARK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Izar Aximoff

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted with the aim of evaluating the fire reports occurring in the Itatiaia National Park (INP between 1937 and 2008 and aiming to show information about the total number of fires occurred, and the annual burnt areas, in relation with climate and biodiversity, the months of highest occurrence, the origins and causes of fires. A survey of 323 reports of forest fires showed the highest incidence of forest fires in the months of winter, during the dry season, between July and October. The most affected vegetation was that of the “campos de altitude” (high-altitude grasslands, a native ecosystem of Atlantic Rainforest restricted to the isolated southeastern high peaks and plateaus. Most of the fires had unknown origins and causes, and only twice were examinations by experts carried out. Data revealed INP fragility against forest fires and the importance and the need of Forest Fire Privation and Control Plans for effective biodiversity protection.

  10. Historical fire regime and forest variability on two eastern Great Basin fire-sheds (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley G. Kitchen

    2012-01-01

    Proper management of naturally forested landscapes requires knowledge of key disturbance processes and their effects on species composition and structure. Spatially-intensive fire and forest histories provide valuable information about how fire and vegetation may vary and interact on heterogeneous landscapes. I constructed 800-year fire and tree recruitment...

  11. What drives low-severity fire in the southwestern USA?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sean A. Parks; Solomon Z. Dobrowski; Matthew H. Panunto

    2018-01-01

    Many dry conifer forests in the southwestern USA and elsewhere historically (prior to the late 1800’s) experienced fairly frequent surface fire at intervals ranging from roughly five to 30 years. Due to more than 100 years of successful fire exclusion, however, many of these forests are now denser and more homogenous, and therefore they have a greater probability of...

  12. Forest fires and lightning activity during the outstanding 2003 and 2005 fire seasons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Ana; Ramos, Alexandre; Trigo, Ricardo

    2013-04-01

    Wildfires in southern Europe cause frequent extensive economical and ecological losses and, even human casualties. Comparatively to other Mediterranean countries, Portugal is the country with more burnt area and fires per unit area in the last decade, mainly during the summer season (Pereira et al., 2011). According to the fire records available, between 1980 and 2009, wildfires have affected over 3 million hectares in Portugal (JRC, 2011), which corresponds to approximately a third of the Portuguese Continental territory. The main factors that influence fire ignition and propagation are: (1) the presence of fuel (i.e. vegetation); (2) climate and weather; (3) socioeconomic conditions that affect land use/land cover patterns, fire-prevention and fire-fighting capacity and (4) topography. Specifically, weather (e.g. wind, temperature, precipitation, humidity, and lightning occurrence) plays an important role in fire behavior, affecting both ignition and spread of wildfires. Some countries have a relatively large fraction of fires caused by lightning, e.g. northwestern USA, Canada, Russia (). In contrast, Portugal has only a small percentage of fire records caused by lightning. Although significant doubts remain for the majority of fires in the catalog since they were cataloged without a likely cause. The recent years of 2003 and 2005 were particularly outstanding for fire activity in Portugal, registering, respectively, total burned areas of 425 726 ha and 338 262 ha. However, while the 2003 was triggered by an exceptional heatwave that struck the entire western Europe, the 2005 fire season registered was coincident with one of the most severe droughts of the 20th century. In this work we have used mainly two different databases: 1) the Portuguese Rural Fire Database (PRFD) which is representative of rural fires that have occurred in Continental Portugal, 2001-2011, with the original data provided by the Autoridade Florestal Nacional (AFN, 2011); 2) lightning

  13. Direct carbon emissions from Canadian forest fires, 1959-1999

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amiro, B. D.; Todd, J. B.; Flannigan, M. D.; Hirsch, K. G.; Wotton, B. M.; Logan, K. A.; Stocks, B. J.; Mason, J. A.; Martell, D. L.

    2001-01-01

    Fire is recognised as driving most of the boreal forest carbon balance in North America, therefore fires not only impact on carbon sequestration by forests, but emit greenhouse gases that have the potential to affect the environment. In this paper direct emissions of carbon from Canadian forest fires were estimated for all of Canada and for each ecozone for the period 1959 to 1999. Estimates were based on large fires ; fuel consumption for each fire was calculated using the Canadian Forest Fire Behaviour Prediction System. There were about 11,400 forest fires, averaging 2 x 10 6 hectare per year during this period. Boreal and taiga areas experienced the greatest area burned, releasing most of the carbon. The mean area-weighted fuel consumption for all fires was 2.6 kg of dry fuel per m 2 (1.3 kg carbon per m 2 ) varying from 1.8 kg to 3.9 kg per m 2 among ecozones. The mean annual direct carbon emission was estimated at 27 + or - 6 Tg carbon per year, or about 18 per cent of current carbon dioxide emissions from the Canadian energy sector, on average. This excludes post-fire effects, which cause an additional loss of carbon; changes to the forest also affect the strength of the forest carbon sink. Fire emissions have shown an increase over the past two decades and are likely to remain high due to anticipated changes in fire weather resulting from climate warming. 48 refs., 3 tabs., 6 figs

  14. Early forest fire detection using low-energy hydrogen sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Nörthemann

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Most huge forest fires start in partial combustion. In the beginning of a smouldering fire, emission of hydrogen in low concentration occurs. Therefore, hydrogen can be used to detect forest fires before open flames are visible and high temperatures are generated. We have developed a hydrogen sensor comprising of a metal/solid electrolyte/insulator/semiconductor (MEIS structure which allows an economical production. Due to the low energy consumption, an autarkic working unit in the forest was established. In this contribution, first experiments are shown demonstrating the possibility to detect forest fires at a very early stage using the hydrogen sensor.

  15. A stand-replacing fire history in upper montane forests of the southern Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margolis, E.Q.; Swetnam, T.W.; Allen, Craig D.

    2007-01-01

    Dendroecological techniques were applied to reconstruct stand-replacing fire history in upper montane forests in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Fourteen stand-replacing fires were dated to 8 unique fire years (1842–1901) using four lines of evidence at each of 12 sites within the upper Rio Grande Basin. The four lines of evidence were (i) quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) inner-ring dates, (ii) fire-killed conifer bark-ring dates, (iii) tree-ring width changes or other morphological indicators of injury, and (iv) fire scars. The annual precision of dating allowed the identification of synchronous stand-replacing fire years among the sites, and co-occurrence with regional surface fire events previously reconstructed from a network of fire scar collections in lower elevation pine forests across the southwestern United States. Nearly all of the synchronous stand-replacing and surface fire years coincided with severe droughts, because climate variability created regional conditions where stand-replacing fires and surface fires burned across ecosystems. Reconstructed stand-replacing fires that predate substantial Anglo-American settlement in this region provide direct evidence that stand-replacing fires were a feature of high-elevation forests before extensive and intensive land-use practices (e.g., logging, railroad, and mining) began in the late 19th century.

  16. Estimation of Forest Fire-fighting Budgets Using Climate Indexes

    OpenAIRE

    Zhen Xu; G. Cornelis van Kooten

    2012-01-01

    Given the complexity and relative short length of current predicting system for fire behavior, it is inappropriate to be referred for planning fire-fighting budgets of BC government due to the severe uncertainty of fire behavior across fire seasons. Therefore, a simple weather derived index for predicting fire frequency and burned area is developed in this paper to investigate the potential feasibility to predict fire behavior and fire-fighting expenses for the upcoming fire season using clim...

  17. Normalized burn ratios link fire severity with patterns of avian occurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Eli T.; Simons, Theodore R.; Klein, Rob; McKerrow, Alexa

    2016-01-01

    ContextRemotely sensed differenced normalized burn ratios (DNBR) provide an index of fire severity across the footprint of a fire. We asked whether this index was useful for explaining patterns of bird occurrence within fire adapted xeric pine-oak forests of the southern Appalachian Mountains.ObjectivesWe evaluated the use of DNBR indices for linking ecosystem process with patterns of bird occurrence. We compared field-based and remotely sensed fire severity indices and used each to develop occupancy models for six bird species to identify patterns of bird occurrence following fire.MethodsWe identified and sampled 228 points within fires that recently burned within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We performed avian point counts and field-assessed fire severity at each bird census point. We also used Landsat™ imagery acquired before and after each fire to quantify fire severity using DNBR. We used non-parametric methods to quantify agreement between fire severity indices, and evaluated single season occupancy models incorporating fire severity summarized at different spatial scales.ResultsAgreement between field-derived and remotely sensed measures of fire severity was influenced by vegetation type. Although occurrence models using field-derived indices of fire severity outperformed those using DNBR, summarizing DNBR at multiple spatial scales provided additional insights into patterns of occurrence associated with different sized patches of high severity fire.ConclusionsDNBR is useful for linking the effects of fire severity to patterns of bird occurrence, and informing how high severity fire shapes patterns of bird species occurrence on the landscape.

  18. Assessment of post forest fire reclamation in Algarve, Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, Rita; Panagopoulos, Thomas; Guerrero, Carlos; Martins, Fernando; Zdruli, Pandi; Ladisa, Gaetano

    2014-05-01

    Fire is a common phenomenon in Mediterranean landscapes and it plays a crucial role in its transformations, making the determination of its impact on the ecosystem essential for land management. During summer of 2012, a wildfire took place in Algarve, Portugal, on an area mainly covered by sclerophyllous vegetation (39.44%, 10080ha), broad-leaved forest (20.80%, 5300ha), agriculture land with significant areas of natural vegetation (17.40%, 4400ha) and transitional woodlands-shrubs (16.17%, 4100ha). The objective of the study was to determine fire severity in order to plan post-fire treatments and to aid vegetation recovery and land reclamation. Satellite imagery was used to estimate burn severity by detecting physical and ecological changes in the landscape caused by fire. Differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (DNBR) was used to measure burn severity with pre and post fire data of four Landsat images acquired in October 2011, February and August 2012 and April 2013. The initial and extended differenced normalized burn ratio (DiNBR and DeNBR) were calculated. The calculated burned area of 24291 ha was 552ha lower than the map data determined with field reports. The 19.5% of that area was burned with high severity, 45% with moderate severity and 28.3% with low severity. Comparing fire severity and regrowth with land use, it is shown in DiNBR that the most severely burned areas were predominantly sclerophyllous vegetation (37.6%) and broad-leaved forests (31.1%). From the DeNRB it was found that the reestablishment of vegetation was slower in mixed forests and higher in sclerophyllous vegetation and in land with significant areas of natural vegetation. Faster recovery was calculated for the land uses of sclerophyllous vegetation (46.7%) and significant regrowth in areas of natural vegetation and lands occupied by agriculture (25.4%). Next steps of the study are field validation and crossing with erosion risk maps before to take land reclamation decisions.

  19. Variability of fire behavior, fire effects, and emissions in Scotch pine forests of central Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. J. McRae; Susan Conard; G. A. Ivanova; A. I. Sukhinin; Steve Baker; Y. N. Samsonov; T. W. Blake; V. A. Ivanov; A. V. Ivanov; T. V. Churkina; WeiMin Hao; K. P. Koutzenogij; Nataly Kovaleva

    2006-01-01

    As part of the Russian FIRE BEAR (Fire Effects in the Boreal Eurasia Region) Project, replicated 4-ha experimental fires were conducted on a dry Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris)/lichen (Cladonia sp.)/feathermoss (Pleurozeum schreberi) forest site in central Siberia. Observations from the initial seven surface fires (2000-2001) ignited under a range of burning...

  20. Studies of Fire Nature in the Forests of Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Tsvetkov

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available An analytical review of forest fires in the forests of Siberia from literature data published over the past 50 years is given. Prior to 1970 the main attention in publications was given to the investigation of fire nature in the southern taiga and mountain forests of Western and Central Siberia, Altai and Trans-Baikal. From 1971 to 1980, publications were characterized by wider aspects of forest fire research and expansion of the geographical area of coverage. In the next 15–20 years, the main consideration was given to the impact of fires on forest formation process, fire emissions, carbon balance, and fire management’ problems. Also in this paper, the main trends and goals for future research are determined.

  1. Dry forests and wildland fires of the inland Northwest USA: contrasting the landscape ecology of the pre-settlement and modern eras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul F. Hessburg; James K. Agee; Jerry F. Franklin

    2005-01-01

    Prior to Euro-American settlement, dry ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests (hereafter, the "dry forests") of the Inland Northwest were burned by frequent low- or mixed-severity fires. These mostly surface fires maintained low and variable tree densities, light and patchy ground fuels, simplified forest structure, and favored fire-tolerant trees, such as...

  2. Rehabilitation of fire-damaged forest lands in southwestern Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. D. Nutting; James C. Rettie; Wayne G. Banks

    1949-01-01

    Recognizing that it can ill afford the loss of timber productivity on the large acreage of forest land burned over by the 1947 fires, the state of Maine requested assistance of the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station of the United States Forest Service in a program of research that would aid in the rehabilitation of the burned-over forest land.

  3. Evaluation of a temporal fire risk index in Mediterranean forests from NOAA thermal IR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vidal, A.; Pinglo, F.; Durand, H.; Devaux-Ros, C.; Maillet, A.

    1994-01-01

    Mediterranean forests are regularly subjected to a large number of fires; 537,000 ha were burned during the severe European drought of 1990. The French Ministries of Environment, Interior, and Agriculture are trying to implement efficient methods to prevent forest fires and to reduce their incidence. Fire risk is composed of human, ecological, and climatic factors that are already accounted for in prevention methods. However, the importance of biophysical factors, especially the water status of forest trees, bushes, grasses, and litter should also be considered. In a first step, thermal infrared data from NOAA-AVHRR daily images covering an 18-month period were used to estimate temporal variations of forest evapotranspiration through an energy budget-based relationship. Results were related to statistics on fire starts, in order to derive a fire risk index that can be used for a real-time regional alarm. (author)

  4. Potential for Extensive Forest Loss in the Klamath Mountains due to Increased Fire Activity and Altered Post-Fire Forest Recovery Dynamics in a Warming Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tepley, A. J.; Thompson, J. R.; Epstein, H. E.; Anderson-Teixeira, K. J.

    2016-12-01

    In the context of ongoing climatic warming, certain landscapes could be near a tipping point where relatively small changes to their fire regimes or post-fire forest recovery dynamics could bring about extensive conversion of forests to shorter-statured, more fire-prone vegetation, with associated changes in biodiversity, carbon dynamics, and climate feedbacks. Such concerns are particularly valid in the Klamath Region of northern California and southwestern Oregon, where montane landscapes support conifer forests, but severe fire converts them to systems dominated by broadleaf trees and shrubs that rapidly resprout or germinate from a dormant seedbank. Conifers eventually overtop the competing vegetation, but until they do, these systems are highly fire prone and susceptible to perpetuation through a cycle of reburning. To assess the vulnerability to fire-driven loss of conifer forests in a warming climate, we characterized the trajectories of post-fire forest recovery in 57 sites that burned severely within the last three decades and span the aridity gradient of montane conifer forests. Post-fire conifer regeneration was limited to a surprisingly narrow window, with 89% of all seedlings established in the first four years after fire. Early establishment conferred a competitive growth advantage such that the longer the lag between the fire year and the year of seedling establishment, the slower its height growth. A substantial portion of variation in post-fire conifer seedling density was driven by an interaction between propagule pressure and site moisture status (climatic water deficit). Mesic sites had abundant regeneration except where seed sources were nearly absent across large (ca. 50 ha) high-severity patches. Toward the dry end of the moisture gradient, much higher propagule pressure was required to support even moderate levels of conifer regeneration. The present distribution of conifer forests falls largely within the portion of the moisture gradient

  5. Effects of ground fires on element dynamics in mountainous coniferous forest in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin Näthe

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Disturbances such as fires are a natural phenomenon of forested ecosystems, having a different impact on (micro- climate (e.g. emissions of gases and aerosols, ecology (destruction of flora and fauna and nutrient cycles especially in the soils. Forest fires alter the spatial distribution (forest floor vs. mineral soil, binding forms (organic vs. inorganic and availability (water solubility of organic substances and nutrients. The effects of fires on chemical, biological and physical soil properties in forested ecosystems have been intensively studied in the last decades, especially in the Mediterranean area and North America. However, differences in fire intensity, forest type (species, age and location (climate, geological substrate, nutrient status lead to divergent results. Furthermore, only a few case studies focused on the effects of ground fires in hilly landscapes, on the vertical and lateral water-driven fluxes of elements (C, N, nutrients, as well as on the input of fire-released terrestrial nutrients into aquatic ecosystems. Thus, this study will evaluate the effects of low-severity fires on nutrient cycling in a coniferous forest in a hilly landscape connected to an aquatic system. At three spatially independent sites three paired plots (control and manipulated were chosen at a forested site in Thuringia, Germany. All plots are similar in the vegetation cover and pedogenetic properties.In relation to control sites, this study will examine the effects of low-severity fires on:a the mobilization of organic carbon and nutrients (released from ash material and the forest floor via leachate and erosion paths,b the binding form (inorganic/organic of elements and organic compounds, and c the particle size fraction (DOM/POM of elements and organic compounds.The goal of this study is a better understanding of the impact of forest fires on element cycling and release in a hilly landscape connected to an aquatic system, supposedly driven by

  6. Interactive effects of historical logging and fire exclusion on ponderosa pine forest structure in the northern Rockies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naficy, Cameron; Sala, Anna; Keeling, Eric G; Graham, Jon; DeLuca, Thomas H

    2010-10-01

    Increased forest density resulting from decades of fire exclusion is often perceived as the leading cause of historically aberrant, severe, contemporary wildfires and insect outbreaks documented in some fire-prone forests of the western United States. Based on this notion, current U.S. forest policy directs managers to reduce stand density and restore historical conditions in fire-excluded forests to help minimize high-severity disturbances. Historical logging, however, has also caused widespread change in forest vegetation conditions, but its long-term effects on vegetation structure and composition have never been adequately quantified. We document that fire-excluded ponderosa pine forests of the northern Rocky Mountains logged prior to 1960 have much higher average stand density, greater homogeneity of stand structure, more standing dead trees and increased abundance of fire-intolerant trees than paired fire-excluded, unlogged counterparts. Notably, the magnitude of the interactive effect of fire exclusion and historical logging substantially exceeds the effects of fire exclusion alone. These differences suggest that historically logged sites are more prone to severe wildfires and insect outbreaks than unlogged, fire-excluded forests and should be considered a high priority for fuels reduction treatments. Furthermore, we propose that ponderosa pine forests with these distinct management histories likely require distinct restoration approaches. We also highlight potential long-term risks of mechanical stand manipulation in unlogged forests and emphasize the need for a long-term view of fuels management.

  7. Mapping severe fire potential across the contiguous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brett H. Davis

    2016-01-01

    The Fire Severity Mapping System (FIRESEV) project is an effort to provide critical information and tools to fire managers that enhance their ability to assess potential ecological effects of wildland fire. A major component of FIRESEV is the development of a Severe Fire Potential Map (SFPM), a geographic dataset covering the contiguous United States (CONUS) that...

  8. Assessment of post-fire forest structural diversity using neighborhood parameter in the Sierra Madre Oriental, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diana Yemilet Avila Flores; Marco Aurelio González Tagle; Javier Jiménez Pérez; Oscar Aguirre Calderón; Eduardo Treviño Garza

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this research was to characterize the spatial structure patterns of a Pinus hartwegii forest in the Sierra Madre Oriental, affected by a fire in 1998. Sampling was stratified by fire severity. A total of three fire severity classes (low, medium and high) were defined. Three sample plots of 40m x 40m were established for each...

  9. Post-fire burn severity and vegetation response following eight large wildfires across the Western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leigh B. Lentile; Penelope Morgan; Andrew T. Hudak; Michael J. Bobbitt; Sarah A. Lewis; Alistair M. S. Smith; Peter R. Robichaud

    2007-01-01

    Vegetation response and burn severity were examined following eight large wildfires that burned in 2003 and 2004: two wildfires in California chaparral, two each in dry and moist mixed-conifer forests in Montana, and two in boreal forests in interior Alaska. Our research objectives were: 1) to characterize one year post-fire vegetation recovery relative to initial fire...

  10. Review of methods for modelling forest fire risk and hazard | Yakubu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    At global scale, fire is the most generalized means of transforming tropical forest in agricultural areas, and it has severe impacts on global atmospheric chemistry. Fire is a natural factor in many climates with high levels of vegetation stress. However, changes in traditional land use such as hunting, charcoal production, ...

  11. Areas of Agreement and Disagreement Regarding Ponderosa Pine and Mixed Conifer Forest Fire Regimes: A Dialogue with Stevens et al.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis C Odion

    Full Text Available In a recent PLOS ONE paper, we conducted an evidence-based analysis of current versus historical fire regimes and concluded that traditionally defined reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa and mixed-conifer forests were incomplete, missing considerable variability in forest structure and fire regimes. Stevens et al. (this issue agree that high-severity fire was a component of these forests, but disagree that one of the several sources of evidence, stand age from a large number of forest inventory and analysis (FIA plots across the western USA, support our findings that severe fire played more than a minor role ecologically in these forests. Here we highlight areas of agreement and disagreement about past fire, and analyze the methods Stevens et al. used to assess the FIA stand-age data. We found a major problem with a calculation they used to conclude that the FIA data were not useful for evaluating fire regimes. Their calculation, as well as a narrowing of the definition of high-severity fire from the one we used, leads to a large underestimate of conditions consistent with historical high-severity fire. The FIA stand age data do have limitations but they are consistent with other landscape-inference data sources in supporting a broader paradigm about historical variability of fire in ponderosa and mixed-conifer forests than had been traditionally recognized, as described in our previous PLOS paper.

  12. Areas of Agreement and Disagreement Regarding Ponderosa Pine and Mixed Conifer Forest Fire Regimes: A Dialogue with Stevens et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odion, Dennis C; Hanson, Chad T; Baker, William L; DellaSala, Dominick A; Williams, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    In a recent PLOS ONE paper, we conducted an evidence-based analysis of current versus historical fire regimes and concluded that traditionally defined reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and mixed-conifer forests were incomplete, missing considerable variability in forest structure and fire regimes. Stevens et al. (this issue) agree that high-severity fire was a component of these forests, but disagree that one of the several sources of evidence, stand age from a large number of forest inventory and analysis (FIA) plots across the western USA, support our findings that severe fire played more than a minor role ecologically in these forests. Here we highlight areas of agreement and disagreement about past fire, and analyze the methods Stevens et al. used to assess the FIA stand-age data. We found a major problem with a calculation they used to conclude that the FIA data were not useful for evaluating fire regimes. Their calculation, as well as a narrowing of the definition of high-severity fire from the one we used, leads to a large underestimate of conditions consistent with historical high-severity fire. The FIA stand age data do have limitations but they are consistent with other landscape-inference data sources in supporting a broader paradigm about historical variability of fire in ponderosa and mixed-conifer forests than had been traditionally recognized, as described in our previous PLOS paper.

  13. Fuels planning: Managing forest structure to reduce fire hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    David L. Peterson; Morris C. Johnson; James K. Agee; Theresa B. Jain; Donald McKenzie; Elizabeth D. Reinhardt

    2003-01-01

    Prior to the 20th century, low intensity fires burned regularly in most arid to semiarid forest ecosystems, with ignitions caused by lightning and humans (e.g., Baisan and Swetnam 1997, Allen et al. 2002, Hessl et al. 2004). Low intensity fires controlled regeneration of fire sensitive (e.g., grand fir [Abies grandis]) species (Arno and Allison-Bunnell 2002), promoted...

  14. Fire-regime variability impacts forest carbon dynamics for centuries to millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudiburg, Tara W.; Higuera, Philip E.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.

    2017-08-01

    Wildfire is a dominant disturbance agent in forest ecosystems, shaping important biogeochemical processes including net carbon (C) balance. Long-term monitoring and chronosequence studies highlight a resilience of biogeochemical properties to large, stand-replacing, high-severity fire events. In contrast, the consequences of repeated fires or temporal variability in a fire regime (e.g., the characteristic timing or severity of fire) are largely unknown, yet theory suggests that such variability could strongly influence forest C trajectories (i.e., future states or directions) for millennia. Here we combine a 4500-year paleoecological record of fire activity with ecosystem modeling to investigate how fire-regime variability impacts soil C and net ecosystem carbon balance. We found that C trajectories in a paleo-informed scenario differed significantly from an equilibrium scenario (with a constant fire return interval), largely due to variability in the timing and severity of past fires. Paleo-informed scenarios contained multi-century periods of positive and negative net ecosystem C balance, with magnitudes significantly larger than observed under the equilibrium scenario. Further, this variability created legacies in soil C trajectories that lasted for millennia. Our results imply that fire-regime variability is a major driver of C trajectories in stand-replacing fire regimes. Predicting carbon balance in these systems, therefore, will depend strongly on the ability of ecosystem models to represent a realistic range of fire-regime variability over the past several centuries to millennia.

  15. Fire performance in traditional silvicultural and fire and fire surrogate treatments in Sierran mixed-conifer forests: a brief summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason J. Moghaddas; Scott L. Stephens

    2007-01-01

    Mixed conifer forests cover 7.9 million acres of California’s total land base. Forest structure in these forests has been influenced by harvest practices and silvicultural systems implemented since the beginning of the California Gold Rush in 1849. Today, the role of fire in coniferous forests, both in shaping past stand structure and its ability to shape future...

  16. Temporal scaling behavior of forest and urban fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J.; Song, W.; Zheng, H.; Telesca, L.

    2009-04-01

    It has been found that many natural systems are characterized by scaling behavior. In such systems natural factors dominate the event dynamics. Forest fires in different countries have been found to exhibit frequency-size power law over many orders of magnitude and with similar value of parameters. But in countries with high population density such as China and Japan, more than 95% of the forest fire disasters are caused by human activities. Furthermore, with the development of society, the wildland-urban interface (WUI) area is becoming more and more populated, and the forest fire is much connected with urban fire. Therefore exploring the scaling behavior of fires dominated by human-related factors is very challenging. The present paper explores the temporal scaling behavior of forest fires and urban fires in Japan with mathematical methods. Two factors, Allan factor (AF) and Fano factor (FF) are used to investigate time-scaling of fire systems. It is found that the FF for both forest fires and urban fires increases linearly in log-log scales, and this indicates that it behaves as a power-law for all the investigated timescales. From the AF plot a 7 days cycle is found, which indicates a weekly cycle. This may be caused by human activities which has a weekly periodicity because on weekends people usually have more outdoor activities, which may cause more hidden trouble of fire disasters. Our findings point out that although the human factors are the main cause, both the forest fires and urban fires exhibit time-scaling behavior. At the same time, the scaling exponents for urban fires are larger than forest fires, signifying a more intense clustering. The reason may be that fires are affected not only by weather condition, but also by human activities, which play a more important role for urban fires than forest fires and have a power law distribution and scaling behavior. Then some work is done to the relative humidity. Similar distribution law characterizes the

  17. Patterns of Canopy and Surface Layer Consumption in a Boreal Forest Fire from Repeat Airborne Lidar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonzo, Michael; Morton, Douglas C.; Cook, Bruce D.; Andersen, Hans-Erik; Babcock, Chad; Pattison, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Fire in the boreal region is the dominant agent of forest disturbance with direct impacts on ecosystem structure, carbon cycling, and global climate. Global and biome-scale impacts are mediated by burn severity, measured as loss of forest canopy and consumption of the soil organic layer. To date, knowledge of the spatial variability in burn severity has been limited by sparse field sampling and moderate resolution satellite data. Here, we used pre- and post-fire airborne lidar data to directly estimate changes in canopy vertical structure and surface elevation for a 2005 boreal forest fire on Alaskas Kenai Peninsula. We found that both canopy and surface losses were strongly linked to pre-fire species composition and exhibited important fine-scale spatial variability at sub-30m resolution. The fractional reduction in canopy volume ranged from 0.61 in lowland black spruce stands to 0.27 in mixed white spruce and broad leaf forest. Residual structure largely reflects standing dead trees, highlighting the influence of pre-fire forest structure on delayed carbon losses from above ground biomass, post-fire albedo, and variability in understory light environments. Median loss of surface elevation was highest in lowland black spruce stands (0.18 m) but much lower in mixed stands (0.02 m), consistent with differences in pre-fire organic layer accumulation. Spatially continuous depth-of-burn estimates from repeat lidar measurements provide novel information to constrain carbon emissions from the surface organic layer and may inform related research on post-fire successional trajectories. Spectral measures of burn severity from Landsat were correlated with canopy (r = 0.76) and surface (r = -0.71) removal in black spruce stands but captured less of the spatial variability in fire effects for mixed stands (canopy r = 0.56, surface r = -0.26), underscoring the difficulty in capturing fire effects in heterogeneous boreal forest landscapes using proxy measures of burn severity

  18. Spatial and temporal corroboration of a fire-scar-based fire history in a frequently burned ponderosa pine forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvin A. Farris; Christopher H. Baisan; Donald A. Falk; Stephen R. Yool; Thomas W. Swetnam

    2010-01-01

    Fire scars are used widely to reconstruct historical fire regime parameters in forests around the world. Because fire scars provide incomplete records of past fire occurrence at discrete points in space, inferences must be made to reconstruct fire frequency and extent across landscapes using spatial networks of fire-scar samples. Assessing the relative accuracy of fire...

  19. Mega-fire Recovery in Dry Conifer Forests of the Interior West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malone, S. L.; Fornwalt, P.; Chambers, M. E.; Battaglia, M.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire is a complex landscape process with great uncertainty in whether trends in size and severity are shifting trajectories for ecosystem recovery that are outside of the historical range of variability. Considering that wildfire size and severity is likely to increase into the future with a drier climate, it is important that we understand wildfire effects and ecosystem recovery. To evaluate how ecosystems recover from wildfire we measured spatial patterns in regeneration and mapped tree refugia within mega-fire perimeters (Hayman, Jasper, Bobcat, and Grizzly Gulch) in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) dominated forest. On average, high severity fire effects accounted for > 15% of burned area and increased with fire size. Areas with high severity fire effects contained 1 - 15% tree refugia cover, compared to 37 - 70% observed in low severity areas . Large high severity patches with low coverage of tree refugia, were more frequent in larger fires and regeneration distances required to initiate forest recovery far exceeded 1.5 canopy height or 200 m, distances where the vast majority of regeneration is likely to arise. Using a recovery model driven by distance, we estimate recovery times between 300 to > 1000 years for these mega-fires. In Western dry conifer forests, large patches of stand replacing fire are likely to lead to uneven aged forest and very long recovery times.

  20. Quantifying Changes in Total and Pyrogenic Carbon Stocks Across Fire Severity Gradients Using Active Wildfire Incidents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Miesel

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Positive feedbacks between wildfire emissions and climate are expected to increase in strength in the future; however, fires not only release carbon (C from terrestrial to atmospheric pools, they also produce pyrogenic C (PyC which contributes to longer-term C stability. Our objective was to quantify wildfire impacts on total C and PyC stocks in California mixed-conifer forest, and to investigate patterns in C and PyC stocks and changes across gradients of fire severity, using metrics derived from remote sensing and field observations. Our unique study accessed active wildfires to establish and measure plots within days before and after fire, prior to substantial erosion. We measured pre- and post-fire aboveground forest structure and woody fuels to calculate aboveground biomass, C and PyC, and collected forest floor and 0–5 cm mineral soil samples. Immediate tree mortality increased with severity, but overstory C loss was minimal and limited primarily to foliage. Fire released 85% of understory and herbaceous C (comprising < 1.0% of total ecosystem C. The greatest C losses occurred from downed wood and forest floor pools (19.3 ± 5.1 Mg ha−1 and 25.9 ± 3.2 Mg ha−1, respectively. Tree bark and downed wood contributed the greatest PyC gains (1.5 ± 0.3 Mg ha−1 and 1.9 ± 0.8 Mg ha−1, respectively, and PyC in tree bark showed non-significant positive trends with increasing severity. Overall PyC losses of 1.9 ± 0.3 Mg ha−1 and 0.5 ± 0.1 Mg ha−1 occurred from forest floor and 0–5 cm mineral soil, with no clear patterns across severity. Fire resulted in a net ecosystem PyC gain (1.0 ± 1.0 Mg ha−1 across aboveground and belowground components of these forests, and there were no differences among severity levels. Carbon emissions represented only 21.6% of total forest C; however, extensive conversion of C from live to dead pools will contribute to large downed wood C pools susceptible to release in a subsequent fire, indicating

  1. Specifics of fire-preventing arrangements in the forests of Baikal region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. D. Evdokimenko

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Fire risk in major forest types and concomitant vegetation complexes across all altitudinal belts has been analyzed. High fire risk in woodlands is determined by domination of light needle coniferous stands in their structure and specific climate with continuous spring-summer droughts. Thus, the risk of landscape wildfires is high. The most drastic situations occur in very dry years of climatic cycles during forest pyrogenic anomalies when fire spreads across the main landscapes in several nature areas. Current fire-frequency is incompatible with high biosphere status of nature complex of Lake Baikal as an object of the World nature heritage. Extensive forest exploitation is unacceptable as well. Fire-prevention measures in the area require modernization. According to the results of many years of comparative studies of fire risk in phytocenoses with different species composition and structure of tree layers, the techniques of making fire stopping barriers were developed. The scheme of dividing the managed forests into isolated cells separated by special obstacles and fire-resistant forest borders combined with commonly used fire barriers is suggested. Fire-resistant barriers should be formed on both sides of main roads, passing through the intensively exploited woodlands dominating with common pine Pinus sylvestris L., Siberian stone pine Pinus sibirica Du Tour, Siberian spruce Picea obovata Ledeb., and Siberian fir Abies sibirica Ledeb. tree species. Such barriers are intended to stop the fire front of crown fires. The barrier width is determined by the cell order. The barriers are bordered with clearings with scarified soil strips of 3–4 meters in width. Trees and shrubs damaged in the process are removed during clutter cleaning. In places where the barrier passes through coniferous tree stands longitudinal corridors with scarified soil strips every 20–30 meters should be made. Reforestation and thinning are supposed to be combined with

  2. Effects of active forest fire on terrestrial ecosystem production and greenhouse gas emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sannigrahi, Srikanta; Rahmat, Shahid; Bhatt, Sandeep; Rana, Virendra

    2017-04-01

    The forest fire is one of the most catalysing agents which degrade an ecosystems leading to the loss of net and gross primary productivity (NPP & GPP) and carbon sequestration service. Additionally, it can suppress the efficiency of service providing capacity of an ecosystem throughout the time and space. Remote sensing-based forest fire estimation in a diverse ecosystem is very much essential for mitigating the biodiversity and productivity losses due to the forest fire. Satellite-based Land Surface Temperature (LST) has been calculated for the pre-fire and fire years to identify the burn severity hotspot across all eco-regions in the Lower Himalaya region. Several burn severity indices: Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR), Burnt Area Index (BAI), Normalized Multiband Drought Index (NMDI), Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), Global Environmental Monitoring Index (GEMI), Enhance Vegetation Index (EVI) have been used in this study to quantify the spatial and temporal changes (delta) of the selected indices. Two Light Use Efficiency (LUE) models: Carnegie- Ames-Stanford-Approach (CASA) and Vegetation Photosynthesis Model (VPM) have been used to quantify the terrestrial Net Primary Productivity (NPP) in the pre-fire and fire years across all biomes of the region. A novel approach has been preceded in this field to demonstrate the correlation between forest fire density (FFD) and NPP. A strong positive correlation was found between burn severity indices and predicted NPP: BAI and NPP (r = 0.49), NBR and NPP: (r = 0.58), EVI and NPP: (r = 0.72), SAVI and NPP: (r = 0.67), whereas, a negative association has noted between the NMDI and NPP: (r = -0.36) during the both studied years. Results have shown that the NPP is highly correlated with the forest fire density (R2 = 0.75, RMSE = 5.03 gC m-2 month-1). The estimated LST of the individual fire days has witnessed a sharp temperature increase by > 6oC - 9oC in comparison to the non-fire days clearly indicates high fire risk (in

  3. Broadleaf deciduous forest counterbalanced the direct effect of climate on Holocene fire regime in hemiboreal/boreal region (NE Europe)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feurdean, Angelica; Veski, Siim; Florescu, Gabriela; Vannière, Boris; Pfeiffer, Mirjam; O'Hara, Robert B.; Stivrins, Normunds; Amon, Leeli; Heinsalu, Atko; Vassiljev, Jüri; Hickler, Thomas

    2017-08-01

    Disturbances by fire are essential for the functioning of boreal/hemiboreal forests, but knowledge of long-term fire regime dynamics is limited. We analysed macrocharcoal morphologies and pollen of a sediment record from Lake Lielais Svētiņu (eastern Latvia), and in conjunction with fire traits analysis present the first record of Holocene variability in fire regime, fuel sources and fire types in boreal forests of the Baltic region. We found a phase of moderate to high fire activity during the cool and moist early (mean fire return interval; mFRI of ∼280 years; 11,700-7500 cal yr BP) and the late (mFRI of ∼190 years; 4500-0 cal yr BP) Holocene and low fire activity (mFRI of ∼630 years) during the Holocene Thermal Optimum (7500-4500 cal yr BP). Charcoal morphotypes and the pollen record show the predominance of frequent surface fires, occasionally transitioning to the crown during Pinus sylvestris-Betula boreal forests and less frequent surface fires during the dominance of temperate deciduous forests. In contrast to the prevailing opinion that fires in boreal forests are mostly low to moderate severity surface fires, we found evidence for common occurrence of stand-replacing crown fires in Picea abies canopy. Our results highlight that charcoal morphotypes analysis allows for distinguishing the fuel types and surface from crown fires, therefore significantly advancing our interpretation of fire regime. Future warmer temperatures and increase in the frequency of dry spells and abundant biomass accumulation can enhance the fire risk on the one hand, but will probably promote the expansion of broadleaf deciduous forests to higher latitudes, on the other hand. By highlighting the capability of broadleaf deciduous forests to act as fire-suppressing landscape elements, our results suggest that fire activity may not increase in the Baltic area under future climate change.

  4. Abrupt fire regime change may cause landscape-wide loss of mature obligate seeder forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowman, David M J S; Murphy, Brett P; Neyland, Dominic L J; Williamson, Grant J; Prior, Lynda D

    2014-03-01

    Obligate seeder trees requiring high-severity fires to regenerate may be vulnerable to population collapse if fire frequency increases abruptly. We tested this proposition using a long-lived obligate seeding forest tree, alpine ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis), in the Australian Alps. Since 2002, 85% of the Alps bioregion has been burnt by several very large fires, tracking the regional trend of more frequent extreme fire weather. High-severity fires removed 25% of aboveground tree biomass, and switched fuel arrays from low loads of herbaceous and litter fuels to high loads of flammable shrubs and juvenile trees, priming regenerating stands for subsequent fires. Single high-severity fires caused adult mortality and triggered mass regeneration, but a second fire in quick succession killed 97% of the regenerating alpine ash. Our results indicate that without interventions to reduce fire severity, interactions between flammability of regenerating stands and increased extreme fire weather will eliminate much of the remaining mature alpine ash forest. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Challenges and a checklist for biodiversity conservation in fire-prone forests: perspecitves from the Pacific Northwest of USA and Southeastern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas A. Spies; David B. Lindenmayer; A. Malcolm Gill; Scott L. Stephens; James K. Agee

    2012-01-01

    Conserving biodiversity in fire-prone forest ecosystems is challenging for several reasons including differing and incomplete conceptual models of fire-related ecological processes, major gaps in ecological and management knowledge, high variability in fire behavior and ecological responses to fires, altered fire regimes as a result of land-use history and climate...

  6. Fire regime in a Mexican forest under indigenous resource management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulé, Peter Z; Ramos-Gómez, Mauro; Cortés-Montaño, Citlali; Miller, Andrew M

    2011-04-01

    The Rarámuri (Tarahumara) people live in the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Madre Occidental of Chihuahua, Mexico. They base their subsistence on multiple-use strategies of their natural resources, including agriculture, pastoralism, and harvesting of native plants and wildlife. Pino Gordo is a Rarámuri settlement in a remote location where the forest has not been commercially logged. We reconstructed the forest fire regime from fire-scarred trees, measured the structure of the never-logged forest, and interviewed community members about fire use. Fire occurrence was consistent throughout the 19th and 20th centuries up to our fire scar collection in 2004. This is the least interrupted surface-fire regime reported to date in North America. Studies from other relict sites such as nature reserves in Mexico or the USA have all shown some recent alterations associated with industrialized society. At Pino Gordo, fires recurred frequently at the three study sites, with a composite mean fire interval of 1.9 years (all fires) to 7.6 years (fires scarring 25% or more of samples). Per-sample fire intervals averaged 10-14 years at the three sites. Approximately two-thirds of fires burned in the season of cambial dormancy, probably during the pre-monsoonal drought. Forests were dominated by pines and contained many large living trees and snags, in contrast to two nearby similar forests that have been logged. Community residents reported using fire for many purposes, consistent with previous literature on fire use by indigenous people. Pino Gordo is a valuable example of a continuing frequent-fire regime in a never-harvested forest. The Rarámuri people have actively conserved this forest through their traditional livelihood and management techniques, as opposed to logging the forest, and have also facilitated the fire regime by burning. The data contribute to a better understanding of the interactions of humans who live in pine forests and the fire regimes of these

  7. Satellite-Based Evaluation of the Post-Fire Recovery Process from the Worst Forest Fire Case in South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae-Hyun Ryu

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The worst forest fire in South Korea occurred in April 2000 on the eastern coast. Forest recovery works were conducted until 2005, and the forest has been monitored since the fire. Remote sensing techniques have been used to detect the burned areas and to evaluate the recovery-time point of the post-fire processes during the past 18 years. We used three indices, Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, and Gross Primary Production (GPP, to temporally monitor a burned area in terms of its moisture condition, vegetation biomass, and photosynthetic activity, respectively. The change of those three indices by forest recovery processes was relatively analyzed using an unburned reference area. The selected unburned area had similar characteristics to the burned area prior to the forest fire. The temporal patterns of NBR and NDVI, not only showed the forest recovery process as a result of forest management, but also statistically distinguished the recovery periods at the regions of low, moderate, and high fire severity. The NBR2.1 for all areas, calculated using 2.1 μm wavelengths, reached the unburned state in 2008. The NDVI for areas with low and moderate fire severity levels became significantly equal to the unburned state in 2009 (p > 0.05, but areas with high severity levels did not reach the unburned state until 2017. This indicated that the surface and vegetation moisture conditions recovered to the unburned state about 8 years after the fire event, while vegetation biomass and health required a longer time to recover, particularly for high severity regions. In the case of GPP, it rapidly recovered after about 3 years. Then, the steady increase in GPP surpassed the GPP of the reference area in 2015 because of the rapid growth and high photosynthetic activity of young forests. Therefore, the concluding scientific message is that, because the recovery-time point for each component of the forest ecosystem is

  8. Economic vulnerability of timber resources to forest fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francisco Rodriguez y Silva; Juan Ramon Molina; Armando Gonzalez-Caban; Miguel Angel Herrera Machuca

    2012-01-01

    The temporal-spatial planning of activities for a territorial fire management program requires knowing the value of forest ecosystems. In this paper we extend to and apply the economic valuation principle to the concept of economic vulnerability and present a methodology for the economic valuation of the forest production ecosystems. The forest vulnerability is...

  9. Climate change impact on landscape fire and forest biomass dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, C.

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study was to improve current understandings of fire regimes. The estimation of biomass dynamics at the stand scale is essential for understanding landscape scale biomass dynamics, particularly in order to understand the potential effects of fire regimes. This study presented a synthesis of research results obtained from stand scale studies together with fire behaviour and weather variables. Landscape structure, topography and climate conditions were also considered. Integration of the data was conducted with the SEM-LAND model, a spatially explicit model for landscape dynamics. Equations for the model were presented, including fire initiation and spread, as well as a lightning fire process and simulated fire suppression. Results indicated that fire suppression could alter the distribution of fire sizes. The effect of tree and stand mortality on forest biomass estimates was also discussed along with the impact of climate change on fire regimes. Results indicate that fire activities are likely to increase. Results also demonstrate that fire frequency and size distribution are correlated without human intervention. Theoretical negative exponential forest age distribution is not always supported by empirical observations. Point-based fire frequency and fire cycle definitions are special cases from a computational perspective. Detection of quantitative interrelationships may simplify preconditions for estimating fire regimes, and serve as a means to address incomplete empirical observations. 12 refs., 3 figs

  10. Synergy between land use and climate change increases future fire risk in Amazon forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Le Page

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Tropical forests have been a permanent feature of the Amazon basin for at least 55 million years, yet climate change and land use threaten the forest's future over the next century. Understory forest fires, which are common under the current climate in frontier forests, may accelerate Amazon forest losses from climate-driven dieback and deforestation. Far from land use frontiers, scarce fire ignitions and high moisture levels preclude significant burning, yet projected climate and land use changes may increase fire activity in these remote regions. Here, we used a fire model specifically parameterized for Amazon understory fires to examine the interactions between anthropogenic activities and climate under current and projected conditions. In a scenario of low mitigation efforts with substantial land use expansion and climate change – Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP 8.5 – projected understory fires increase in frequency and duration, burning 4–28 times more forest in 2080–2100 than during 1990–2010. In contrast, active climate mitigation and land use contraction in RCP4.5 constrain the projected increase in fire activity to 0.9–5.4 times contemporary burned area. Importantly, if climate mitigation is not successful, land use contraction alone is very effective under low to moderate climate change, but does little to reduce fire activity under the most severe climate projections. These results underscore the potential for a fire-driven transformation of Amazon forests if recent regional policies for forest conservation are not paired with global efforts to mitigate climate change.

  11. Humans, Fires, and Forests - Social science applied to fire management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna J. Cortner; Donald R. Field; Pam Jakes; James D. Buthman

    2003-01-01

    The 2000 and 2002 fire seasons resulted in increased political scrutiny of the nation's wildland fire threats, and given the fact that millions of acres of lands are still at high risk for future catastrophic fire events, the issues highlighted by the recent fire seasons are not likely to go away any time soon. Recognizing the magnitude of the problem, the...

  12. METHOD OF FOREST FIRES PROBABILITY ASSESSMENT WITH POISSON LAW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Plotnikova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The article describes the method for the forest fire burn probability estimation on a base of Poisson distribution. The λ parameter is assumed to be a mean daily number of fires detected for each Forest Fire Danger Index class within specific period of time. Thus, λ was calculated for spring, summer and autumn seasons separately. Multi-annual daily Forest Fire Danger Index values together with EO-derived hot spot map were input data for the statistical analysis. The major result of the study is generation of the database on forest fire burn probability. Results were validated against EO daily data on forest fires detected over Irkutsk oblast in 2013. Daily weighted average probability was shown to be linked with the daily number of detected forest fires. Meanwhile, there was found a number of fires which were developed when estimated probability was low. The possible explanation of this phenomenon was provided.

  13. Economic vulnerability of timber resources to forest fires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    y Silva, Francisco Rodríguez; Molina, Juan Ramón; González-Cabán, Armando; Machuca, Miguel Ángel Herrera

    2012-06-15

    The temporal-spatial planning of activities for a territorial fire management program requires knowing the value of forest ecosystems. In this paper we extend to and apply the economic valuation principle to the concept of economic vulnerability and present a methodology for the economic valuation of the forest production ecosystems. The forest vulnerability is analyzed from criteria intrinsically associated to the forest characterization, and to the potential behavior of surface fires. Integrating a mapping process of fire potential and analytical valuation algorithms facilitates the implementation of fire prevention planning. The availability of cartography of economic vulnerability of the forest ecosystems is fundamental for budget optimization, and to help in the decision making process. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. WebGIS Platform Adressed to Forest Fire Management Methodologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    André Ramos-Simões, Nuno; Neto Paixão, Helena Maria; Granja Martins, Fernando Miguel; Pedras, Celestina; Lança, Rui; Silva, Elisa; Jordán, António; Zavala, Lorena; Soares, Cristina

    2015-04-01

    Forest fires are one of the natural disasters that causes more damages in nature, as well as high material costs, and sometimes, a significant losses in human lives. In summer season, when high temperatures are attained, fire may rapidly progress and destroy vast areas of forest and also rural and urban areas. The forest fires have effect on forest species, forest composition and structure, soil properties and soil capacity for nutrient retention. In order to minimize the negative impact of the forest fires in the environment, many studies have been developed, e.g. Jordán et al (2009), Cerdà & Jordán (2010), and Gonçalves & Vieira (2013). Nowadays, Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies are used as support tools in fire management decisions, namely during the fire, but also before and after. This study presents the development of a user-friendly WebGIS dedicated to share data, maps and provide updated information on forest fire management for stakeholders in Iberia Peninsula. The WebGIS platform was developed with ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS for Desktop; HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and Javascript. This platform has a database that includes spatial and alphanumeric information, such as: origin, burned areas, vegetation change over time, terrain natural slope, land use, soil erosion and fire related hazards. The same database contains also the following relevant information: water sources, forest tracks and traffic ways, lookout posts and urban areas. The aim of this study is to provide the authorities with a tool to assess risk areas and manage more efficiently forest fire hazards, giving more support to their decisions and helping the populations when facing this kind of phenomena.

  15. Small-area estimation of forest attributes within fire boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    T. Frescino; G. Moisen; K. Adachi; J. Breidt

    2014-01-01

    Wildfires are gaining more attention every year as they burn more frequently, more intensely, and across larger landscapes. Generating timely estimates of forest resources within fire perimeters is important for land managers to quickly determine the impact of fi res on U.S. forests. The U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program needs tools to...

  16. Characterization of the Fire Regime and Drivers of Fires in the West African Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwomoh, F. K.; Wimberly, M. C.

    2016-12-01

    The Upper Guinean forest (UGF), encompassing the tropical regions of West Africa, is a globally significant biodiversity hotspot and a critically important socio-economic and ecological resource for the region. However, the UGF is one of the most human-disturbed tropical forest ecosystems with the only remaining large patches of original forests distributed in protected areas, which are embedded in a hotspot of climate stress & land use pressures, increasing their vulnerability to fire. We hypothesized that human impacts and climate interact to drive spatial and temporal variability in fire, with fire exhibiting distinctive seasonality and sensitivity to drought in areas characterized by different population densities, agricultural practices, vegetation types, and levels of forest degradation. We used the MODIS active fire product to identify and characterize fire activity in the major ecoregions of the UGF. We used TRMM rainfall data to measure climatic variability and derived indicators of human land use from a variety of geospatial datasets. We employed time series modeling to identify the influences of drought indices and other antecedent climatic indicators on temporal patterns of active fire occurrence. We used a variety of modeling approaches to assess the influences of human activities and land cover variables on the spatial pattern of fire activity. Our results showed that temporal patterns of fire activity in the UGF were related to precipitation, but these relationships were spatially heterogeneous. The pattern of fire seasonality varied geographically, reflecting both climatological patterns and agricultural practices. The spatial pattern of fire activity was strongly associated with vegetation gradients and anthropogenic activities occurring at fine spatial scales. The Guinean forest-savanna mosaic ecoregion had the most fires. This study contributes to our understanding of UGF fire regime and the spatio-temporal dynamics of tropical forest fires in

  17. Evaluating the impact of climate on forest vulnerability to fires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Živanović Stanimir

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The assessment of the threat of forest fires usually includes identification of factors and quantification of risk levels. This work presents an approach to modeling the risk of forest fires caused by climate impacts. Climate Impact Assessment is based on the significance of air temperature, rainfall and relative air humidity. The analysis is based on the meteorological data obtained from 26 meteorological stations in Serbia for the period from 1981 to 2010. The analysis is used to predict the areas where the expected rate of fire is high. The method is simple; it describes the key variables for the risk under climate impacts and the spatial pattern of risk. It is suitable for operational use by authorized services. The risk of forest fire is classified as negligible, small, medium and large. The database and analysis results were used to build the matrix of risk assessment of forest fires in Serbia. A great part of the territory of Serbia is relatively highly sensitive to forest fires. The lowest consequences of climate impacts are visible in the areas of Kopaonik and Zlatibor. In Serbia, there is no place where there is a negligible risk of fire. Further research, especially in terms of the relationship between climate change and the adaptive capacity of existing forest ecosystems, species and existing genotypes, is urgently needed in Serbia.

  18. Fire spread estimation on forest wildfire using ensemble kalman filter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syarifah, Wardatus; Apriliani, Erna

    2018-04-01

    Wildfire is one of the most frequent disasters in the world, for example forest wildfire, causing population of forest decrease. Forest wildfire, whether naturally occurring or prescribed, are potential risks for ecosystems and human settlements. These risks can be managed by monitoring the weather, prescribing fires to limit available fuel, and creating firebreaks. With computer simulations we can predict and explore how fires may spread. The model of fire spread on forest wildfire was established to determine the fire properties. The fire spread model is prepared based on the equation of the diffusion reaction model. There are many methods to estimate the spread of fire. The Kalman Filter Ensemble Method is a modified estimation method of the Kalman Filter algorithm that can be used to estimate linear and non-linear system models. In this research will apply Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) method to estimate the spread of fire on forest wildfire. Before applying the EnKF method, the fire spread model will be discreted using finite difference method. At the end, the analysis obtained illustrated by numerical simulation using software. The simulation results show that the Ensemble Kalman Filter method is closer to the system model when the ensemble value is greater, while the covariance value of the system model and the smaller the measurement.

  19. Comparing modern and presettlement forest dynamics of a subboreal wilderness: Does spruce budworm enhance fire risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturtevant, Brian R.; Miranda, Brian R.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; Gustafson, Eric J.; Wolter, Peter T.

    2012-01-01

    Insect disturbance is often thought to increase fire risk through enhanced fuel loadings, particularly in coniferous forest ecosystems. Yet insect disturbances also affect successional pathways and landscape structure that interact with fire disturbances (and vice-versa) over longer time scales. We applied a landscape succession and disturbance model (LANDIS-II) to evaluate the relative strength of interactions between spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) outbreaks and fire disturbances in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) in northern Minnesota (USA). Disturbance interactions were evaluated for two different scenarios: presettlement forests and fire regimes vs. contemporary forests and fire regimes. Forest composition under the contemporary scenario trended toward mixtures of deciduous species (primarily Betula papyrifera and Populus spp.) and shade-tolerant conifers (Picea mariana, Abies balsamea, Thuja occidentalis), with disturbances dominated by a combination of budworm defoliation and high-severity fires. The presettlement scenario retained comparatively more “big pines” (i.e., Pinus strobus, P. resinosa) and tamarack (L. laricina), and experienced less budworm disturbance and a comparatively less-severe fire regime. Spruce budworm disturbance decreased area burned and fire severity under both scenarios when averaged across the entire 300-year simulations. Contrary to past research, area burned and fire severity during outbreak decades were each similar to that observed in non-outbreak decades. Our analyses suggest budworm disturbances within forests of the BWCA have a comparatively weak effect on long-term forest composition due to a combination of characteristics. These include strict host specificity, fine-scaled patchiness created by defoliation damage, and advance regeneration of its primary host, balsam fir (A. balsamea) that allows its host to persist despite repeated disturbances. Understanding the nature of the three-way interaction

  20. Land surveys show regional variability of historical fire regimes and dry forest structure of the western United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, William L; Williams, Mark A

    2018-03-01

    An understanding of how historical fire and structure in dry forests (ponderosa pine, dry mixed conifer) varied across the western United States remains incomplete. Yet, fire strongly affects ecosystem services, and forest restoration programs are underway. We used General Land Office survey reconstructions from the late 1800s across 11 landscapes covering ~1.9 million ha in four states to analyze spatial variation in fire regimes and forest structure. We first synthesized the state of validation of our methods using 20 modern validations, 53 historical cross-validations, and corroborating evidence. These show our method creates accurate reconstructions with low errors. One independent modern test reported high error, but did not replicate our method and made many calculation errors. Using reconstructed parameters of historical fire regimes and forest structure from our validated methods, forests were found to be non-uniform across the 11 landscapes, but grouped together in three geographical areas. Each had a mixture of fire severities, but dominated by low-severity fire and low median tree density in Arizona, mixed-severity fire and intermediate to high median tree density in Oregon-California, and high-severity fire and intermediate median tree density in Colorado. Programs to restore fire and forest structure could benefit from regional frameworks, rather than one size fits all. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Effects of forest fires in southern and central of Zabaykal region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. V. Buryak

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The fire frequency situation in Zabaykal region from 1964 to 2015 is evaluated and discussed in the paper. The main reasons of decadal increase of fire numbers and the area burned are revealed. The main reasons of high fire frequency and the increase of fire activity in the last decades are shown. The characteristics of the weather conditions in the years of high fire frequency are presented. Fire activity was found to increase not only because of the droughts in the last decades but also due to forest disturbances in Zabaykalsky Krai by illegal logging. Based on the data from 170 sample sites laid out with the use of satellite images, forest inventory data and results of ground sample transects, the impact of the wildfires of different type, form and severity on tree mortality in the light-coniferous forests was estimated, as well as the amount of tree regeneration in the forest areas disturbed by fires, logged sites (both burned and unburned, and sites burned repeatedly was evaluated. Wildfires in the Zabaykal region were found to be strong ecological factor influencing on the probability of existence of many forest ecosystems. In case of further climate warming and repeated fires, the part of the forests may transform to the non forest areas. The steppification of the burned sites in the southern forest-steppe regions and in the low parts of the southern slopes at the border with steppe landscapes as well as desertification in the central parts of the region and swamping of burned sites located in the wet soils are observed. Wind and water soil erosion happens at the large burned sites.

  2. [Measurement model of carbon emission from forest fire: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hai-Qing; Wei, Shu-Jing; Jin, Sen; Sun, Long

    2012-05-01

    Forest fire is the main disturbance factor for forest ecosystem, and an important pathway of the decrease of vegetation- and soil carbon storage. Large amount of carbonaceous gases in forest fire can release into atmosphere, giving remarkable impacts on the atmospheric carbon balance and global climate change. To scientifically and effectively measure the carbonaceous gases emission from forest fire is of importance in understanding the significance of forest fire in the carbon balance and climate change. This paper reviewed the research progress in the measurement model of carbon emission from forest fire, which covered three critical issues, i. e., measurement methods of forest fire-induced total carbon emission and carbonaceous gases emission, affecting factors and measurement parameters of measurement model, and cause analysis of the uncertainty in the measurement of the carbon emissions. Three path selections to improve the quantitative measurement of the carbon emissions were proposed, i. e., using high resolution remote sensing data and improving algorithm and estimation accuracy of burned area in combining with effective fuel measurement model to improve the accuracy of the estimated fuel load, using high resolution remote sensing images combined with indoor controlled environment experiments, field measurements, and field ground surveys to determine the combustion efficiency, and combining indoor controlled environment experiments with field air sampling to determine the emission factors and emission ratio.

  3. Effect of Experimentally Manipulated Fire Regimes on the Response of Forests to Drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Refsland, T. K.; Knapp, B.; Fraterrigo, J.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change is expected to increase drought stress in many forests and alter fire regimes. Fire can reduce tree density and thus competition for limited water, but the effects of changing fire regimes on forest productivity during drought remain poorly understood. We measured the annual ring-widths of adult oak (Quercus spp.) trees in Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri USA that experienced unburned, annual or periodic (every 4 years) surface fire treatments from 1951 - 2015. Severe drought events were identified using the BILJOU water balance model. We determined the effect of fire treatment on stand-level annual growth rates as well as stand-level resistance and resilience to drought, defined as the drought-induced reduction in growth and post-drought recovery in growth, respectively. During favorable wet years, annual and periodic fire treatments reduced annual growth rates by approximately 10-15% relative to unburned controls (P burned stands during favorable wet years was likely caused by increased nitrogen (N) limitation in burned plots. After 60 years of treatment, burned plots experienced 30% declines in total soil N relative to unburned plots. Our finding that drought resistance and resilience were similar across all treatments suggest that fire-driven reductions in stand density may have negligible effects on soil moisture availability during drought. Our results highlight that climate-fire interactions can have important long-term effects on forest productivity.

  4. Strengthening community participation in reducing GHG emission from forest and peatland fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoha, A. S.; Saharjo, B. H.; Boer, R.; Ardiansyah, M.

    2018-02-01

    Strengthening community participation is needed to find solutions to encourage community more participate in reducing Green House Gas (GHG) from forest and peatland fire. This research aimed to identify stakeholders that have the role in forest and peatland fire control and to formulate strengthening model of community participation through community-based early warning fire. Stakeholder mapping and action research were used to determine stakeholders that had potential influence and interest and to formulate strengthening model of community participation in reducing GHG from forest and peatland fire. There was found that position of key players in the mapping of stakeholders came from the government institution. The existence of community-based fire control group can strengthen government institution through collaborating with stakeholders having strong interest and influence. Moreover, it was found several local knowledge in Kapuas District about how communities predict drought that have potential value for developing the community-based early warning fire system. Formulated institutional model in this research also can be further developed as a model institution in the preservation of natural resources based on local knowledge. In conclusion, local knowledge and community-based fire groups can be integrated within strengthening model of community participation in reducing GHG from forest and peatland fire.

  5. Focused sunlight factor of forest fire danger assessment using Web-GIS and RS technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranovskiy, Nikolay V.; Sherstnyov, Vladislav S.; Yankovich, Elena P.; Engel, Marina V.; Belov, Vladimir V.

    2016-08-01

    Timiryazevskiy forestry of Tomsk region (Siberia, Russia) is a study area elaborated in current research. Forest fire danger assessment is based on unique technology using probabilistic criterion, statistical data on forest fires, meteorological conditions, forest sites classification and remote sensing data. MODIS products are used for estimating some meteorological conditions and current forest fire situation. Geonformation technologies are used for geospatial analysis of forest fire danger situation on controlled forested territories. GIS-engine provides opportunities to construct electronic maps with different levels of forest fire probability and support raster layer for satellite remote sensing data on current forest fires. Web-interface is used for data loading on specific web-site and for forest fire danger data representation via World Wide Web. Special web-forms provide interface for choosing of relevant input data in order to process the forest fire danger data and assess the forest fire probability.

  6. Tree diversity, composition, forest structure and aboveground biomass dynamics after single and repeated fire in a Bornean rain forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slik, J.W.F.; Bernard, C.S.; Beek, van M.; Breman, F.C.; Eichhorn, K.A.O.

    2008-01-01

    Forest fires remain a devastating phenomenon in the tropics that not only affect forest structure and biodiversity, but also contribute significantly to atmospheric CO2. Fire used to be extremely rare in tropical forests, leaving ample time for forests to regenerate to pre-fire conditions. In recent

  7. Fire in the forest: The air quality dilemma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Core, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    Fire has long been an important tool of forest land managers. Air regulators responsible for assuring that the provisions of the Clean Air Act are met, see smoke from forest land burning as just another source of air pollution. From an air quality standpoint, pollutants released by forestry burning practices are no different than those emitted from other sources since smoke is smoke, regardless of whether it comes from a woodstove, a wood products industry stack, agricultural burning, or forestry land management. This paper discusses the dilemma that air quality and forest land managers face when balancing air quality protection with the role of fire in the forest

  8. A Forest Fire Sensor Web Concept with UAVSAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Y.; Chien, S.; Clark, D.; Doubleday, J.; Muellerschoen, R.; Zheng, Y.

    2008-12-01

    We developed a forest fire sensor web concept with a UAVSAR-based smart sensor and onboard automated response capability that will allow us to monitor fire progression based on coarse initial information provided by an external source. This autonomous disturbance detection and monitoring system combines the unique capabilities of imaging radar with high throughput onboard processing technology and onboard automated response capability based on specific science algorithms. In this forest fire sensor web scenario, a fire is initially located by MODIS/RapidFire or a ground-based fire observer. This information is transmitted to the UAVSAR onboard automated response system (CASPER). CASPER generates a flight plan to cover the alerted fire area and executes the flight plan. The onboard processor generates the fuel load map from raw radar data, used with wind and elevation information, predicts the likely fire progression. CASPER then autonomously alters the flight plan to track the fire progression, providing this information to the fire fighting team on the ground. We can also relay the precise fire location to other remote sensing assets with autonomous response capability such as Earth Observation-1 (EO-1)'s hyper-spectral imager to acquire the fire data.

  9. Estimation of Forest Fire-fighting Budgets Using Climate Indexes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xu, Z.; Kooten, van G.C.

    2012-01-01

    Given the complexity and relative short length of current predicting system for fire behavior, it is inappropriate to be referred for planning fire-fighting budgets of BC government due to the severe uncertainty of fire behavior across fire seasons. Therefore, a simple weather derived index for

  10. Forest fires may cause cooling in boreal Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Atreyee

    2012-08-01

    As climate in North America continues to become warmer and drier through the 21st century, a new study finds that fire may be playing an increasingly important role in shaping the climate of the boreal regions of Canada. Forest fires change the amount of shortwave radiation absorbed by Earth's surface by reducing vegetation cover and changing the composition of plant species, thereby changing the reflectivity of the surface (albedo). Fires also affect other ecosystem processes and increase aerosol (particularly soot) emission and deposition, all of which alter regional climate through a series of feedbacks mechanisms. Jin et al. used satellite observations of surface albedo from 2000 to 2011 and fire perimeter data since 1970 to study how forest fires affect surface albedo and associated shortwave radiation at the surface, across forests in boreal Canada.

  11. RLC Forest Fire Images in Russia, 1998-1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ABSTRACT: This data set is made up of images of forest fires in Russia from NOAA's Operational Significant Event Imagery (OSEI) archive (http://www.osei.noaa.gov)...

  12. RLC Forest Fire Images in Russia, 1998-1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set is made up of images of forest fires in Russia from NOAA's Operational Significant Event Imagery (OSEI) archive (http://www.osei.noaa.gov) for the 1998...

  13. Afforestation, Subsequent Forest Fires and Provision of Hydrological Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nunes, João Pedro; Naranjo Quintanilla, Paula; Santos, Juliana Marisa; Serpa, Dalila; Carvalho-Santos, Cláudia; Rocha, João; Keizer, Jan Jacob; Keesstra, Saskia Deborah

    2018-01-01

    Mediterranean landscapes have experienced extensive abandonment and reforestation in recent decades, which should have improved the provision of hydrological services such as flood mitigation, soil erosion protection and water quality regulation. However, these forests are fire-prone, and the

  14. Land cover change interacts with drought severity to change fire regimes in Western Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Vélez, Víctor H; Uriarte, María; DeFries, Ruth; Pinedo-Vásquez, Miguel; Fernandes, Katia; Ceccato, Pietro; Baethgen, Walter; Padoch, Christine

    Fire is becoming a pervasive driver of environmental change in Amazonia and is expected to intensify, given projected reductions in precipitation and forest cover. Understanding of the influence of post-deforestation land cover change on fires in Amazonia is limited, even though fires in cleared lands constitute a threat for ecosystems, agriculture, and human health. We used MODIS satellite data to map burned areas annually between 2001 and 2010. We then combined these maps with land cover and climate information to understand the influence of land cover change in cleared lands and dry-season severity on fire occurrence and spread in a focus area in the Peruvian Amazon. Fire occurrence, quantified as the probability of burning of individual 232-m spatial resolution MODIS pixels, was modeled as a function of the area of land cover types within each pixel, drought severity, and distance to roads. Fire spread, quantified as the number of pixels burned in 3 × 3 pixel windows around each focal burned pixel, was modeled as a function of land cover configuration and area, dry-season severity, and distance to roads. We found that vegetation regrowth and oil palm expansion are significantly correlated with fire occurrence, but that the magnitude and sign of the correlation depend on drought severity, successional stage of regrowing vegetation, and oil palm age. Burning probability increased with the area of nondegraded pastures, fallow, and young oil palm and decreased with larger extents of degraded pastures, secondary forests, and adult oil palm plantations. Drought severity had the strongest influence on fire occurrence, overriding the effectiveness of secondary forests, but not of adult plantations, to reduce fire occurrence in severely dry years. Overall, irregular and scattered land cover patches reduced fire spread but irregular and dispersed fallows and secondary forests increased fire spread during dry years. Results underscore the importance of land cover

  15. Forest Fire Management: A Comprehensive And Operational Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabrizi, Roberto; Perez, Bruno; Gomez, Antonio

    2013-12-01

    Remote sensing plays an important role in obtaining rapid and complete information on the occurrence and evolution in space and time of forest fires. In this paper, we present a comprehensive study of fire events through Earth Observation data for early warning, crisis monitoring and post-event damage assessment or a synthesis of the fire event, both in a wide spatial range (local to regional) and temporal scale (short to long term). The fire products are stored and distributed by means of a WebGIS and a Geoportal with additional auxiliary geospatial data. These products allow fire managers to perform analysis and decision making in a more comprehensive manner.

  16. Forest fire management to avoid unintended consequences: a case study of Portugal using system dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Ross D; de Neufville, Richard; Claro, João; Oliveira, Tiago; Pacheco, Abílio P

    2013-11-30

    Forest fires are a serious management challenge in many regions, complicating the appropriate allocation to suppression and prevention efforts. Using a System Dynamics (SD) model, this paper explores how interactions between physical and political systems in forest fire management impact the effectiveness of different allocations. A core issue is that apparently sound management can have unintended consequences. An instinctive management response to periods of worsening fire severity is to increase fire suppression capacity, an approach with immediate appeal as it directly treats the symptom of devastating fires and appeases the public. However, the SD analysis indicates that a policy emphasizing suppression can degrade the long-run effectiveness of forest fire management. By crowding out efforts to preventative fuel removal, it exacerbates fuel loads and leads to greater fires, which further balloon suppression budgets. The business management literature refers to this problem as the firefighting trap, wherein focus on fixing problems diverts attention from preventing them, and thus leads to inferior outcomes. The paper illustrates these phenomena through a case study of Portugal, showing that a balanced approach to suppression and prevention efforts can mitigate the self-reinforcing consequences of this trap, and better manage long-term fire damages. These insights can help policymakers and fire managers better appreciate the interconnected systems in which their authorities reside and the dynamics that may undermine seemingly rational management decisions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Microclimate and Modeled Fire Behavior Differ Between Adjacent Forest Types in Northern Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Pinto

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Fire severity varies with forest composition and structure, reflecting micrometeorology and the fuel complex, but their respective influences are difficult to untangle from observation alone. We quantify the differences in fire weather between different forest types and the resulting differences in modeled fire behavior. Collection of in-stand weather data proceeded during two summer periods in three adjacent stands in northern Portugal, respectively Pinus pinaster (PP, Betula alba (BA, and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (CL. Air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed varied respectively as CL < PP < BA, PP < CL < BA, and CL < BA < PP. Differences between PP and the other types were greatest during the warmest and driest hours of the day in a sequence of 10 days with high fire danger. Estimates of daytime moisture content of fine dead fuels and fire behavior characteristics for this period, respectively, from Behave and BehavePlus, indicate a CL < BA < PP gradient in fire potential. High stand density in CL and BA ensured lower wind speed and higher fuel moisture content than in PP, limiting the likelihood of an extreme fire environment. However, regression tree analysis revealed that the fire behavior distinction between the three forest types was primarily a function of the surface fuel complex, and more so during extreme fire weather conditions.

  18. The impact of precipitation regimes on forest fires in Yunnan Province, southwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Feng; Niu, Shukui; Tong, Xiaojuan; Zhao, Jinlong; Sun, Yu; He, Tengfei

    2014-01-01

    The amount, frequency, and duration of precipitation have important impact on the occurrence and severity of forest fires. To fully understand the effects of precipitation regimes on forest fires, a drought index was developed with number of consecutive dry days (daily precipitation less than 2 mm) and total precipitation, and the relationships of drought and precipitation with fire activities were investigated over two periods (i.e., 1982-1988 and 1989-2008) in five ecoregions of Yunnan Province. The results showed that precipitation regime had a significant relationship with fire activities during the two periods. However, the influence of the drought on fire activities varied by ecoregions, with more impacts in drier ecoregions IV-V and less impacts in the more humid ecoregions I-III. The drought was more closely related to fire activities than precipitation during the two study periods, especially in the drier ecoregions, indicating that the frequency and the duration of precipitation had significant influences on forest fires in the drier areas. Drought appears to offer a better explanation than total precipitation on temporal changes in fire regimes across the five ecoregions in Yunnan. Our findings have significant implications for forecasting the local fire dangers under the future climate change.

  19. Forest Understory Fire in the Brazilian Amazon in ENSO and Non-ENSO Years: Area Burned and Committed Carbon Emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alencar, A.; Nepstad, D.; Ver-Diaz, M. Del. C.

    2004-01-01

    "Understory fires" that burn the floor of standing forests are one of the most important types of forest impoverishment in the Amazon, especially during the severe droughts of El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) episodes. However, we are aware of no estimates of the areal extent of these fires for the Brazilian Amazon and, hence, of their contribution to Amazon carbon fluxes to the atmosphere. We calculated the area of forest understory fires for the Brazilian Amazon region during an El Nino (1998) and a non El Nino (1995) year based on forest fire scars mapped with satellite images for three locations in eastern and southern Amazon, where deforestation is concentrated. The three study sites represented a gradient of both forest types and dry season severity. The burning scar maps were used to determine how the percentage of forest that burned varied with distance from agricultural clearings. These spatial functions were then applied to similar forest/climate combinations outside of the study sites to derive an initial estimate for the Brazilian Amazon. Ninety-one percent of the forest area that burned in the study sites was within the first kilometer of a clearing for the non ENSO year and within the first four kilometers for the ENSO year. The area of forest burned by understory forest fire during the severe drought (ENSO) year (3.9 millions of hectares) was 13 times greater than the area burned during the average rainfall year (0.2 million hectares), and twice the area of annual deforestation rate. Dense forest was, proportionally, the forest area most affected by understory fires during the El Nino year, while understory fires were concentrated in transitional forests during the year of average rainfall. Our estimate of aboveground tree biomass killed by fire ranged from 0.06 Pg to 0.38 Pg during the ENSO and from 0,004 Pg to 0,024 Pg during the non ENSO.

  20. Calculation of Fire Severity Factors and Fire Non-Suppression Probabilities For A DOE Facility Fire PRA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elicson, Tom; Harwood, Bentley; Lucek, Heather; Bouchard, Jim

    2011-01-01

    Over a 12 month period, a fire PRA was developed for a DOE facility using the NUREG/CR-6850 EPRI/NRC fire PRA methodology. The fire PRA modeling included calculation of fire severity factors (SFs) and fire non-suppression probabilities (PNS) for each safe shutdown (SSD) component considered in the fire PRA model. The SFs were developed by performing detailed fire modeling through a combination of CFAST fire zone model calculations and Latin Hypercube Sampling (LHS). Component damage times and automatic fire suppression system actuation times calculated in the CFAST LHS analyses were then input to a time-dependent model of fire non-suppression probability. The fire non-suppression probability model is based on the modeling approach outlined in NUREG/CR-6850 and is supplemented with plant specific data. This paper presents the methodology used in the DOE facility fire PRA for modeling fire-induced SSD component failures and includes discussions of modeling techniques for: Development of time-dependent fire heat release rate profiles (required as input to CFAST), Calculation of fire severity factors based on CFAST detailed fire modeling, and Calculation of fire non-suppression probabilities.

  1. Forest fires caused by lightning activity in Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Ana; Ramos, Alexandre M.; Benali, Akli; Trigo, Ricardo M.

    2017-04-01

    Wildfires in southern Europe have been causing in the last decades extensive economic and ecological losses and, even human casualties (e.g. Pereira et al., 2011). According to statistics provided by the EC-JRC European Forest Fires Information System (EFFIS) for Europe, the years of 2003 and 2007 represent the most dramatic fire seasons since the beginning of the millennium, followed by the years 2005 and 2012. These extreme years registered total annual burned areas for Europe of over 600.000 ha, reaching 800.000 ha in 2003. Over Iberia and France, the exceptional fire seasons registered in 2003 and 2005 were coincident respectively with one of the most severe heatwaves (Bastos et al., 2014) and droughts of the 20th century (Gouveia et al., 2009). On the other hand, the year 2007 was very peculiar as the area of the Peloponnese was struck by a severe winter drought followed by a subsequent wet spring, being also stricken by three heat heaves during summer and played a major role increasing the susceptibility of the region to wildfires (Gouveia et al., 2016). Some countries have a relatively large fraction of fires caused by natural factors such as lightning, e.g. northwestern USA, Canada, Russia. In contrast, Mediterranean countries such as Portugal has only a small percentage of fire records caused by lightning. Although significant uncertainties remain for the triggering mechanism for the majority of fires registered in the catalog, since they were cataloged without a likely cause. In this work we have used mainly two different databases: 1) the Portuguese Rural Fire Database (PRFD) which is representative of rural fires that have occurred in Continental Portugal, 2002-2009, with the original data provided by the National forestry Authority; 2) lightning discharges location which were extracted from the Portuguese Lightning Location System that has been in service since June of 2002 and is operated by the national weather service - Portuguese Institute for Sea

  2. Wildfire and Spatial Patterns in Forests in Northwestern Mexico: The United States Wishes It Had Similar Fire Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott L. Stephens

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the ecological effect of wildfire is important to resource managers, especially from forests in which past anthropogenic influences, e.g., fire suppression and timber harvesting, have been limited. Changes to forest structure and regeneration patterns were documented in a relatively unique old-growth Jeffrey pine-mixed conifer forest in northwestern Mexico after a July 2003 wildfire. This forested area has never been harvested and fire suppression did not begin until the 1970s. Fire effects were moderate especially considering that the wildfire occurred at the end of a severe, multi-year (1999-2003 drought. Shrub consumption was an important factor in tree mortality and the dominance of Jeffrey pine increased after fire. The Baja California wildfire enhanced or maintained a patchy forest structure; similar spatial heterogeneity should be included in US forest restoration plans. Most US forest restoration plans include thinning from below to separate tree crowns and attain a narrow range for residual basal area/ha. This essentially produces uniform forest conditions over broad areas that are in strong contrast to the resilient forests in northern Baja California. In addition to producing more spatial heterogeneity in restoration plans of forests that once experienced frequent, low-moderate intensity fire regimes, increased use of US wildfire management options such as wildland fire use as well as appropriate management responses to non-natural ignitions could also be implemented at broader spatial scales to increase the amount of burning in western US forests.

  3. The effects of fire severity on ectomycorrhizal colonization and morphometric features in Pinus pinaster Ait. seedlings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vásquez-Gassibe, P.; Oria-de-Rueda, J.A.; Santos-del-Blanco, L.; Martín-Pinto, P.

    2016-07-01

    Aim of study: Mycorrhizal fungi in Mediterranean forests play a key role in the complex process of recovery after wildfires. A broader understanding of an important pyrophytic species as Pinus pinaster and its fungal symbionts is thus necessary for forest restoration purposes. This study aims to assess the effects of ectomycorrhizal symbiosis on maritime pine seedlings and how fire severity affects fungal colonization ability. Area of study: Central Spain, in a Mediterranean region typically affected by wildfires dominated by Pinus pinaster, a species adapted to fire disturbance. Material and Methods: We studied P. pinaster root apexes from seedlings grown in soils collected one year after fire in undisturbed sites, sites moderately affected by fire and sites highly affected by fire. Natural ectomycorrhization was observed at the whole root system level as well as at two root vertical sections (0-10 cm and 10-20 cm). We also measured several morphometric traits (tap root length, shoot length, dry biomass of shoots and root/shoot ratio), which were used to test the influence of fire severity and soil chemistry upon them. Main results: Ectomycorrhizal colonization in undisturbed soils for total and separated root vertical sections was higher than in soils that had been affected by fire to some degree. Inversely, seedling vegetative size increased according to fire severity. Research highlights: Fire severity affected soil properties and mycorrhizal colonization one year after occurrence, thus affecting plant development. These findings can contribute to a better knowledge of the factors mediating successful establishment of P. pinaster in Mediterranean forests after wildfires. (Author)

  4. Climate change impacts on forest fires: the stakeholders' perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannakopoulos, C.; Roussos, A.; Karali, A.; Hatzaki, M.; Xanthopoulos, G.; Chatzinikos, E.; Fyllas, N.; Georgiades, N.; Karetsos, G.; Maheras, G.; Nikolaou, I.; Proutsos, N.; Sbarounis, T.; Tsaggari, K.; Tzamtzis, I.; Goodess, C.

    2012-04-01

    In this work, we present a synthesis of the presentations and discussions which arose during a workshop on 'Impacts of climate change on forest fires' held in September 2011 at the National Observatory of Athens, Greece in the framework of EU project CLIMRUN. At first, a general presentation about climate change and extremes in the Greek territory provided the necessary background to the audience and highlighted the need for data and information exchange between scientists and stakeholders through climate services within CLIMRUN. Discussions and presentations that followed linked climate with forest science through the use of a meteorological index for fire risk and future projections of fire danger using regional climate models. The current situation on Greek forests was also presented, as well as future steps that should be taken to ameliorate the situation under a climate change world. A time series analysis of changes in forest fires using available historical data on forest ecosystems in Greece was given in this session. This led to the topic of forest fire risk assessment and fire prevention, stating all actions towards sustainable management of forests and effective mechanisms to control fires under climate change. Options for a smooth adaptation of forests to climate change were discussed together with the lessons learned on practical level on prevention, repression and rehabilitation of forest fires. In between there were useful interventions on sustainable hunting and biodiversity protection and on climate change impacts on forest ecosystems dynamics. The importance of developing an educational program for primary/secondary school students on forest fire management was also highlighted. The perspective of forest stakeholders on climate change and how this change can affect their current or future activities was addressed through a questionnaire they were asked to complete. Results showed that the majority of the participants consider climate variability

  5. Using cellular automata to simulate forest fire propagation in Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freire, Joana; daCamara, Carlos

    2017-04-01

    Wildfires in the Mediterranean region have severe damaging effects mainly due to large fire events [1, 2]. When restricting to Portugal, wildfires have burned over 1:4 million ha in the last decade. Considering the increasing tendency in the extent and severity of wildfires [1, 2], the availability of modeling tools of fire episodes is of crucial importance. Two main types of mathematical models are generally available, namely deterministic and stochastic models. Deterministic models attempt a description of fires, fuel and atmosphere as multiphase continua prescribing mass, momentum and energy conservation, which typically leads to systems of coupled PDEs to be solved numerically on a grid. Simpler descriptions, such as FARSITE, neglect the interaction with atmosphere and propagate the fire front using wave techniques. One of the most important stochastic models are Cellular Automata (CA), in which space is discretized into cells, and physical quantities take on a finite set of values at each cell. The cells evolve in discrete time according to a set of transition rules, and the states of the neighboring cells. In the present work, we implement and then improve a simple and fast CA model designed to operationally simulate wildfires in Portugal. The reference CA model chosen [3] has the advantage of having been applied successfully in other Mediterranean ecosystems, namely to historical fires in Greece. The model is defined on a square grid with propagation to 8 nearest and next-nearest neighbors, where each cell is characterized by 4 possible discrete states, corresponding to burning, not-yet burned, fuel-free and completely burned cells, with 4 possible rules of evolution which take into account fuel properties, meteorological conditions, and topography. As a CA model, it offers the possibility to run a very high number of simulations in order to verify and apply the model, and is easily modified by implementing additional variables and different rules for the

  6. Forest fire forecasting tool for air quality modelling systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    San Jose, R.; Perez, J. L.; Perez, L.; Gonzalez, R. M.; Pecci, J.; Palacios, M.

    2015-01-01

    Adverse effects of smoke on air quality are of great concern; however, even today the estimates of atmospheric fire emissions are a key issue. It is necessary to implement systems for predicting smoke into an air quality modelling system, and in this work a first attempt towards creating a system of this type is presented. Wild land fire spread and behavior are complex phenomena due to both the number of involved physic-chemical factors, and the nonlinear relationship between variables. WRF-Fire was employed to simulate spread and behavior of some real fires occurred in South-East of Spain and North of Portugal. The use of fire behavior models requires the availability of high resolution environmental and fuel data. A new custom fuel moisture content model has been developed. The new module allows each time step to calculate the fuel moisture content of the dead fuels and live fuels. The results confirm that the use of accurate meteorological data and a custom fuel moisture content model is crucial to obtain precise simulations of fire behavior. To simulate air pollution over Europe, we use the regional meteorological-chemistry transport model WRF-Chem. In this contribution, we show the impact of using two different fire emissions inventories (FINN and IS4FIRES) and how the coupled WRF-Fire- Chem model improves the results of the forest fire emissions and smoke concentrations. The impact of the forest fire emissions on concentrations is evident, and it is quite clear from these simulations that the choice of emission inventory is very important. We conclude that using the WRF-fire behavior model produces better results than using forest fire emission inventories although the requested computational power is much higher. (Author)

  7. Forest fire forecasting tool for air quality modelling systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    San Jose, R.; Perez, J.L.; Perez, L.; Gonzalez, R.M.; Pecci, J.; Palacios, M.

    2015-07-01

    Adverse effects of smoke on air quality are of great concern; however, even today the estimates of atmospheric fire emissions are a key issue. It is necessary to implement systems for predicting smoke into an air quality modelling system, and in this work a first attempt towards creating a system of this type is presented. Wildland fire spread and behavior are complex Phenomena due to both the number of involved physic-chemical factors, and the nonlinear relationship between variables. WRF-Fire was employed to simulate spread and behavior of some real fires occurred in South-East of Spain and North of Portugal. The use of fire behavior models requires the availability of high resolution environmental and fuel data. A new custom fuel moisture content model has been developed. The new module allows each time step to calculate the fuel moisture content of the dead fuels and live fuels. The results confirm that the use of accurate meteorological data and a custom fuel moisture content model is crucial to obtain precise simulations of fire behavior. To simulate air pollution over Europe, we use the regional meteorological-chemistry transport model WRF-Chem. In this contribution, we show the impact of using two different fire emissions inventories (FINN and IS4FIRES) and how the coupled WRF-FireChem model improves the results of the forest fire emissions and smoke concentrations. The impact of the forest fire emissions on concentrations is evident, and it is quite clear from these simulations that the choice of emission inventory is very important. We conclude that using the WRF-fire behavior model produces better results than using forest fire emission inventories although the requested computational power is much higher. (Author)

  8. Forest fire forecasting tool for air quality modelling systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    San Jose, R.; Perez, J. L.; Perez, L.; Gonzalez, R. M.; Pecci, J.; Palacios, M.

    2015-07-01

    Adverse effects of smoke on air quality are of great concern; however, even today the estimates of atmospheric fire emissions are a key issue. It is necessary to implement systems for predicting smoke into an air quality modelling system, and in this work a first attempt towards creating a system of this type is presented. Wild land fire spread and behavior are complex phenomena due to both the number of involved physic-chemical factors, and the nonlinear relationship between variables. WRF-Fire was employed to simulate spread and behavior of some real fires occurred in South-East of Spain and North of Portugal. The use of fire behavior models requires the availability of high resolution environmental and fuel data. A new custom fuel moisture content model has been developed. The new module allows each time step to calculate the fuel moisture content of the dead fuels and live fuels. The results confirm that the use of accurate meteorological data and a custom fuel moisture content model is crucial to obtain precise simulations of fire behavior. To simulate air pollution over Europe, we use the regional meteorological-chemistry transport model WRF-Chem. In this contribution, we show the impact of using two different fire emissions inventories (FINN and IS4FIRES) and how the coupled WRF-Fire- Chem model improves the results of the forest fire emissions and smoke concentrations. The impact of the forest fire emissions on concentrations is evident, and it is quite clear from these simulations that the choice of emission inventory is very important. We conclude that using the WRF-fire behavior model produces better results than using forest fire emission inventories although the requested computational power is much higher. (Author)

  9. Fire, climate and vegetation linkages in the Bolivian Chiquitano seasonally dry tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, M J; Whitney, B S; Mayle, F E; Neves, D M; de Boer, E J; Maclean, K S

    2016-06-05

    South American seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs) are critically endangered, with only a small proportion of their original distribution remaining. This paper presents a 12 000 year reconstruction of climate change, fire and vegetation dynamics in the Bolivian Chiquitano SDTF, based upon pollen and charcoal analysis, to examine the resilience of this ecosystem to drought and fire. Our analysis demonstrates a complex relationship between climate, fire and floristic composition over multi-millennial time scales, and reveals that moisture variability is the dominant control upon community turnover in this ecosystem. Maximum drought during the Early Holocene, consistent with regional drought reconstructions, correlates with a period of significant fire activity between 8000 and 7000 cal yr BP which resulted in a decrease in SDTF diversity. As fire activity declined but severe regional droughts persisted through the Middle Holocene, SDTFs, including Anadenanthera and Astronium, became firmly established in the Bolivian lowlands. The trend of decreasing fire activity during the last two millennia promotes the idea among forest ecologists that SDTFs are threatened by fire. Our analysis shows that the Chiquitano seasonally dry biome has been more resilient to Holocene changes in climate and fire regime than previously assumed, but raises questions over whether this resilience will continue in the future under increased temperatures and drought coupled with a higher frequency anthropogenic fire regime.This article is part of the themed issue 'The interaction of fire and mankind'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. The Greek National Observatory of Forest Fires (NOFFi)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tompoulidou, Maria; Stefanidou, Alexandra; Grigoriadis, Dionysios; Dragozi, Eleni; Stavrakoudis, Dimitris; Gitas, Ioannis Z.

    2016-08-01

    Efficient forest fire management is a key element for alleviating the catastrophic impacts of wildfires. Overall, the effective response to fire events necessitates adequate planning and preparedness before the start of the fire season, as well as quantifying the environmental impacts in case of wildfires. Moreover, the estimation of fire danger provides crucial information required for the optimal allocation and distribution of the available resources. The Greek National Observatory of Forest Fires (NOFFi)—established by the Greek Forestry Service in collaboration with the Laboratory of Forest Management and Remote Sensing of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the International Balkan Center—aims to develop a series of modern products and services for supporting the efficient forest fire prevention management in Greece and the Balkan region, as well as to stimulate the development of transnational fire prevention and impacts mitigation policies. More specifically, NOFFi provides three main fire-related products and services: a) a remote sensing-based fuel type mapping methodology, b) a semi-automatic burned area mapping service, and c) a dynamically updatable fire danger index providing mid- to long-term predictions. The fuel type mapping methodology was developed and applied across the country, following an object-oriented approach and using Landsat 8 OLI satellite imagery. The results showcase the effectiveness of the generated methodology in obtaining highly accurate fuel type maps on a national level. The burned area mapping methodology was developed as a semi-automatic object-based classification process, carefully crafted to minimize user interaction and, hence, be easily applicable on a near real-time operational level as well as for mapping historical events. NOFFi's products can be visualized through the interactive Fire Forest portal, which allows the involvement and awareness of the relevant stakeholders via the Public Participation GIS

  11. Fire history of coniferous riparian forests in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. Van de Water; M. North

    2010-01-01

    Fire is an important ecological process in many western U.S. coniferous forests, yet high fuel loads, rural home construction and other factors have encouraged the suppression of most wildfires. Using mechanical thinning and prescribed burning, land managers often try to reduce fuels in strategic areas with the highest fuel loads. Riparian forests, however, are often...

  12. Restoring fire in lodgepole pine forests of the Intermountain west

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colin C. Hardy; Ward W. McCaughey

    1997-01-01

    We are developing new management treatments for regenerating and sustaining lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests through emulation of natural disturbance processes. Lodgepole pine is the principal forest cover on over 26 million hectares in western North America. While infrequent, stand replacing fires following mountain pine beetle outbreaks are common to the...

  13. PCDD/F EMISSIONS FROM FOREST FIRE SIMULATIONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDD/F) emissions from combustion of forest biomass were sampled to obtain an estimated emission factor for forest fires. An equal composition of live shoot and litter biomass from Oregon and North Carolina was b...

  14. Fire ecology of Montana forest habitat types east of the Continental Divide

    Science.gov (United States)

    William C. Fischer; Bruce D. Clayton

    1983-01-01

    Provides information on fire as an ecological factor for forest habitat types occurring east of the Continental Divide in Montana. Identifies "Fire Groups" of habitat types based on fire's role in forest succession. Describes forest fuels and suggests considerations for fire management.

  15. 75 FR 52713 - Nationwide Aerial Application of Fire Retardant on National Forest System Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-27

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Nationwide Aerial Application of Fire Retardant on... statement for the continued nationwide aerial application of fire retardant on National Forest System lands... Forest Service is working to restore fire-adapted ecosystems through prescribed fire, other fuel...

  16. Longleaf pine restoration in context comparisons of frequent fire forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seth Bigelow; Michael C. Stambaugh; Joseph J. O' Brien; Andrew J. Larson; Michael A. Battaglia

    2018-01-01

    To see a frequent-fire forest burn for the first time is to experience a remarkable teat of nature. Most people are accustomed to the slow change of forests with the seasons, not the instantaneous conversion of green and brown plant mass to smoke and char. Yet to visit such a forest a week after it bums is to see bright green shoots emerging, highlighted against a...

  17. Theory of the one-dimensional forest-fire model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paczuski, M.; Bak, P.

    1993-01-01

    Turbulent cascade processes are studied in terms of a one-dimensional forest-fire model. A hier- archy of steady-state equations for the forests and the holes between them is constructed and solved within a mean-field closure scheme. The exact hole distribution function is found to be N H (s)=4N/[s(s+1)(s+2)], where N is the number of forests

  18. Fire severity and ecosytem responses following crown fires in California shrublands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E; Brennan, Teresa; Pfaff, Anne H

    2008-09-01

    Chaparral shrublands burn in large high-intensity crown fires. Managers interested in how these wildfires affect ecosystem processes generally rely on surrogate measures of fire intensity known as fire severity metrics. In shrublands burned in the autumn of 2003, a study of 250 sites investigated factors determining fire severity and ecosystem responses. Using structural equation modeling we show that stand age, prefire shrub density, and the shortest interval of the prior fire history had significant direct effects on fire severity, explaining > 50% of the variation in severity. Fire severity per se is of interest to resource managers primarily because it is presumed to be an indicator of important ecosystem processes such as vegetative regeneration, community recovery, and erosion. Fire severity contributed relatively little to explaining patterns of regeneration after fire. Two generalizations can be drawn: fire severity effects are mostly shortlived, i.e., by the second year they are greatly diminished, and fire severity may have opposite effects on different functional types. Species richness exhibited a negative relationship to fire severity in the first year, but fire severity impacts were substantially less in the second postfire year and varied by functional type. Much of this relationship was due to alien plants that are sensitive to high fire severity; at all scales from 1 to 1000 m2, the percentage of alien species in the postfire flora declined with increased fire severity. Other aspects of disturbance history are also important determinants of alien cover and richness as both increased with the number of times the site had burned and decreased with time since last fire. A substantial number of studies have shown that remote-sensing indices are correlated with field measurements of fire severity. Across our sites, absolute differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR) was strongly correlated with field measures of fire severity and with fire history at a

  19. Examining fire-induced forest changes using novel remote sensing technique: a case study in a mixed pine-oak forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, R.; Wu, J.; Zhao, F. R.; Cook, B.; Hanavan, R. P.; Serbin, S.

    2017-12-01

    Fire-induced forest changes has long been a central focus for forest ecology and global carbon cycling studies, and is becoming a pressing issue for global change biologists particularly with the projected increases in the frequency and intensity of fire with a warmer and drier climate. Compared with time-consuming and labor intensive field-based approaches, remote sensing offers a promising way to efficiently assess fire effects and monitor post-fire forest responses across a range of spatial and temporal scales. However, traditional remote sensing studies relying on simple optical spectral indices or coarse resolution imagery still face a number of technical challenges, including confusion or contamination of the signal by understory dynamics and mixed pixels with moderate to coarse resolution data (>= 30 m). As such, traditional remote sensing may not meet the increasing demand for more ecologically-meaningful monitoring and quantitation of fire-induced forest changes. Here we examined the use of novel remote sensing technique (i.e. airborne imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR measurement, very high spatial resolution (VHR) space-borne multi-spectral measurement, and high temporal-spatial resolution UAS-based (Unmanned Aerial System) imagery), in combination with field and phenocam measurements to map forest burn severity across spatial scales, quantify crown-scale post-fire forest recovery rate, and track fire-induced phenology changes in the burned areas. We focused on a mixed pine-oak forest undergoing multiple fire disturbances for the past several years in Long Island, NY as a case study. We demonstrate that (1) forest burn severity mapping from VHR remote sensing measurement can capture crown-scale heterogeneous fire patterns over large-scale; (2) the combination of VHR optical and structural measurements provides an efficient means to remotely sense species-level post-fire forest responses; (3) the UAS-based remote sensing enables monitoring of fire

  20. Soil erosion after forest fires in the Valencia region

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Pelayo, Óscar; Keizer, Jan Jacob; Cerdà, Artemi

    2014-05-01

    Soil erosion after forest fire is triggered by the lack of vegetation cover and the degradation of the physical, biological and chemical properties (Martí et al., 2012; Fernández et al., 2012; Guénon, 2013). Valencia region belongs to the west Mediterranean basin ("Csa", Köppen climate classification), with drought summer periods that enhance forest fire risk. The characteristics of the climate, lithology and land use history makes this region more vulnerable to soil erosion. In this area, fire recurrence is being increased since late 50s (Pausas, 2004) and post-fire erosion studies became more popular from 80's until nowadays (Cerdá and Mataix-Solera, 2009). Research in Valencia region has contributed significantly to a better understanding of the effect of spatial and temporal scale on runoff and sediment yield measurements. The main achievements concerns: a) direct measurement of erosion rates under a wide range of methodologies (natural vs simulated rainfall, open vs closed plots); from micro- to meso-plot and catchment scale in single (Rubio et al., 1994; Cerdà et al., 1995; Cerdà 1998a; 1998b; Llovet et al., 1998; Cerdà, 2001; Calvo-Cases et al., 2003; Andreu et al., 2001; Mayor et al., 2007; Cerdà and Doerr, 2008) and multiples fires (Campo et al., 2006; González-Pelayo et al., 2010a). Changes in soil properties (Sanroque et al., 1985; Rubio et al., 1997; Boix-Fayós, 1997; Gimeno-Garcia et al., 2000; Guerrero et al., 2001; Mataix-Solera et al., 2004; González-Pelayo et al., 2006; Arcenegui et al., 2008; Campo et al., 2008; Bodí et al., 2012), in post-fire vegetation patterns (Gimeno-García et al., 2007) and, studies on mitigation strategies (Bautista et al., 1996; Abad et al., 2000). b) Progress to understanding post-fire erosion mechanism and sediment movement (Boix-Fayós et al., 2005) by definition of thresholds for sediment losses; fire severity, slope angle, bedrock, rain characteristics, vegetation pattern and ecosystem resilience (Mayor

  1. Creation and implementation of a certification system for insurability and fire risk classification for forest plantations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veronica Loewe M.; Victor Vargas; Juan Miguel Ruiz; Andrea Alvarez C.; Felipe Lobo Q.

    2015-01-01

    Currently, the Chilean insurance market sells forest fire insurance policies and agricultural weather risk policies. However, access to forest fire insurance is difficult for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with a significant proportion (close to 50%) of forest plantations being without coverage. Indeed, the insurance market that sells forest fire insurance...

  2. The Role of Old-growth Forests in Frequent-fire Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Binkley

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Classic ecological concepts and forestry language regarding old growth are not well suited to frequent-fire landscapes. In frequent-fire, old-growth landscapes, there is a symbiotic relationship between the trees, the understory graminoids, and fire that results in a healthy ecosystem. Patches of old growth interspersed with younger growth and open, grassy areas provide a wide variety of habitats for animals, and have a higher level of biodiversity. Fire suppression is detrimental to these forests, and eventually destroys all old growth. The reintroduction of fire into degraded frequent-fire, old-growth forests, accompanied by appropriate thinning, can restore a balance to these ecosystems. Several areas require further research and study: 1 the ability of the understory to respond to restoration treatments, 2 the rate of ecosystem recovery following wildfires whose level of severity is beyond the historic or natural range of variation, 3 the effects of climate change, and 4 the role of the microbial community. In addition, it is important to recognize that much of our knowledge about these old-growth systems comes from a few frequent-fire forest types.

  3. The impact of boreal forest fire on climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randerson, J.T.; Liu, H.; Flanner, M.G.; Chambers, S.D.; Jin, Y.; Hess, P.G.; Pfister, G.; Mack, M.C.; Treseder, K.K.; Welp, L.R.; Chapin, F.S.; Harden, J.W.; Goulden, M.L.; Lyons, E.; Neff, J.C.; Schuur, E.A.G.; Zender, C.S.

    2006-01-01

    We report measurements and analysis of a boreal forest fire, integrating the effects of greenhouse gases, aerosols, black carbon deposition on snow and sea ice, and postfire changes in surface albedo. The net effect of all agents was to increase radiative forcing during the first year (34 ?? 31 Watts per square meter of burned area), but to decrease radiative forcing when averaged over an 80-year fire cycle (-2.3 ?? 2.2 Watts per square meter) because multidecadal increases in surface albedo had a larger impact than fire-emitted greenhouse gases. This result implies that future increases in boreal fire may not accelerate climate warming.

  4. The impact of boreal forest fire on climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randerson, J T; Liu, H; Flanner, M G; Chambers, S D; Jin, Y; Hess, P G; Pfister, G; Mack, M C; Treseder, K K; Welp, L R; Chapin, F S; Harden, J W; Goulden, M L; Lyons, E; Neff, J C; Schuur, E A G; Zender, C S

    2006-11-17

    We report measurements and analysis of a boreal forest fire, integrating the effects of greenhouse gases, aerosols, black carbon deposition on snow and sea ice, and postfire changes in surface albedo. The net effect of all agents was to increase radiative forcing during the first year (34 +/- 31 Watts per square meter of burned area), but to decrease radiative forcing when averaged over an 80-year fire cycle (-2.3 +/- 2.2 Watts per square meter) because multidecadal increases in surface albedo had a larger impact than fire-emitted greenhouse gases. This result implies that future increases in boreal fire may not accelerate climate warming.

  5. Forest fire occurrence increases the distribution of a scarce forest type in the Mediterranean Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Quevedo, Lídia; Rodrigo, Anselm

    2013-01-01

    Here we report how fire recurrence increases the distribution of a scarce forest type in NE Spain that is dominated by the resprouter tree species Arbutus unedo. We used a combination of GIS and field surveys to determine the effect of fire and pre-fire vegetation on the appearance of A. unedo forests. In the field, we also analyzed the factors that promote fire and lead to the appearance of A. unedo forests. Our results reveal an increased occurrence of A. unedo forests in NE Spain in recent years; this phenomenon was strongly related to fire recurrence and the vegetation type present prior to fire. Most Pinus halepensis forests that burned more than once gave rise to A. unedo forests. Our results indicate that these conversions were related to a reduction in pine density coupled with increases in the density and size of A. unedo trees due to recurrent fires. Given that fires are increasing in number and magnitude in the Mediterranean, we predict a major change in landscape structure and composition at the regional scale.

  6. Mapping fire probability and severity in a Mediterranean area using different weather and fuel moisture scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arca, B.; Salis, M.; Bacciu, V.; Duce, P.; Pellizzaro, G.; Ventura, A.; Spano, D.

    2009-04-01

    Although in many countries lightning is the main cause of ignition, in the Mediterranean Basin the forest fires are predominantly ignited by arson, or by human negligence. The fire season peaks coincide with extreme weather conditions (mainly strong winds, hot temperatures, low atmospheric water vapour content) and high tourist presence. Many works reported that in the Mediterranean Basin the projected impacts of climate change will cause greater weather variability and extreme weather conditions, with drier and hotter summers and heat waves. At long-term scale, climate changes could affect the fuel load and the dead/live fuel ratio, and therefore could change the vegetation flammability. At short-time scale, the increase of extreme weather events could directly affect fuel water status, and it could increase large fire occurrence. In this context, detecting the areas characterized by both high probability of large fire occurrence and high fire severity could represent an important component of the fire management planning. In this work we compared several fire probability and severity maps (fire occurrence, rate of spread, fireline intensity, flame length) obtained for a study area located in North Sardinia, Italy, using FlamMap simulator (USDA Forest Service, Missoula). FlamMap computes the potential fire behaviour characteristics over a defined landscape for given weather, wind and fuel moisture data. Different weather and fuel moisture scenarios were tested to predict the potential impact of climate changes on fire parameters. The study area, characterized by a mosaic of urban areas, protected areas, and other areas subject to anthropogenic disturbances, is mainly composed by fire-prone Mediterranean maquis. The input themes needed to run FlamMap were input as grid of 10 meters; the wind data, obtained using a computational fluid-dynamic model, were inserted as gridded file, with a resolution of 50 m. The analysis revealed high fire probability and severity in

  7. Thirty-Two Years of Forest Service Research at the Southern Forest Fire Laboratory in Macon, GA

    Science.gov (United States)

    USDA Forest Service

    1991-01-01

    When completed in 1959, the Southern Forest Fire Laboratory was the world?s first devoted entirely to the study of forest fires, Since then the scientists at the Laboratory have: 1) performed basic and applied research on critical fire problems of national interest, 2) conducted special regional research on fire problems peculiar to the 13 Southern States, and 3)...

  8. Long-term temporal changes in the occurrence of a high forest fire danger in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. M. Mäkelä

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Climate variation and change influence several ecosystem components including forest fires. To examine long-term temporal variations of forest fire danger, a fire danger day (FDD model was developed. Using mean temperature and total precipitation of the Finnish wildfire season (June–August, the model describes the climatological preconditions of fire occurrence and gives the number of fire danger days during the same time period. The performance of the model varied between different regions in Finland being best in south and west. In the study period 1908–2011, the year-to-year variation of FDD was large and no significant increasing or decreasing tendencies could be found. Negative slopes of linear regression lines for FDD could be explained by the simultaneous, mostly not significant increases in precipitation. Years with the largest wildfires did not stand out from the FDD time series. This indicates that intra-seasonal variations of FDD enable occurrence of large-scale fires, despite the whole season's fire danger is on an average level. Based on available monthly climate data, it is possible to estimate the general fire conditions of a summer. However, more detailed input data about weather conditions, land use, prevailing forestry conventions and socio-economical factors would be needed to gain more specific information about a season's fire risk.

  9. Contrasting Spatial Patterns in Active-Fire and Fire-Suppressed Mediterranean Climate Old-Growth Mixed Conifer Forests

    OpenAIRE

    Fry, Danny L.; Stephens, Scott L.; Collins, Brandon M.; North, Malcolm P.; Franco-Vizcaíno, Ernesto; Gill, Samantha J.

    2014-01-01

    In Mediterranean environments in western North America, historic fire regimes in frequent-fire conifer forests are highly variable both temporally and spatially. This complexity influenced forest structure and spatial patterns, but some of this diversity has been lost due to anthropogenic disruption of ecosystem processes, including fire. Information from reference forest sites can help management efforts to restore forests conditions that may be more resilient to future changes in disturbanc...

  10. Climate effect on forest fire static risk assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodini, Antonella; Cossu, Antonello; Entrade, Erika; Fiorucci, Paolo; Gaetani, Francesco; Parodi, Ulderica

    2010-05-01

    The availability of a long data series of fire perimeters combined with a detailed knowledge of topography and land cover allow to understand which are the main features involved in forest fire occurrences and their behaviour. In addition, climate indexes obtained from the analysis of time series with more than 20 years of complete records allow to understand the role of climate on fire regime, both in terms of direct effects on fire behaviour and the effect on vegetation cover. In particular, indices of extreme events have been considered like CDD (maximum number of consecutive dry days) and HWDI (heat wave duration index: maximum period > 5 consecutive days with Tmax >5°C above the 1961-1990 daily Tmax normal), together with the usual indices describing rainfall and temperature regimes. As a matter of fact, based on this information it is possible to develop statistical methods for the objective classification of forest fire static risk at regional scale. Two different case studies are presented in this work: Regione Liguria and Regione Sardegna (Italy). Both regions are in the center of the Mediterranean and are characterized by a high number of fires and burned area. However, the two regions have very different fire regimes. Sardinia is affected by the fire phenomenon only in summer whilst Liguria is affected by fires also in winter, with higher number of fires and larger burned area. In addition, the two region are very different in vegetation cover. The presence of Mediterranean conifers, (Pinus Pinaster, Pinus Nigra, Pinus halepensis) is quite spread in Liguria and is almost absent in Sardinia. What is common in the two regions is the widespread presence of shrub species frequently spread by fire. The analysis in the two regions thus allows in a rather limited area to consider almost all the species and the climate conditions that characterize the Mediterranean region. More than 10000 fire perimeters that burnt about 800 km2 were considered in the analysis

  11. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide fluxes from a fire chronosequence in subarctic boreal forests of Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köster, Egle; Köster, Kajar; Berninger, Frank; Aaltonen, Heidi; Zhou, Xuan; Pumpanen, Jukka

    2017-12-01

    Forest fires are one of the most important natural disturbances in boreal forests, and their occurrence and severity are expected to increase as a result of climate warming. A combination of factors induced by fire leads to a thawing of the near-surface permafrost layer in subarctic boreal forest. Earlier studies reported that an increase in the active layer thickness results in higher carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and methane (CH 4 ) emissions. We studied changes in CO 2 , CH 4 and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) fluxes in this study, and the significance of several environmental factors that influence the greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes at three forest sites that last had fires in 2012, 1990 and 1969, and we compared these to a control area that had no fire for at least 100years. The soils in our study acted as sources of CO 2 and N 2 O and sinks for CH 4 . The elapsed time since the last forest fire was the only factor that significantly influenced all studied GHG fluxes. Soil temperature affected the uptake of CH 4 , and the N 2 O fluxes were significantly influenced by nitrogen and carbon content of the soil, and by the active layer depth. Results of our study confirm that the impacts of a forest fire on GHGs last for a rather long period of time in boreal forests, and are influenced by the fire induced changes in the ecosystem. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Object-based Forest Fire Analysis for Pedrógão Grande Fire Using Landsat 8 OLI and Sentinel-2A Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonbul, H.; Kavzoglu, T.

    2017-12-01

    Forest fires are among the most important natural disasters with the damage to the natural habitat and human-life. Mapping damaged forest fires is crucial for assessing ecological effects caused by fire, monitoring land cover changes and modeling atmospheric and climatic effects of fire. In this context, satellite data provides a great advantage to users by providing a rapid process of detecting burning areas and determining the severity of fire damage. Especially, Mediterranean ecosystems countries sets the suitable conditions for the forest fires. In this study, the determination of burnt areas of forest fire in Pedrógão Grande region of Portugal occurred in June 2017 was carried out using Landsat 8 OLI and Sentinel-2A satellite images. The Pedrógão Grande fire was one of the largest fires in Portugal, more than 60 people was killed and thousands of hectares were ravaged. In this study, four pairs of pre-fire and post-fire top of atmosphere (TOA) and atmospherically corrected images were utilized. The red and near infrared (NIR) spectral bands of pre-fire and post-fire images were stacked and multiresolution segmentation algorithm was applied. In the segmentation processes, the image objects were generated with estimated optimum homogeneity criteria. Using eCognition software, rule sets have been created to distinguish unburned areas from burned areas. In constructing the rule sets, NDVI threshold values were determined pre- and post-fire and areas where vegetation loss was detected using the NDVI difference image. The results showed that both satellite images yielded successful results for burned area discrimination with a very high degree of consistency in terms of spatial overlap and total burned area (over 93%). Object based image analysis (OBIA) was found highly effective in delineation of burnt areas.

  13. Average Stand Age from Forest Inventory Plots Does Not Describe Historical Fire Regimes in Ponderosa Pine and Mixed-Conifer Forests of Western North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens T Stevens

    Full Text Available Quantifying historical fire regimes provides important information for managing contemporary forests. Historical fire frequency and severity can be estimated using several methods; each method has strengths and weaknesses and presents challenges for interpretation and verification. Recent efforts to quantify the timing of historical high-severity fire events in forests of western North America have assumed that the "stand age" variable from the US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA program reflects the timing of historical high-severity (i.e. stand-replacing fire in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests. To test this assumption, we re-analyze the dataset used in a previous analysis, and compare information from fire history records with information from co-located FIA plots. We demonstrate that 1 the FIA stand age variable does not reflect the large range of individual tree ages in the FIA plots: older trees comprised more than 10% of pre-stand age basal area in 58% of plots analyzed and more than 30% of pre-stand age basal area in 32% of plots, and 2 recruitment events are not necessarily related to high-severity fire occurrence. Because the FIA stand age variable is estimated from a sample of tree ages within the tree size class containing a plurality of canopy trees in the plot, it does not necessarily include the oldest trees, especially in uneven-aged stands. Thus, the FIA stand age variable does not indicate whether the trees in the predominant size class established in response to severe fire, or established during the absence of fire. FIA stand age was not designed to measure the time since a stand-replacing disturbance. Quantification of historical "mixed-severity" fire regimes must be explicit about the spatial scale of high-severity fire effects, which is not possible using FIA stand age data.

  14. Average Stand Age from Forest Inventory Plots Does Not Describe Historical Fire Regimes in Ponderosa Pine and Mixed-Conifer Forests of Western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jens T; Safford, Hugh D; North, Malcolm P; Fried, Jeremy S; Gray, Andrew N; Brown, Peter M; Dolanc, Christopher R; Dobrowski, Solomon Z; Falk, Donald A; Farris, Calvin A; Franklin, Jerry F; Fulé, Peter Z; Hagmann, R Keala; Knapp, Eric E; Miller, Jay D; Smith, Douglas F; Swetnam, Thomas W; Taylor, Alan H

    Quantifying historical fire regimes provides important information for managing contemporary forests. Historical fire frequency and severity can be estimated using several methods; each method has strengths and weaknesses and presents challenges for interpretation and verification. Recent efforts to quantify the timing of historical high-severity fire events in forests of western North America have assumed that the "stand age" variable from the US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program reflects the timing of historical high-severity (i.e. stand-replacing) fire in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests. To test this assumption, we re-analyze the dataset used in a previous analysis, and compare information from fire history records with information from co-located FIA plots. We demonstrate that 1) the FIA stand age variable does not reflect the large range of individual tree ages in the FIA plots: older trees comprised more than 10% of pre-stand age basal area in 58% of plots analyzed and more than 30% of pre-stand age basal area in 32% of plots, and 2) recruitment events are not necessarily related to high-severity fire occurrence. Because the FIA stand age variable is estimated from a sample of tree ages within the tree size class containing a plurality of canopy trees in the plot, it does not necessarily include the oldest trees, especially in uneven-aged stands. Thus, the FIA stand age variable does not indicate whether the trees in the predominant size class established in response to severe fire, or established during the absence of fire. FIA stand age was not designed to measure the time since a stand-replacing disturbance. Quantification of historical "mixed-severity" fire regimes must be explicit about the spatial scale of high-severity fire effects, which is not possible using FIA stand age data.

  15. Topographic and fire weather controls of fire refugia in forested ecosystems of northwestern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawchuk, Meg A.; Haire, Sandra L.; Coop, Jonathan D.; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Whitman, Ellen; Chong, Geneva W.; Miller, Carol

    2016-01-01

    Fire refugia, sometimes referred to as fire islands, shadows, skips, residuals, or fire remnants, are an important element of the burn mosaic, but we lack a quantitative framework that links observations of fire refugia from different environmental contexts. Here, we develop and test a conceptual model for how predictability of fire refugia varies according to topographic complexity and fire weather conditions. Refugia were quantified as areas unburned or burned at comparatively low severity based on remotely sensed burn severity data. We assessed the relationship between refugia and a suite of terrain-related explanatory metrics by fitting a collection of boosted regression tree models. The models were developed

  16. Historical Fire Detection of Tropical Forest from NDVI Time-series Data: Case Study on Jambi, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dyah R. Panuju

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available In addition to forest encroachment, forest fire is a serious problem in Indonesia. Attempts at managing its widespread and frequent occurrence has led to intensive use of remote sensing data. Coarse resolution images have been employed to derive hot spots as an indicator of forest fire. However, most efforts to verify the hot spot data and to verify fire accidents have been restricted to the use of medium or high resolution data. At present, it is difficult to verify solely upon those data due to severe cloud cover and low revisit time. In this paper, we present a method to validate forest fire using NDVI time series data. With the freely available NDVI data from SPOT VEGETATION, we successfully detected changes in time series data which were associated with fire accidents.

  17. Climate Drives Episodic Conifer Establishment after Fire in Dry Ponderosa Pine Forests of the Colorado Front Range, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica T. Rother

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, warming climate and increased fire activity have raised concern about post-fire recovery of western U.S. forests. We assessed relationships between climate variability and tree establishment after fire in dry ponderosa pine forests of the Colorado Front Range. We harvested and aged over 400 post-fire juvenile ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii trees using an improved tree-ring based approach that yielded annually-resolved dates and then assessed relationships between climate variability and pulses of tree establishment. We found that tree establishment was largely concentrated in years of above-average moisture availability in the growing season, including higher amounts of precipitation and more positive values of the Palmer Drought Severity Index. Under continued climate change, drier conditions associated with warming temperatures may limit forest recovery after fire, which could result in lower stand densities or shifts to non-forested vegetation in some areas.

  18. Simulating dynamic and mixed-severity fire regimes: a process-based fire extension for LANDIS-II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian R. Sturtevant; Robert M. Scheller; Brian R. Miranda; Douglas Shinneman; Alexandra Syphard

    2009-01-01

    Fire regimes result from reciprocal interactions between vegetation and fire that may be further affected by other disturbances, including climate, landform, and terrain. In this paper, we describe fire and fuel extensions for the forest landscape simulation model, LANDIS-II, that allow dynamic interactions among fire, vegetation, climate, and landscape structure, and...

  19. Forest diversity, climate change and forest fires in the Mediterranean region of Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozturk, Munir; Gucel, Salih; Kucuk, Mahir; Sakcali, Serdal

    2010-01-01

    This paper reviews the forest resources in Turkey in the light of published literature and summarises extensive fieldwork undertaken in the Mediterranean phytogeograhical region of Turkey. The issues of landscape change and the associated drivers are addressed and the threats to the forest diversity are considered. It notes the impacts of climate change and forest fires and attemepts have been made to put forth future options for sustainable forest development.

  20. Managing Fire Risk During Drought: The Influence of Certification and El Nino on Fire-Driven Forest Conversion for Oil Palm in Southeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noojipady, Praveen; Morton, Douglas C.; Schroeder, Wilfrid; Carlson, Kimberly M.; Huang, Chengquan; Gibbs, Holly K.; Burns, David; Walker, Nathalie F.; Prince, Stephen D.

    2017-01-01

    Indonesia and Malaysia have emerged as leading producers of palm oil in the past several decades, expanding production through the conversion of tropical forests to industrial plantations. Efforts to produce "sustainable" palm oil, including certification by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), include guidelines designed to reduce the environmental impact of palm oil production. Fire-driven deforestation is prohibited by law in both countries and a stipulation of RSPO certification, yet the degree of environmental compliance isunclear, especially during El Niño events when drought conditions increase fire risk. Here, we used time series of satellite data to estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of fire-driven deforestation on and around oil palm plantations. In Indonesia, fire-driven deforestation accounted for one-quarter of total forest losses on both certified and noncertified plantations. After the first plantations in Indonesia received RSPO certification in 2009,forest loss and fire-driven deforestation declined on certified plantations but did not stop altogether. Oil palm expansion in Malaysia rarely involved fire; only 5 % of forest loss on certified plantations had coincident activefire detections. Interannual variability in fire detections was strongly influenced by El Nino and the timing of certification. Fire activity during the 2002, 2004, and 2006 El Nino events was similar among oil palm plantations in Indonesia that would later become certified, noncertified plantations, and surrounding areas. However, total fire activity was 75% and 66% lower on certified plantations than noncertified plantations during the 2009 and 2015 El Nino events, respectively. The decline in fire activity on certified plantations, including during drought periods, highlights the potential for RSPO certification to safeguard carbon stocks in peatlands and remaining forests in accordance with legislation banning fires. However, aligning certification

  1. Fire severity, size, and climate associations diverge from historical precedent along an ecological gradient in the Pinaleno Mountains, Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher D. O' Connor; Donald A. Falk; Ann M. Lynch; Thomas W. Swetnam

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades fire size and severity have been increasing in high elevation forests of the American Southwest. Ecological outcomes of these increases are difficult to gauge without an historical context for the role of fire in these systems prior to interruption by Euro-American land uses. Across the gradient of forest types in the Pinaleño Mountains, a Sky Island...

  2. Forest Interpreter's Primer on Fire Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelker, Thomas M.

    Specifically prepared for the use of Forest Service field-based interpreters of the management, protection, and use of forest and range resources and the associated human, cultural, and natural history found on these lands, this book is the second in a series of six primers on the multiple use of forest and range resources. Following an…

  3. Modelling the meteorological forest fire niche in heterogeneous pyrologic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Angelis, Antonella; Ricotta, Carlo; Conedera, Marco; Pezzatti, Gianni Boris

    2015-01-01

    Fire regimes are strongly related to weather conditions that directly and indirectly influence fire ignition and propagation. Identifying the most important meteorological fire drivers is thus fundamental for daily fire risk forecasting. In this context, several fire weather indices have been developed focussing mainly on fire-related local weather conditions and fuel characteristics. The specificity of the conditions for which fire danger indices are developed makes its direct transfer and applicability problematic in different areas or with other fuel types. In this paper we used the low-to-intermediate fire-prone region of Canton Ticino as a case study to develop a new daily fire danger index by implementing a niche modelling approach (Maxent). In order to identify the most suitable weather conditions for fires, different combinations of input variables were tested (meteorological variables, existing fire danger indices or a combination of both). Our findings demonstrate that such combinations of input variables increase the predictive power of the resulting index and surprisingly even using meteorological variables only allows similar or better performances than using the complex Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI). Furthermore, the niche modelling approach based on Maxent resulted in slightly improved model performance and in a reduced number of selected variables with respect to the classical logistic approach. Factors influencing final model robustness were the number of fire events considered and the specificity of the meteorological conditions leading to fire ignition.

  4. Managing fire risk during drought: the influence of certification and El Niño on fire-driven forest conversion for oil palm in Southeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noojipady, Praveen; Morton, Douglas C.; Schroeder, Wilfrid; Carlson, Kimberly M.; Huang, Chengquan; Gibbs, Holly K.; Burns, David; Walker, Nathalie F.; Prince, Stephen D.

    2017-08-01

    Indonesia and Malaysia have emerged as leading producers of palm oil in the past several decades, expanding production through the conversion of tropical forests to industrial plantations. Efforts to produce sustainable palm oil, including certification by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), include guidelines designed to reduce the environmental impact of palm oil production. Fire-driven deforestation is prohibited by law in both countries and a stipulation of RSPO certification, yet the degree of environmental compliance is unclear, especially during El Niño events when drought conditions increase fire risk. Here, we used time series of satellite data to estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of fire-driven deforestation on and around oil palm plantations. In Indonesia, fire-driven deforestation accounted for one-quarter of total forest losses on both certified and noncertified plantations. After the first plantations in Indonesia received RSPO certification in 2009, forest loss and fire-driven deforestation declined on certified plantations but did not stop altogether. Oil palm expansion in Malaysia rarely involved fire; only 5 % of forest loss on certified plantations had coincident active fire detections. Interannual variability in fire detections was strongly influenced by El Niño and the timing of certification. Fire activity during the 2002, 2004, and 2006 El Niño events was similar among oil palm plantations in Indonesia that would later become certified, noncertified plantations, and surrounding areas. However, total fire activity was 75 % and 66 % lower on certified plantations than noncertified plantations during the 2009 and 2015 El Niño events, respectively. The decline in fire activity on certified plantations, including during drought periods, highlights the potential for RSPO certification to safeguard carbon stocks in peatlands and remaining forests in accordance with legislation banning fires. However, aligning certification

  5. Managing fire risk during drought: the influence of certification and El Niño on fire-driven forest conversion for oil palm in Southeast Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Noojipady

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Indonesia and Malaysia have emerged as leading producers of palm oil in the past several decades, expanding production through the conversion of tropical forests to industrial plantations. Efforts to produce sustainable palm oil, including certification by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO, include guidelines designed to reduce the environmental impact of palm oil production. Fire-driven deforestation is prohibited by law in both countries and a stipulation of RSPO certification, yet the degree of environmental compliance is unclear, especially during El Niño events when drought conditions increase fire risk. Here, we used time series of satellite data to estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of fire-driven deforestation on and around oil palm plantations. In Indonesia, fire-driven deforestation accounted for one-quarter of total forest losses on both certified and noncertified plantations. After the first plantations in Indonesia received RSPO certification in 2009, forest loss and fire-driven deforestation declined on certified plantations but did not stop altogether. Oil palm expansion in Malaysia rarely involved fire; only 5 % of forest loss on certified plantations had coincident active fire detections. Interannual variability in fire detections was strongly influenced by El Niño and the timing of certification. Fire activity during the 2002, 2004, and 2006 El Niño events was similar among oil palm plantations in Indonesia that would later become certified, noncertified plantations, and surrounding areas. However, total fire activity was 75 % and 66 % lower on certified plantations than noncertified plantations during the 2009 and 2015 El Niño events, respectively. The decline in fire activity on certified plantations, including during drought periods, highlights the potential for RSPO certification to safeguard carbon stocks in peatlands and remaining forests in accordance with legislation banning fires. However

  6. Contrasting spatial patterns in active-fire and fire-suppressed Mediterranean climate old-growth mixed conifer forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danny L. Fry; Scott L. Stephens; Brandon M. Collins; Malcolm North; Ernesto Franco-Vizcaino; Samantha J. Gill

    2014-01-01

    In Mediterranean environments in western North America, historic fire regimes in frequent-fire conifer forests are highly variable both temporally and spatially. This complexity influenced forest structure and spatial patterns, but some of this diversity has been lost due to anthropogenic disruption of ecosystem processes, including fire. Information from reference...

  7. Ecological consequences of alternative fuel reduction treatments in seasonally dry forests: the national fire and fire surrogate study

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.D. McIver; C.J. Fettig

    2010-01-01

    This special issue of Forest Science features the national Fire and Fire Surrogate study (FFS), a niultisite, multivariate research project that evaluates the ecological consequences of prescribed fire and its mechanical surrogates in seasonally dry forests of the United States. The need for a comprehensive national FFS study stemmed from concern that information on...

  8. The principles for creation of fire-prevention forest belts with barriers of deciduous species for protection from crown fires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. N. Sannikov

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The article discuss one of the priority security problems in Russia, which is elaboration of the strategic system of the forest and society safeguards from catastrophic forest crown fires in connection with rapid climate warming. It is postulated, that a most effective and reliable barrier for the dispersal of the intensive crown fire in a coniferous forest massive can be a sufficiently wide strip of deciduous tree species – «deciduous forest barrier», which has phytomass capable of absorbing crown fire energy and transforming them to surface fire, which may be extinguished by technical means. The actuality of the natural study of the transition parameters from the crown fire to surface fire has been noted, depending on climate, fire intensity and the deciduous barrier structure. The results of the quantitative natural investigation of the consequences of catastrophic crown fires of 2004 in the island pine forests of forest-steppe zone in Kurgan Oblast, which passed through the belt of 50–70 year-old birch stands of middle density, has been cited and formalized mathematically. It has been shown, that 150 m width of deciduous forest barrier is necessary as a minimum for the reliable transition of the high intensive front crown fire to surface fire in the forest-steppe conditions of the Western Siberia, but this width reduces with a decreasing heating effect. It has been proposed to create the complex fire-prevention forest belts of different construction for the protection of forests, industrial objects and settlements. Besides a basic deciduous barrier, their structure should include technologically necessary buffer zones and zones for the localization and extinguishing surface fire, which stop a crown fire. It has been recommended to use natural regeneration of deciduous tree species, as a most effective and non-deficient method for the creation of deciduous forest barriers in the predominant forest types, except the lichen pine forests

  9. Increased heat resistance in mycelia from wood fungi prevalent in forests characterized by fire: a possible adaptation to forest fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlsson, Fredrik; Edman, Mattias; Holm, Svante; Eriksson, Anna-Maria; Jonsson, Bengt Gunnar

    2012-10-01

    Forest fires have been the major stand-replacing/modifying disturbance in boreal forests. To adapt to fire disturbance, different strategies have evolved. This study focuses on wood fungi, and a specific adaptation to forest fire: increased heat resistance in their mycelia. Fifteen species of wood fungi were selected and a priori sorted in two groups according to their prevalence in fire-affected environments. The fungi were cultivated on fresh wood and exposed to 100, 140, 180, 220 °C for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 min. under laboratory conditions. A clear difference was found among the two groups. Species prevalent in fire-affected habitats had a much higher survival rate over all combinations of time and temperature compared to species associated with other environments. Thus, the results indicate that fire adaptation in terms of increased heat resistance in mycelia occurs in some species of wood fungi. Such adaptation will influence the ecology and population dynamics of wood fungi, as well as having implications for best practices during restoration fires. Copyright © 2012 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Main dynamics and drivers of boreal forests fire regimes during the Holocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinari, Chiara; Lehsten, Veiko; Blarquez, Olivier; Clear, Jennifer; Carcaillet, Christopher; Bradshaw, Richard HW

    2015-04-01

    Forest fire is one of the most critical ecosystem processes in the boreal megabiome, and it is likely that its frequency, size and severity have had a primary role in vegetation dynamics since the Last Ice Age (Kasischke & Stocks 2000). Fire not only organizes the physical and biological attributes of boreal forests, but also affects biogeochemical cycling, particularly the carbon balance (Balshi et al. 2007). Due to their location at climatically sensitive northern latitudes, boreal forests are likely to be significantly affected by global warming with a consequent increase in biomass burning (Soja et al. 2007), a variation in vegetation structure and composition (Johnstone et al. 2004) and a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (Bond-Lamberty et al. 2007). Even if the ecological role of wildfire in boreal forest is widely recognized, a clearer understanding of the environmental factors controlling fire dynamics and how variations in fire regimes impact forest ecosystems is essential in order to place modern fire processes in a meaningful context for projecting ecosystem behaviour in a changing environment (Kelly et al. 2013). Because fire return intervals and successional cycles in boreal forests occur over decadal to centennial timescales (Hu et al. 2006), palaeoecological research seems to be one of the most promising tool for elucidating ecosystem changes over a broad range of environmental conditions and temporal scales. Within this context, our first aim is to reconstruct spatial and temporal patterns of boreal forests fire dynamics during the Holocene based on sedimentary charcoal records. As a second step, trends in biomass burning will be statistically analysed in order to disentangle between regional and local drivers. The use of European and north-American sites will give us the unique possibility to perform a large scale analysis on one of the broadest biome in the world and to underline the different patterns of fire in these two

  11. Biomass and nutrient dynamics associated with slash fires in neotropical dry forests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kauffman, J.B.; Cummings, D.L.; Sanford, R.L. Jr.; Salcedo, I.H.; Sampaio, E.V.S.B.

    1993-01-01

    Unprecedented rates of deforestation and biomass burning in tropical dry forests are dramatically influencing biogeochemical cycles, resulting in resource depletion, declines in biodiversity, and atmospheric pollution. We quantified the effects of deforestation and varying levels of slash-fire severity on nutrient losses and redistribution in a second-growth tropical dry forest (open-quotes Caatingaclose quotes) near Serra Talhada, Pernambuco, Brazil. Total aboveground biomass prior to burning was ∼74 Mg/ha. Nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were highest in litter, leaves attached to slash, and fine wood debris (< O.64 cm diameter). While these components comprised only 30% of the prefire aboveground biomass, they accounted for ∼60% of the aboveground pools of N and P. Three experimental fires were conducted during the 1989 burning season. Consumption was 78, 88, and 95% of the total aboveground biomass. As much as 96% of the prefire aboveground N and C pools and 56% of the prefire aboveground P pool was lost. Nitrogen losses exceeded 500 kg/ha and P losses exceeded 20 kg/ha in the fires of the greatest severity. With increasing fire severity, the concentrations of N and P in ash decreased while the concentration of Ca increased. Greater ecosystem losses of these nutrients occurred with increasing fire severity. Following fire, up to 47% of the residual aboveground N and 84% of the residual aboveground P were in the form of ash, quickly lost from the site via wind erosion. Fires appeared to have a minor immediate effect on total N, C, or P in the soils. However, soils in forests with no history of cultivation had significantly higher concentrations of C and P than second-growth forests. It would likely require a century or more of fallow for reaccumulation to occur. However, current fallow periods in this region are 15 yr or less. 38 refs., 2 figs., 7 tabs

  12. Fire Effects on Microbial Enzyme Activities in Larch Forests of the Siberian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, S.; Alexander, H. D.; Bulygina, E. B.; Mann, P. J.; Natali, S.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic forest ecosystems are warming at an accelerated rate relative to lower latitudes, with global implications for C cycling within these regions. As climate continues to warm and dry, wildfire frequency and severity are predicted to increase, creating a positive feedback to climate warming. Increased fire activity will also influence the microenvironment experienced by soil microbes in disturbed soils. Because soil microbes regulate carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere, it is important to understand microbial response to fires, particularly in the understudied larch forests in the Siberian Arctic. In this project, we created experimental burn plots in a mature larch forest in the Kolyma River watershed of Northeastern Siberia. Plots were burned at several treatments: control (no burn), low, moderate, and severe. After, 1 and 8 d post-fire, we measured soil organic layer depth, soil organic matter (SOM) content, soil moisture, and CO2 flux from the plots. Additionally, we leached soils and measured dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), NH4, NO3, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). Furthermore, we measured extracellular activity of four enzymes involved in soil C and nutrient cycling (leucine aminopeptidase (LAP), β-glucosidase, phosphatase, and phenol oxidase). One day post-fire, LAP activity was similarly low in all treatments, but by 8 d post-fire, LAP activity was lower in burned plots compared to control plots, likely due to increased nitrogen content with increasing burn severity. Phosphatase activity decreased with burn severity 1 d post-fire, but after 8 d, moderate and severe burn plots exhibited increased phosphatase activity. Coupled with trends in LAP activity, this suggests a switch in nutrient limitation from N to phosphorus that is more pronounced with burn severity. β-glucosidase activity similarly decreased with burn

  13. Forest Fires, Air Pollution and Mortality in Southeast Asia.

    OpenAIRE

    Narayan Sastry

    2000-01-01

    In this paper, the author assesses the population health effects in Malaysia of air pollution generated by a widespread series of fires that occurred mainly in Indonesia between April and November of 1997. The author describes how the forest fires occurred and why the associated air pollution was so widespread and long lasting. The main objective is to determine whether there were mortality effects and to assess how large and important these were. The author also investigates whether the mort...

  14. Forest fire occurrence and silvicultural-economic prerequisites for protection improvement in forest regions of Krasnoyarsk Krai

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Furyaev

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The territory of the Krasnoyarsk Krai is substantially diverse in terms of climatic, silvicultural and economic conditions owing to its sufficient spread from the North to the South. These differences were to some extent taken into account when the forest fund of the Krasnoyarsk Krai was divided into seven forest regions: forest tundra of Central Siberia, highland taiga of Central Siberia, plain taiga of West Siberia, Angara region, subtaiga forest steppe of Central Siberia, Altai-Sayanskiy highland, Altai-Sayanskiy highland forest steppe. The regions show different levels of fire occurrence and different fire effects that require different levels of protection from forest fires. Optimization of the protection is based on activities that combine prevention and timely detection of fires depending on development of forest regions and intensity of forest management. The main focus of the paper is on possibility or inadvisability of prescribed fires, fire-use fires (fires that started naturally but were then managed for their beneficial effects and the system of activities increasing fire resistance of the most valuable forests. It is justified that taking into account the effects of forest fires, selective protection of forests is expedient in forest-tundra Middle Siberia and highland taiga of Middle Siberia regions. The whole area of plain taiga of West Siberia region should be subject to protection but with various levels of intensity in different parts of it. The forest fund of Angara, subtaiga forest steppe of Middle Siberia, Altai-Sayanskiy highland, Altai-Sayanskiy highland forest steppe regions should be protected on the whole area. Application of prescribed fires is relevant in the subzone of South taiga, in the forest steppe zone as well as in the submontane and lowland taiga belts. Fire-use fires are admissible on limited areas in the subzones of Middle and North taiga.

  15. Weather Observation Systems and Efficiency of Fighting Forest Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khabarov, N.; Moltchanova, E.; Obersteiner, M.

    2007-12-01

    Weather observation is an essential component of modern forest fire management systems. Satellite and in-situ based weather observation systems might help to reduce forest loss, human casualties and destruction of economic capital. In this paper, we develop and apply a methodology to assess the benefits of various weather observation systems on reductions of burned area due to early fire detection. In particular, we consider a model where the air patrolling schedule is determined by a fire hazard index. The index is computed from gridded daily weather data for the area covering parts Spain and Portugal. We conduct a number of simulation experiments. First, the resolution of the original data set is artificially reduced. The reduction of the total forest burned area associated with air patrolling based on a finer weather grid indicates the benefit of using higher spatially resolved weather observations. Second, we consider a stochastic model to simulate forest fires and explore the sensitivity of the model with respect to the quality of input data. The analysis of combination of satellite and ground monitoring reveals potential cost saving due to a "system of systems effect" and substantial reduction in burned area. Finally, we estimate the marginal improvement schedule for loss of life and economic capital as a function of the improved fire observing system.

  16. Early Forest Fire Detection Using Low Energy Hydrogen Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Müller

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The North-east German Lowlands is a region with one of the highest forest fire risks in Europe. In order to keep damage levels as low as possible, it is important to have an effective early warning system. Such a system is being developed on the basis of a hydrogen sensor, which makes it possible to detect a smouldering forest fire before the development of open flames. The prototype hydrogen sensor produced at the Humboldt University Berlin has a metal/ solid electrolyte/insulator/ semiconductor (MEIS structure, which allows cost-effective production. Due to the low energy consumption, an autarchic working unit could be installed in the forest. Field trials have shown that it is possible to identify a forest fire in its early stages when hydrogen concentrations are still low. A significant change in the signal due to a fire was measured at a distance of about 100m. In view of the potential impacts of climate change, the innovative pre-ignition warning system is an important early diagnosis and monitoring module for the protection of the forests.

  17. Review of state-of-the-art decision support systems (DSSs) for prevention and suppression of forest fires

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Stavros Sakellariou; Stergios Tampekis; Fani Samara; Athanassios Sfougaris; Olga Christopoulou

    2017-01-01

    Forest ecosystems are our priceless natural resource and are a key component of the global carbon budget. Forest fires can be a hazard to the viability and sustainable management of forests with consequences for natural and cultural environments, economies, and the life quality of local and regional populations. Thus, the selec-tion of strategies to manage forest fires, while considering both functional and economic efficiency, is of primary importance. The use of decision support systems (DSSs) by managers of forest fires has rapidly increased. This has strengthened capacity to prevent and suppress forest fires while protecting human lives and property. DSSs are a tool that can benefit incident management and decision making and policy, especially for emergencies such as natural disasters. In this study we reviewed state-of-the-art DSSs that use:database management systems and mathematical/economic algorithms for spatial optimization of firefighting forces; forest fire simulators and satellite technology forimmediate detection and prediction of evolution of forest fires; GIS platforms that incorporate several tools to manipulate, process and analyze geographic data and develop strategic and operational plans.

  18. Fire in upper Midwestern oak forest ecosystems: an oak forest restoration and management handbook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee E. Frelich; Peter B. Reich; David W. Peterson

    2015-01-01

    We reviewed the literature to synthesize what is known about the use of fire to maintain and restore oak forests, woodlands, and savannas of the upper Midwestern United States, with emphasis on Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Included are (1) known physical and ecological effects of fire on oaks from acorn through seedling, established sapling, and mature stages of...

  19. Aid for the victims of the forest fires in Greece

    CERN Multimedia

    2007-01-01

    To support the victims of the fires which devastated the Peloponnese at the end of August, the Permanent Mission of Greece in Geneva has informed us that the Greek government has opened an account into which donations may be paid. The funds collected will be used to assist the many victims of these fires. Bank of Greece Account name: Logariasmos Arogis Pyropathon (Hellenic Republic) (account reserved for aid for the victims of the forest fires) SWIFT : BNGRGRAA IBAN : GR 98 0100 0230 0000 0234 1103 053

  20. Forest Management and the Evolution of Project Design in Dynamic Wildland Urban Interface Fire Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, S.

    2014-12-01

    The Truckee Ranger District on the Tahoe National Forest, in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, has a rich history of human activities. Native American influences, comstock-era logging, fire suppression, development, and recreation have all shaped the natural environment into what it is today. Like much of our national forests in California, forest conditions that have developed are generally much more homogenous and less resistant to disturbance from fire, insect, and disease than they might have been without the myriad of human influences. However, in order to improve the resiliency of our forests to stand replacing disturbances like high severity fire, while managing for integrated anthropomorphic values, it is imperative that management evolve to meet those dynamic needs. Recent advances in remote sensing and GIS allow land managers more access to forest information and can inform site specific prescriptions to change site specific undesirable conditions. It is ecologically and politically complex, yet our forests deserve that microscope. This particular presentation will focus on how the Truckee Ranger District began this process of incorporating several values, generated from stakeholder collaboration, into one project's goals and how those lessons learned informed their most recent project.

  1. Using synthetic polymers to reduce soil erosion after forest fires in Mediterranean soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lado, Marcos; Ben-Hur, Meni; Inbar, Assaf

    2010-05-01

    Forest fires are a major environmental problem in the Mediterranean region because they result in a loss of vegetation cover, changes in biodiversity, increases in greenhouse gasses emission and a potential increase of runoff and soil erosion. The large increases in runoff and sediment yields after high severity fires have been attributed to several factors, among them: increase in soil water repellency; soil sealing by detached particles and by ash particles, and the loss of a surface cover. The presence of a surface cover increases infiltration, and decreases runoff and erosion by several mechanisms which include: rainfall interception, plant evapotranspiration, preservation of soil structure by increasing soil organic matter, and increasing surface roughness. The loss of vegetation cover as a result of fire leaves the surface of the soil exposed to the direct impact of the raindrops, and therefore the sensitivity of the soil to runoff generation and soil loss increases. In this work, we propose a new method to protect soils against post-fire erosion based on the application of synthetic polymers to the soil. Laboratory rainfall simulations and field runoff plots were used to analyze the suitability of the application of synthetic polymers to reduce soil erosion and stabilize soil structure in Mediterranean soils. The combination of these two processes will potentially favor a faster recovery of the vegetation structure. This method has been successfully applied in arable land, however it has not been tested in burnt forests. The outcome of this study may provide important managerial tools for forest management following fires.

  2. Characterizing Tropical Forest Cover Loss Using Dense Sentinel-1 Data and Active Fire Alerts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reiche, Johannes; Verhoeven, Rob; Verbesselt, Jan; Hamunyela, Eliakim; Wielaard, Niels; Herold, Martin

    2018-01-01

    Fire use for land management is widespread in natural tropical and plantation forests, causing major environmental and economic damage. Recent studies combining active fire alerts with annual forest-cover loss information identified fire-related forest-cover loss areas well, but do not provide

  3. Proceedings of the 6. Canadian Urban Forest Conference : fires, storms, and pests : crisis in our urban forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2006-07-01

    There is an increasing awareness in Canada of the benefits and values of urban forests in environmental, social and economic terms. However, the mountain pine beetle (MPB) infestation in British Columbia (BC) has infected vast tracts of the province's forest lands over the last several years, and there is evidence that the beetle plague is now causing major devastation in urban areas. Fires are increasing in size and moving from surrounding forest lands into towns and cities in the province and have taken a toll on people and properties in urban areas. Storms and hurricanes have imposed damage on trees in urban areas in the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario. This conference presented strategies for urban forest managers faced with a variety of disturbances. Issues concerning emergency preparedness and the role of utilities in urban forestry matters were examined and tools for valuing and marketing the urban forest were reviewed. Landscaping for the mitigation of fires was discussed along with tree hazard assessment techniques. The positive financial impact made to communities by their urban forests was emphasized and guidelines and support tools to help municipalities maintain and enhance their urban forests were outlined. The establishment of research priorities for urban forestry was recommended, as well as the identification of unique and threatened habitats both in, and near, large and small municipalities. Twenty-four presentations were given at this conference, of which 3 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs.

  4. Dispersal limitation drives successional pathways in Central Siberian forests under current and intensified fire regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tautenhahn, Susanne; Lichstein, Jeremy W; Jung, Martin; Kattge, Jens; Bohlman, Stephanie A; Heilmeier, Hermann; Prokushkin, Anatoly; Kahl, Anja; Wirth, Christian

    2016-06-01

    Fire is a primary driver of boreal forest dynamics. Intensifying fire regimes due to climate change may cause a shift in boreal forest composition toward reduced dominance of conifers and greater abundance of deciduous hardwoods, with potential biogeochemical and biophysical feedbacks to regional and global climate. This shift has already been observed in some North American boreal forests and has been attributed to changes in site conditions. However, it is unknown if the mechanisms controlling fire-induced changes in deciduous hardwood cover are similar among different boreal forests, which differ in the ecological traits of the dominant tree species. To better understand the consequences of intensifying fire regimes in boreal forests, we studied postfire regeneration in five burns in the Central Siberian dark taiga, a vast but poorly studied boreal region. We combined field measurements, dendrochronological analysis, and seed-source maps derived from high-resolution satellite images to quantify the importance of site conditions (e.g., organic layer depth) vs. seed availability in shaping postfire regeneration. We show that dispersal limitation of evergreen conifers was the main factor determining postfire regeneration composition and density. Site conditions had significant but weaker effects. We used information on postfire regeneration to develop a classification scheme for successional pathways, representing the dominance of deciduous hardwoods vs. evergreen conifers at different successional stages. We estimated the spatial distribution of different successional pathways under alternative fire regime scenarios. Under intensified fire regimes, dispersal limitation of evergreen conifers is predicted to become more severe, primarily due to reduced abundance of surviving seed sources within burned areas. Increased dispersal limitation of evergreen conifers, in turn, is predicted to increase the prevalence of successional pathways dominated by deciduous hardwoods

  5. Multifractal analysis of forest fires in complex regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Orozco, C. D.; Kanevski, M.; Golay, J.; Tonini, M.; Conedera, M.

    2012-04-01

    Forest fires can be studied as point processes where the ignition points represent the set of locations of the observed events in a defined study region. Their spatial and temporal patterns can be characterized by their fractal properties; which quantify the global aspect of the geometry of the support data. However, a monofractal dimension can not completely describe the pattern structure and related scaling properties. Enhancements in fractal theory had developed the multifractal concept which describes the measures from which interlinked fractal sets can be retrieved and characterized by their fractal dimension and singularity strength [1, 2]. The spatial variability of forest fires is conditioned by an intermixture of human, topographic, meteorological and vegetation factors. This heterogeneity makes fire patterns complex scale-invariant processes difficult to be depicted by a single scale. Therefore, this study proposes an exploratory data analysis through a multifractal formalism to characterize and quantify the multiscaling behaviour of the spatial distribution pattern of this phenomenon in a complex region like the Swiss Alps. The studied dataset is represented by 2,401 georeferenced forest fire ignition points in canton Ticino, Switzerland, in a 40-years period from 1969 to 2008. Three multifractal analyses are performed: one assesses the multiscaling behaviour of fire occurrence probability of the support data (raw data) and four random patterns simulated within three different support domains; second analysis studies the multifractal behavior of patterns from anthropogenic and natural ignited fires (arson-, accident- and lightning-caused fires); and third analysis aims at detecting scale-dependency of the size of burned area. To calculate the generalized dimensions, Dq, a generalization of the box counting methods is carried out based on the generalization of Rényi information of the qth order moment of the probability distribution. For q > 0, Dq

  6. PREFER: a European service providing forest fire management support products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eftychidis, George; Laneve, Giovanni; Ferrucci, Fabrizio; Sebastian Lopez, Ana; Lourenco, Louciano; Clandillon, Stephen; Tampellini, Lucia; Hirn, Barbara; Diagourtas, Dimitris; Leventakis, George

    2015-06-01

    PREFER is a Copernicus project of the EC-FP7 program which aims developing spatial information products that may support fire prevention and burned areas restoration decisions and establish a relevant web-based regional service for making these products available to fire management stakeholders. The service focuses to the Mediterranean region, where fire risk is high and damages from wildfires are quite important, and develop its products for pilot areas located in Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Greece. PREFER aims to allow fire managers to have access to online resources, which shall facilitate fire prevention measures, fire hazard and risk assessment, estimation of fire impact and damages caused by wildfire as well as support monitoring of post-fire regeneration and vegetation recovery. It makes use of a variety of products delivered by space borne sensors and develop seasonal and daily products using multi-payload, multi-scale and multi-temporal analysis of EO data. The PREFER Service portfolio consists of two main suite of products. The first refers to mapping products for supporting decisions concerning the Preparedness/Prevention Phase (ISP Service). The service delivers Fuel, Hazard and Fire risk maps for this purpose. Furthermore the PREFER portfolio includes Post-fire vegetation recovery, burn scar maps, damage severity and 3D fire damage assessment products in order to support relative assessments required in context of the Recovery/Reconstruction Phase (ISR Service) of fire management.

  7. The Forest Fire Problem of Degrading Tain II Forest Reserve in Ghana

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Agribotix GCS 068

    2010-01-11

    Jan 11, 2010 ... informal practice was done before the 1982/83 dry season when the country ..... Tain II Forest Reserve forms part of the Dry Semi-Deciduous Fire ...... 2003/08; Forest Resources Development Service Working Paper FFM/2. .... Environment, Resources and Development Thailand. web.idrc.ca/uploads/user-.

  8. The “Forest Fire Project”, National cartographic portal of the Italian Environmental Department: an example of management of cartographic data to support forest fires fighting plans in national parks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrucci B

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The “Forest Fire Project” on the National cartographic portal (http://www.pcn.minambiente.it has been created by the Italian Ministry of Environment Territory and Sea (METS. The project is intended to support forest fire fighting plans in national protected areas as provided for by article 8 of the law November 21th 2000, no. 353 “Framework law on forest fires”. The project brings out the results of previous projects carried out in collaboration with several research institutes. Cartographic information is made available as free and reliable knowledge base in order to facilitate the draw up and implementation of the “Forest Fire Plans”, including the actual activity of forest fire extinction. Map information can be further implemented by various subjects such as researchers, land planning programmers or managers. The National cartographic portal gives the opportunity of overlaying various cartographic information and base maps supporting the “Forest Fire Project”; moreover it is possible to add other layers from other sources, through URL. Adequate “personalised” overlaps - which can be saved on one’s own GIS - allow in depth analysis and deductions aimed at specific objectives of territorial planning and management and in particular of Forest Fire Fighting Plans.

  9. Effects of bark beetle attack on canopy fuel flammability and crown fire potential in lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wesley G. Page; Martin E. Alexander; Michael J. Jenkins

    2015-01-01

    Large wildland fires in conifer forests typically involve some degree of crowning, with their initiation and propagation dependent upon several characteristics of the canopy fuels. Recent outbreaks of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. var. latifolia E ngelm.) forests and spruce beetle (Dendroctonus...

  10. Fire evolution in the radioactive forests of Ukraine and Belarus: future risks for the population and the environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    N. Evangeliou; Y. Balkanski; A. Cozic; WeiMin Hao; F. Mouillot; K. Thonicke; R. Paugam; S. Zibtsev; T. A. Mousseau; R. Wang; B. Poulter; A. Petkov; C. Yue; P. Cadule; B. Koffi; J. W. Kaiser; A. P. Moller

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we analyze the current and future status of forests in Ukraine and Belarus that were contaminated after the nuclear disaster in 1986. Using several models, together with remote-sensing data and observations, we studied how climate change in these forests may affect fire regimes. We investigated the possibility of 137Cs displacement over Europe...

  11. Historical Susceptibility of Forest Fires in the Carajas Region, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conceicao, M. C.; Rodrigues, R. A.; Cordeiro, R. C.; Barbosa, M. R.; Santos, D. D.; Turcq, B. J.; Seoane, J. S.; Sifeddine, A.

    2008-12-01

    The Carajas Region in the Para state, nowadays keeps a vast area of forests protected by Units of Conservation and Indigenous Land. Despite the efforts and investments done by private companies and government agencies to prevent forest fires, they are still registered, being one of the major factors of degradation of forests, flora and fauna. Thus there is a need to improve the understanding of these burning processes at present, and its evolution in different time scales, which allows comparison between patterns of fire occurrences related to climate and human reasons. This study aims to assess the evolution of the climate of Carajas region along the Quaternary, with emphasis on natural occurrence of fires related to historical events palaeoclimatic. For this a sediment core of a lake with 450 cm of depth was collected. Chronology is being determined by the radiocarbon method. Ours specific objectives are quantify and qualify the source of sedimentary material, determine concentrations of biogenic elements and minerals, through granulometric and mineralogical analyses and of quality and quantity of organic matter through the establishment of elementary (the C/N) and isotopic ratios (ä13C and ä15N). The dimensions of processes linked to the biomass burning will be determined by quantifying of charcoal fragments resulting from fires through microscopic analysis. This seeks to reconstruct the environmental scene and paleoclimatics conditions related to events of biomass burning, demonstrating the susceptibility of this historic region to the occurrence of fires according to the different climate stages identified.

  12. Spatiotemporal distribution patterns of forest fires in northern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustavo Pérez-Verdin; M. A. Márquez-Linares; A. Cortes-Ortiz; M. Salmerón-Macias

    2013-01-01

    Using the 2000-2011 CONAFOR databases, a spatiotemporal analysis of the occurrence of forest fires in Durango, one of the most affected States in Mexico, was conducted. The Moran's index was used to determine a spatial distribution pattern; also, an analysis of seasonal and temporal autocorrelation of the data collected was completed. The geographically weighted...

  13. Dynamic analysis and pattern visualization of forest fires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, António M; Tenreiro Machado, J A

    2014-01-01

    This paper analyses forest fires in the perspective of dynamical systems. Forest fires exhibit complex correlations in size, space and time, revealing features often present in complex systems, such as the absence of a characteristic length-scale, or the emergence of long range correlations and persistent memory. This study addresses a public domain forest fires catalogue, containing information of events for Portugal, during the period from 1980 up to 2012. The data is analysed in an annual basis, modelling the occurrences as sequences of Dirac impulses with amplitude proportional to the burnt area. First, we consider mutual information to correlate annual patterns. We use visualization trees, generated by hierarchical clustering algorithms, in order to compare and to extract relationships among the data. Second, we adopt the Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) visualization tool. MDS generates maps where each object corresponds to a point. Objects that are perceived to be similar to each other are placed on the map forming clusters. The results are analysed in order to extract relationships among the data and to identify forest fire patterns.

  14. Warm Dry Weather Conditions Cause of 2016 Fort McMurray Wild Forest Fire and Associated Air Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Azevedo, S. C.; Singh, R. P.; da Silva, E. A., Sr.

    2016-12-01

    The climate change is evident from the increasing temperature around the world, day to day life and increasing frequency of natural hazards. The warm and dry conditions are the cause of frequent forest fires around the globe. Forest fires severely affect the air quality and human health. Multi sensor satellites and dense network of ground stations provide information about vegetation health, meteorological, air quality and atmospheric parameters. We have carried out detailed analysis of satellite and ground data of wild forest fire that occurred in May 2016 in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. This wild forest fire destroyed 10 per cent of Fort McMurray's housing and forced more than 90,000 people to evacuate the surrounding areas. Our results show that the warm and dry conditions with low rainfall were the cause of Fort McMurray wild fire. The air quality parameters (particulate matter, CO, ozone, NO2, methane) and greenhouse gases measured from Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) satellite show enhanced levels soon after the forest fire. The emissions from the forest fire affected health of population living in surrounding areas up to 300 km radius.

  15. Changes in forest structure and composition after fire in tropical montane cloud forests near the Andean treeline

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveras Menor, I.; Malhi, Y.; Salinas, N.; Huaman, V.; Urquiaga-Flores, E.; Kala-Mamani, J.; Quintano-Loaiza, J.A.; Cuba-Torres, I.; Lizarraga-Morales, N.; Roman-Cuesta, R.M.

    2014-01-01

    Background: In tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) fires can be a frequent source of disturbance near the treeline. Aims: To identify how forest structure and tree species composition change in response to fire and to identify fire-tolerant species, and determine which traits or characteristics

  16. Forest fires are changing: let’s change the fire management strategy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bovio G

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Forest fires in Italy are changing. More frequent heatwaves and drought increase the flammability of the vegetation; the abandonment of rural land produces 30.000 ha of newly afforested areas each year; and the wildland-urban interface is expanding with the sprawl of urbanized areas. However, forest fires are rarely understood and managed in their complexity. The public opinion is often misinformed on the causes and consequences of fires in the forest. Moreover, fire management relies almost exclusively on extinction and emergency response, resulting in high costs and limited efficacy versus extreme fire seasons. We advocate to increase the role and investments in wildfire prevention, which can be carried out by fuel-oriented silviculture, such as facilitating less flammable species or prescribed burning, in order to reduce the flammability of the vegetation and mitigate fire intensity in high-leverage areas. A centralized structure is necessary to implement such a strategy and coordinate the competences and actions of all local administrations and actors involved.

  17. Factor contribution to fire occurrence, size, and burn probability in a subtropical coniferous forest in East China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Tao; Wang, Yao; Guo, Zhixing; Li, Yijia

    2017-01-01

    The contribution of factors including fuel type, fire-weather conditions, topography and human activity to fire regime attributes (e.g. fire occurrence, size distribution and severity) has been intensively discussed. The relative importance of those factors in explaining the burn probability (BP), which is critical in terms of fire risk management, has been insufficiently addressed. Focusing on a subtropical coniferous forest with strong human disturbance in East China, our main objective was to evaluate and compare the relative importance of fuel composition, topography, and human activity for fire occurrence, size and BP. Local BP distribution was derived with stochastic fire simulation approach using detailed historical fire data (1990-2010) and forest-resource survey results, based on which our factor contribution analysis was carried out. Our results indicated that fuel composition had the greatest relative importance in explaining fire occurrence and size, but human activity explained most of the variance in BP. This implies that the influence of human activity is amplified through the process of overlapping repeated ignition and spreading events. This result emphasizes the status of strong human disturbance in local fire processes. It further confirms the need for a holistic perspective on factor contribution to fire likelihood, rather than focusing on individual fire regime attributes, for the purpose of fire risk management.

  18. Spatio-temporal evolution of forest fires in Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonini, Marj; Pereira, Mário G.; Parente, Joana

    2017-04-01

    A key issue in fire management is the ability to explore and try to predict where and when fires are more likely to occur. This information can be useful to understand the triggering factors of ignitions and for planning strategies to reduce forest fires, to manage the sources of ignition and to identify areas and frame period at risk. Therefore, producing maps displaying forest fires location and their occurrence in time can be of great help for accurately forecasting these hazardous events. In a fire prone country as Portugal, where thousands of events occurs each year, it is involved to drive information about fires over densities and recurrences just by looking at the original arrangement of the mapped ignition points or burnt areas. In this respect, statistical methods originally developed for spatio-temporal stochastic point processes can be employed to find a structure within these large datasets. In the present study, the authors propose an approach to analyze and visualize the evolution in space and in time of forest fires occurred in Portugal during a long frame period (1990 - 2013). Data came from the Portuguese mapped burnt areas official geodatabase (by the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests), which is the result of interpreted satellite measurements. The following statistical analyses were performed: the geographically-weighted summary statistics, to analyze the local variability of the average burned area; the space-time Kernel density, to elaborate smoothed density surfaces representing over densities of fires classed by size and on North vs South region. Finally, we emploied the volume rendering thecnique to visualize the spatio-temporal evolution of these events into a unique map: this representation allows visually inspecting areas and time-step more affected from a high aggregation of forest fires. It results that during the whole investigated period over densities are mainly located in the northern regions, while in the

  19. Numerical study of propagation of forest fires in the presence of fire breaks using an averaged setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzaeva, S. I.; Galtseva, O. V.

    2018-05-01

    The forest fires spread in the pine forests have been numerically simulated using a three-dimensional mathematical model. The model was integrated with respect to the vertical coordinate because horizontal sizes of forest are much greater than the heights of trees. In this paper, the assignment and theoretical investigations of the problems of crown forest fires spread pass the firebreaks were carried out. In this context, a study ( mathematical modeling) of the conditions of forest fire spreading that would make it possible to obtain a detailed picture of the change in the temperature and component concentration fields with time, and determine as well as the limiting condition of fire propagation in forest with these fire breaks.

  20. The Impact of Indonesian Forest Fires on Singaporean Pollution and Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheldon, Tamara L; Sankaran, Chandini

    2017-05-01

    Between 1990 and 2015, Indonesia lost nearly 25 percent of its forests, largely due to intentional burning to clear land for cultivation of palm oil and timber plantations.1 The neighboring "victim countries" experienced severe deteriorations in air quality as a result of these fires. For example, Singapore experienced record air pollution levels in June of 2013 and again in September of 2015 as a result of the Indonesian forest fires.2 This air pollution is associated with increased incidences of upper respiratory tract infections, acute conjunctivitis, lung disease, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and pneumonia, among other ailments.2 Quantifying the impact of air pollution on health outcomes is challenging because pollution levels are often nonrandom for a variety of reasons, including policy endogeneity and sorting (Dominici, Greenstone, and Sunstein 2014). In this paper we offer the first causal analysis of the transboundary health effects of the Indonesian forest burning. The Indonesian fires induce exogenous variation in Singaporean air quality. We take advantage of this by using satellite fire data to instrument for changes in Singaporean air quality. Since Singapore is only 277.6 square miles in area (two-thirds the size of New York City), air pollution resulting from the fires is homogeneously spread so that sorting is less likely to be an issue. Using a two-stage least squares approach, we find that from 2010 through mid-2016, the Indonesian fires caused a statistically significant increase in pollution levels in Singapore. Our study also provides evidence that polyclinic attendances for acute respiratory tract infections and acute conjunctivitis in Singapore increased as a result of the deterioration in air quality. The reduced form estimates show that a one standard deviation increase in our measure of fires causes a 0.7 standard deviation increase in polyclinic attendances for each of these illnesses. These findings provide causal evidence of the

  1. Using unplanned fires to help suppressing future large fires in Mediterranean forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrián Regos

    Full Text Available Despite the huge resources invested in fire suppression, the impact of wildfires has considerably increased across the Mediterranean region since the second half of the 20th century. Modulating fire suppression efforts in mild weather conditions is an appealing but hotly-debated strategy to use unplanned fires and associated fuel reduction to create opportunities for suppression of large fires in future adverse weather conditions. Using a spatially-explicit fire-succession model developed for Catalonia (Spain, we assessed this opportunistic policy by using two fire suppression strategies that reproduce how firefighters in extreme weather conditions exploit previous fire scars as firefighting opportunities. We designed scenarios by combining different levels of fire suppression efficiency and climatic severity for a 50-year period (2000-2050. An opportunistic fire suppression policy induced large-scale changes in fire regimes and decreased the area burnt under extreme climate conditions, but only accounted for up to 18-22% of the area to be burnt in reference scenarios. The area suppressed in adverse years tended to increase in scenarios with increasing amounts of area burnt during years dominated by mild weather. Climate change had counterintuitive effects on opportunistic fire suppression strategies. Climate warming increased the incidence of large fires under uncontrolled conditions but also indirectly increased opportunities for enhanced fire suppression. Therefore, to shift fire suppression opportunities from adverse to mild years, we would require a disproportionately large amount of area burnt in mild years. We conclude that the strategic planning of fire suppression resources has the potential to become an important cost-effective fuel-reduction strategy at large spatial scale. We do however suggest that this strategy should probably be accompanied by other fuel-reduction treatments applied at broad scales if large-scale changes in fire

  2. Using unplanned fires to help suppressing future large fires in Mediterranean forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regos, Adrián; Aquilué, Núria; Retana, Javier; De Cáceres, Miquel; Brotons, Lluís

    2014-01-01

    Despite the huge resources invested in fire suppression, the impact of wildfires has considerably increased across the Mediterranean region since the second half of the 20th century. Modulating fire suppression efforts in mild weather conditions is an appealing but hotly-debated strategy to use unplanned fires and associated fuel reduction to create opportunities for suppression of large fires in future adverse weather conditions. Using a spatially-explicit fire-succession model developed for Catalonia (Spain), we assessed this opportunistic policy by using two fire suppression strategies that reproduce how firefighters in extreme weather conditions exploit previous fire scars as firefighting opportunities. We designed scenarios by combining different levels of fire suppression efficiency and climatic severity for a 50-year period (2000-2050). An opportunistic fire suppression policy induced large-scale changes in fire regimes and decreased the area burnt under extreme climate conditions, but only accounted for up to 18-22% of the area to be burnt in reference scenarios. The area suppressed in adverse years tended to increase in scenarios with increasing amounts of area burnt during years dominated by mild weather. Climate change had counterintuitive effects on opportunistic fire suppression strategies. Climate warming increased the incidence of large fires under uncontrolled conditions but also indirectly increased opportunities for enhanced fire suppression. Therefore, to shift fire suppression opportunities from adverse to mild years, we would require a disproportionately large amount of area burnt in mild years. We conclude that the strategic planning of fire suppression resources has the potential to become an important cost-effective fuel-reduction strategy at large spatial scale. We do however suggest that this strategy should probably be accompanied by other fuel-reduction treatments applied at broad scales if large-scale changes in fire regimes are to be

  3. Quantifying black carbon deposition over the Greenland ice sheet from forest fires in Canada: BC DEPOSITION FROM FOREST FIRES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas, J. L. [LATMOS/IPSL, UPMC University Paris 6 Sorbonne Universités, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris France; Polashenski, C. M. [USACE-CRREL, Fort Wainwright Alaska USA; Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire USA; Soja, A. J. [National Institute of Aerospace, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA; Marelle, L. [Center for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo (CICERO), Oslo Norway; Casey, K. A. [Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire USA; Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA; Choi, H. D. [National Institute of Aerospace, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA; Raut, J. -C. [LATMOS/IPSL, UPMC University Paris 6 Sorbonne Universités, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris France; Wiedinmyer, C. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder Colorado USA; Emmons, L. K. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder Colorado USA; Fast, J. D. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland Washington USA; Pelon, J. [LATMOS/IPSL, UPMC University Paris 6 Sorbonne Universités, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris France; Law, K. S. [LATMOS/IPSL, UPMC University Paris 6 Sorbonne Universités, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris France; Flanner, M. G. [Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan USA; Dibb, J. E. [Earth Systems Research Center, EOS, University of New Hampshire, Durham New Hampshire USA

    2017-08-05

    We identify an important Black Carbon (BC) aerosol deposition event that was observed in snow stratigraphy and dated to between 27 July 2013 – 2 August 2013. This event comprises a significant portion (~60%) of total deposition over a 10 month period (July 2013 – April 2014). Here we link this event to forest fires burning in Canada during summer 2013 using modeling and remote sensing tools. Aerosols were detected by both the CALIOP and MODIS instruments during transport between Canada and Greenland, confirming that this event involved emissions from forest fires in Canada. We use high-resolution regional chemical transport mod-eling (WRF-Chem) combined with high-resolution fire emissions (FINNv1.5) to study aerosol emissions, transport, and deposition during this event. The model accurately captures the timing of the BC deposition event and shows that the major contribution to deposition during this event is emissions originating from fires in Canada. However, the model under-predicts aerosol deposition compared to measurements at all sites by a factor of 2–100. Under-prediction of modeled BC deposition originates from uncertainties in fire emissions combined with uncertainties in aerosol scavenging by clouds. This study suggests that it is possible to describe the transport of an exceptional smoke event on regional and continental scales. Improvements in model descriptions of precipitation scavenging and emissions from wildfires are needed to correctly predict deposition, which is critical for determining the climate impacts of aerosols that originate from fires.

  4. Past, Present, and Future Old Growth in Frequent-fire Conifer Forests of the Western United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott R. Abella

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Old growth in the frequent-fire conifer forests of the western United States, such as those containing ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa, Jeffrey pine (P. jeffreyi, giant sequoia (Sequioa giganteum and other species, has undergone major changes since Euro-American settlement. Understanding past changes and anticipating future changes under different potential management scenarios are fundamental to developing ecologically based fuel reduction or ecological restoration treatments. Some of the many changes that have occurred in these forests include shifts from historically frequent surface fire to no fire or to stand-replacing fire regimes, increases in tree density, increased abundance of fire-intolerant trees, decreases in understory productivity, hydrological alterations, and accelerated mortality of old trees. Although these changes are widespread, the magnitude and causes of changes may vary within and among landscapes. Agents of change, such as fire exclusion or livestock grazing, likely interacted and had multiple effects. For example, historical ranching operations may have altered both fire regimes and understory vegetation, and facilitated institutional fire exclusion through fragmentation and settlement. Evidence exists for large variation in presettlement characteristics and current condition of old growth across this broad forest region, although there are many examples of striking similarities on widely distant landscapes. Exotic species, climate change, unnatural stand-replacing wildfires, and other factors will likely continue to degrade or eradicate old growth in many areas. As a policy of fire exclusion is proving to be unsustainable, mechanical tree thinning, prescribed fire, or wildland fire use will likely be key options for forestalling continued eradication of old growth by severe crown fires. For many practical and societal reasons, the wildland-urban interface may afford some of the most immediate opportunities for re

  5. Study and Evaluation of the Alcublas (Valencia, Spain) forest fire of Summer 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora Sanchez, Francisco; Lopez-Baeza, Ernesto

    This work studies and quantifies the forest fire that took place in the province of Valencia, Spain, that particularly affected the municipality of Alcublas. This fire was one of the most intense and catastrophic fires that extended over the Valencian Community. Besides quantifying the area affected by the fire according to a severity index, the analysis was carried out from different viewpoints, namely land use, municipal, and cadastral. The data used were, on the one hand, two images from Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) satellite, respectively before and after the fire. On the other hand, we also used CORINE Land Cover 2006 Land Use data, a digital terrain model (DTM), the cadastre or land registration from Alcublas and the Spanish topographic map at scale 1:25000 (MTN25). The method used consisted of different steps: atmospheric correction of the images with the dark-object subtraction technique, topographic correction of the images with a 5 m resolution DTM and the Minnaert method, and the elimination of the Landsat 7 Scan Line Corrector (SLC-off) effect by using the Delaunay triangulation method. Once the images were corrected, we computed the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) to highlight and characterise the areas that were burnt by means of a standard severity index. The estimation of the affected area was done through the difference of the images respectively before and after the fire that was also trimmed off to actually obtain the affected area. Once the forest fire was classified, the total affected area was estimated for each severity index and overlaid the Spanish topographic map (1:25000) thus being able to calculate the affected area for each municipality, land use and cadastrial property. The total burnt area was 19910 ha, the most affected municipality -in extension- was Andilla with 4966 ha. But the most significant one was precisely Alcublas with 60,64% of its area burnt. The area burnt for each land use was also estimated according to

  6. Spatial distribution of ozone over Indonesia (Study case: Forest fire event 2015)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muslimah, Sri; Buce Saleh, Muhamad; Hidayat, Rahmat

    2018-05-01

    Tropospheric ozone is known as surface ozone and caused several health impact. The objective of this study was to analysis spatial distribution of tropospheric ozone over Indonesia case study forest fire event in 2015. Monthly observation measured by Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) have been analysed from January – December 2015 to study spatial distribution of tropospheric ozone related to forest fire event 2015. The study discovered high level of tropospheric column ozone (TCO) from October to November 2015. The result shows increasing average of TCO from September to October almost 6 DU. Meanwhile, monthly number of hotspot is higher in September 2015 with total number 257 hotspot which is acquired by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) Terra version 6.1 with confidence level same or more than 90%. The hotspot distribution compared with spatial TCO distribution and shows interesting time lag with respect to hotspot distribution, one month. Further study for daily comparison of TCO and forest fire event needed. This result suggested that the tropospheric ozone over the Indonesian region increases in 2015 were remarkable and corresponded to forest fire event.

  7. Mega fire emissions in Siberia: potential supply of bioavailable iron from forests to the ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ito

    2011-06-01

    from oxidation of SO2 and from direct emissions of soluble iron from combustion sources. Emission scenarios for IPCC AR5 report (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Fifth Assessment Report suggest that anthropogenic SO2 emissions are suppressed in the future to improve air quality. In future warmer and drier climate, severe fire years such as 2003 may become more frequent in boreal regions. The fire emission rates estimated in this study are applied to the aerosol chemistry transport model to examine the relative importance of biomass burning sources of soluble iron compared to those from dust sources. The model reveals that extreme fire events contribute to a significant deposition of soluble iron (20–40 % to downwind regions over the western North Pacific Ocean, compared to the dust sources with no atmospheric processing by acidic species. These results suggest that the supply of nutrients from large forest fires plays a role as a negative biosphere-climate feedback with regards to the ocean fertilization.

  8. Fire Effects on Microbial Dynamics and C, N, and P Cycling in Larch Forests of the Siberian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, S.; Alexander, H. D.; Mann, P. J.; Natali, S.; Schade, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic forest ecosystems are warming at an accelerated rate relative to lower latitudes, with global implications for C cycling within these regions. As climate continues to warm and dry, wildfire frequency and severity are predicted to increase, creating a positive feedback to climate warming. Because soil microbes regulate carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere, it is important to understand microbial response to fires, particularly in the understudied larch forests in the Siberian Arctic. In this project, we created experimental burn plots in a mature larch forest in the Kolyma River watershed of Northeastern Siberia. Plots were burned at several treatments: control (no burn), low, moderate, and severe. After 1 day, 8 days and 1 year post-fire, we measured CO2 flux from the plots, and measured dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), NH4, NO3, PO4, and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) from soil leachates. Furthermore, we measured extracellular activity of four enzymes involved in soil C and nutrient cycling (leucine aminopeptidase (LAP), β-glucosidase, phosphatase, and phenol oxidase). Both 1 day and 8 days post-fire DOC, TDN, NH4, and PO4 all increased with burn severity, but by 1 year they were similar to control plots. The aromaticity and molecular weight of DOM decreased with fire severity. One day post-fire we observed a spike in phenol oxidase activity in the severe burns only, and a decline in β-glucosidase and phosphatase activity. By 8 days post-fire all enzyme activities were at the level of the control plots. 1 year post-fire LAP, β-glucosidase, and phosphatase all decreased with fire severity, parallel to a decrease in CO2 flux by fire severity. Ratios of enzymatic activity 1 year post-fire reflect a switch of resource allocation from P acquiring to N acquiring activities in more severe fires. Our results show an immediate microbial response to the short-term effects

  9. Data in support of environmental controls on the characteristics of mean number of forest fires and mean forest area burned (1987–2007 in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Chang

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Fire frequency and size are two important parameters describing fire characteristics. Exploring the spatial variation of fire characteristics and understanding the environmental controls are indispensable to fire prediction and sustainable forest landscape management. To illustrate the spatial variation of forest fire characteristics over China and to quantitatively determine the relative contribution of each of the environmental controls to this variation, forest fire characteristic data (mean number of forest fires and mean burned forest area and environmental data (climate, land use, vegetation type and topography at provincial level were derived. These data sets can potentially serve as a foundation for future studies relating to fire risk assessment, carbon emission by forest fires, and the impact of climate change on fire characteristics. This data article contains data related to the research article entitled “Environmental controls on the characteristics of mean number of forest fires and mean forest area burned (1987–2007 in China” by chang et al. [1].

  10. Long-term persistence and fire resilience of oak shrubfields in dry conifer forests of northern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guiterman, Christopher H.; Margolis, Ellis; Allen, Craig D.; Falk, Donald A.; Swetnam, Thomas W.

    2017-01-01

    Extensive high-severity fires are creating large shrubfields in many dry conifer forests of the interior western USA, raising concerns about forest-to-shrub conversion. This study evaluates the role of disturbance in shrubfield formation, maintenance and succession in the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico. We compared the environmental conditions of extant Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) shrubfields with adjoining dry conifer forests and used dendroecological methods to determine the multi-century fire history and successional dynamics of five of the largest shrubfields (76–340 ha). Across the study area, 349 shrubfields (5–368 ha) occur in similar topographic and climate settings as dry conifer forests. This suggests disturbance, rather than other biophysical factors, may explain their origins and persistence. Gambel oak ages and tree-ring fire scars in our sampled shrubfields indicate they historically (1664–1899) burned concurrently with adjoining conifer forests and have persisted for over 115 years in the absence of fire. Aerial imagery from 1935 confirmed almost no change in sampled shrubfield patch sizes or boundaries over the twentieth century. The largest shrubfield we identified is less than 4% the size of the largest conifer-depleted and substantially shrub-dominated area recently formed in the Jemez following extensive high-severity wildfires, indicating considerable departure from historical patterns and processes. Projected hotter droughts and increasingly large high-severity fires could trigger more forest-to-shrub transitions and maintain existing shrubfields, inhibiting conifer forest recovery. Restoration of surface fire regimes and associated historical forest structures likely could reduce the rate and patch size of dry conifer forests being converted to shrubfields.

  11. Land surface temperature as potential indicator of burn severity in forest Mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintano, C.; Fernández-Manso, A.; Calvo, L.; Marcos, E.; Valbuena, L.

    2015-04-01

    Forest fires are one of the most important causes of environmental alteration in Mediterranean countries. Discrimination of different degrees of burn severity is critical for improving management of fire-affected areas. This paper aims to evaluate the usefulness of land surface temperature (LST) as potential indicator of burn severity. We used a large convention-dominated wildfire, which occurred on 19-21 September, 2012 in Northwestern Spain. From this area, a 1-year series of six LST images were generated from Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) data using a single channel algorithm. Further, the Composite Burn Index (CBI) was measured in 111 field plots to identify the burn severity level (low, moderate, and high). Evaluation of the potential relationship between post-fire LST and ground measured CBI was performed by both correlation analysis and regression models. Correlation coefficients were higher in the immediate post-fire LST images, but decreased during the fall of 2012 and increased again with a second maximum value in summer, 2013. A linear regression model between post-fire LST and CBI allowed us to represent spatially predicted CBI (R-squaredadj > 85%). After performing an analysis of variance (ANOVA) between post-fire LST and CBI, a Fisher's least significant difference test determined that two burn severity levels (low-moderate and high) could be statistically distinguished. The identification of such burn severity levels is sufficient and useful to forest managers. We conclude that summer post-fire LST from moderate resolution satellite data may be considered as a valuable indicator of burn severity for large fires in Mediterranean forest ecosytems.

  12. Quantifying the Carbon Balance of Forest Restoration and Wildfire under Projected Climate in the Fire-Prone Southwestern US.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurteau, Matthew D

    2017-01-01

    Climate projections for the southwestern US suggest a warmer, drier future and have the potential to impact forest carbon (C) sequestration and post-fire C recovery. Restoring forest structure and surface fire regimes initially decreases total ecosystem carbon (TEC), but can stabilize the remaining C by moderating wildfire behavior. Previous research has demonstrated that fire maintained forests can store more C over time than fire suppressed forests in the presence of wildfire. However, because the climate future is uncertain, I sought to determine the efficacy of forest management to moderate fire behavior and its effect on forest C dynamics under current and projected climate. I used the LANDIS-II model to simulate carbon dynamics under early (2010-2019), mid (2050-2059), and late (2090-2099) century climate projections for a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) dominated landscape in northern Arizona. I ran 100-year simulations with two different treatments (control, thin and burn) and a 1 in 50 chance of wildfire occurring. I found that control TEC had a consistent decline throughout the simulation period, regardless of climate. Thin and burn TEC increased following treatment implementation and showed more differentiation than the control in response to climate, with late-century climate having the lowest TEC. Treatment efficacy, as measured by mean fire severity, was not impacted by climate. Fire effects were evident in the cumulative net ecosystem exchange (NEE) for the different treatments. Over the simulation period, 32.8-48.9% of the control landscape was either C neutral or a C source to the atmosphere and greater than 90% of the thin and burn landscape was a moderate C sink. These results suggest that in southwestern ponderosa pine, restoring forest structure and surface fire regimes provides a reasonable hedge against the uncertainty of future climate change for maintaining the forest C sink.

  13. Quantifying the Carbon Balance of Forest Restoration and Wildfire under Projected Climate in the Fire-Prone Southwestern US.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Hurteau

    Full Text Available Climate projections for the southwestern US suggest a warmer, drier future and have the potential to impact forest carbon (C sequestration and post-fire C recovery. Restoring forest structure and surface fire regimes initially decreases total ecosystem carbon (TEC, but can stabilize the remaining C by moderating wildfire behavior. Previous research has demonstrated that fire maintained forests can store more C over time than fire suppressed forests in the presence of wildfire. However, because the climate future is uncertain, I sought to determine the efficacy of forest management to moderate fire behavior and its effect on forest C dynamics under current and projected climate. I used the LANDIS-II model to simulate carbon dynamics under early (2010-2019, mid (2050-2059, and late (2090-2099 century climate projections for a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa dominated landscape in northern Arizona. I ran 100-year simulations with two different treatments (control, thin and burn and a 1 in 50 chance of wildfire occurring. I found that control TEC had a consistent decline throughout the simulation period, regardless of climate. Thin and burn TEC increased following treatment implementation and showed more differentiation than the control in response to climate, with late-century climate having the lowest TEC. Treatment efficacy, as measured by mean fire severity, was not impacted by climate. Fire effects were evident in the cumulative net ecosystem exchange (NEE for the different treatments. Over the simulation period, 32.8-48.9% of the control landscape was either C neutral or a C source to the atmosphere and greater than 90% of the thin and burn landscape was a moderate C sink. These results suggest that in southwestern ponderosa pine, restoring forest structure and surface fire regimes provides a reasonable hedge against the uncertainty of future climate change for maintaining the forest C sink.

  14. A decadal glimpse on climate and burn severity influences on ponderosa pine post-fire recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newingham, B. A.; Hudak, A. T.; Bright, B. C.; Smith, A.; Khalyani, A. H.

    2016-12-01

    Climate change is predicted to affect plants at the margins of their distribution. Thus, ecosystem recovery after fire is likely to vary with climate and may be slowest in drier and hotter areas. However, fire regime characteristics, including burn severity, may also affect vegetation recovery. We assessed vegetation recovery one and 9-15 years post-fire in North American ponderosa pine ecosystems distributed across climate and burn severity gradients. Using climate predictors derived from downscaled 1993-2011 climate normals, we predicted vegetation recovery as indicated by Normalized Burn Ratio derived from 1984-2012 Landsat time series imagery. Additionally, we collected field vegetation measurements to examine local topographic controls on burn severity and post-fire vegetation recovery. At a regional scale, we hypothesized a positive relationship between precipitation and recovery time and a negative relationship between temperature and recovery time. At the local scale, we hypothesized southern aspects to recovery slower than northern aspects. We also predicted higher burn severity to slow recovery. Field data found attenuated ponderosa pine recovery in hotter and drier regions across all burn severity classes. We concluded that downscaled climate data and Landsat imagery collected at commensurate scales may provide insight into climate effects on post-fire vegetation recovery relevant to ponderosa pine forest managers.

  15. Impact of forest fires on particulate matter and ozone levels during the 2003, 2004 and 2005 fire seasons in portugal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martins, V.; Miranda, A.I.; Carvalho, A.; Schaap, M.; Borrego, C.; Sá, E.

    2012-01-01

    The main purpose of this work is to estimate the impact of forest fires on air pollution applying the LOTOS-EUROS air quality modeling system in Portugal for three consecutive years, 2003-2005. Forest fire emissions have been included in the modeling system through the development of a numerical

  16. The Impact of Boreal Forest Fire on Climate Warming

    OpenAIRE

    Randerson, J. T.; Liu, H.; Flanner, M. G.; Chambers, S. D.; Jin, Y.; Hess, P. G.; Pfister, G.; Mack, M. C.; Treseder, K. K.; Welp, L. R.; Chapin, F. S.; Harden, J. W.; Goulden, M. L.; Lyons, E.; Neff, J. C.

    2006-01-01

    We report measurements and analysis of a boreal forest fire, integrating the effects of greenhouse gases, aerosols, black carbon deposition on snow and sea ice, and postfire changes in surface albedo. The net effect of all agents was to increase radiative forcing during the first year (34 ± 31 Watts per square meter of burned area), but to decrease radiative forcing when averaged over an 80-year fire cycle (–2.3 ± 2.2 Watts per square meter) because multidecadal increases in surface albedo ha...

  17. Understorey fire frequency and the fate of burned forests in southern Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, D C; Le Page, Y; DeFries, R; Collatz, G J; Hurtt, G C

    2013-06-05

    Recent drought events underscore the vulnerability of Amazon forests to understorey fires. The long-term impact of fires on biodiversity and forest carbon stocks depends on the frequency of fire damages and deforestation rates of burned forests. Here, we characterized the spatial and temporal dynamics of understorey fires (1999-2010) and deforestation (2001-2010) in southern Amazonia using new satellite-based estimates of annual fire activity (greater than 50 ha) and deforestation (greater than 10 ha). Understorey forest fires burned more than 85 500 km(2) between 1999 and 2010 (2.8% of all forests). Forests that burned more than once accounted for 16 per cent of all understorey fires. Repeated fire activity was concentrated in Mato Grosso and eastern Pará, whereas single fires were widespread across the arc of deforestation. Routine fire activity in Mato Grosso coincided with annual periods of low night-time relative humidity, suggesting a strong climate control on both single and repeated fires. Understorey fires occurred in regions with active deforestation, yet the interannual variability of fire and deforestation were uncorrelated, and only 2.6 per cent of forests that burned between 1999 and 2008 were deforested for agricultural use by 2010. Evidence from the past decade suggests that future projections of frontier landscapes in Amazonia should separately consider economic drivers to project future deforestation and climate to project fire risk.

  18. Effectiveness of mechanical thinning and prescribed burning on fire behavior in Pinus nigra forests in NE Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piqué, Míriam; Domènech, Rut

    2018-03-15

    Fuel treatments can mitigate present and future impacts of climate change by reducing fire intensity and severity. In recent years, Pinus nigra forests in the Mediterranean basin have been dramatically affected by the new risk of highly intense and extreme fires and its distribution area has been reduced. New tools are necessary for assessing the management of these forests so they can adapt to the challenges to come. Our main goal was to evaluate the effects of different fuel treatments on Mediterranean Pinus nigra forests. We assessed the forest response, in terms of forest structure and fire behavior, to different intensities of low thinning treatments followed by different slash prescriptions (resulting in: light thinning and lop and scatter; light thinning and burn; heavy thinning and lop and scatter; heavy thinning and burn; and, untreated control). Treatments that used fire to decrease the resulting slash were the most effective for reducing active crown fires decreasing the rate of spread and flame length more than 89%. Low thinning had an effect on torching potential, but there was no difference between intensities of thinning. Only an outcoming crown fire could spread actively if it was sustained by a high-enough constant wind speed and enough surface fuel load. Overall, treatments reduce fire intensity and treated areas have a more homogenous fire behavior response than untreated areas. This provides opportunities to extinguish the fire and reduce the probability of trees dying from the fire. It would be helpful to include ecological principles and fire behavior criteria in silvicultural treatment guidelines in order to perform more efficient management techniques in the future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Investigation of a novel image segmentation method dedicated to forest fire applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudz, S.; Chetehouna, K.; Hafiane, A.; Laurent, H.; Séro-Guillaume, O.

    2013-07-01

    To face fire it is crucial to understand its behaviour in order to maximize fighting means. To achieve this task, the development of a metrological tool is necessary for estimating both geometrical and physical parameters involved in forest fire modelling. A key parameter is to estimate fire positions accurately. In this paper an image processing tool especially dedicated to an accurate extraction of fire from an image is presented. In this work, the clustering on several colour spaces is investigated and it appears that the blue chrominance Cb from the YCbCr colour space is the most appropriate. As a consequence, a new segmentation algorithm dedicated to forest fire applications has been built using first an optimized k-means clustering in the Cb-channel and then some properties of fire pixels in the RGB colour space. Next, the performance of the proposed method is evaluated using three supervised evaluation criteria and then compared to other existing segmentation algorithms in the literature. Finally a conclusion is drawn, assessing the good behaviour of the developed algorithm. This paper is dedicated to the memory of Dr Olivier Séro-Guillaume (1950-2013), CNRS Research Director.

  20. Quantifying Fire's Impacts on Total and Pyrogenic Carbon Stocks in Mixed-Conifer Forests: Results from Pre- and Post-Fire Measurements in Active Wildfire Incidents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miesel, J. R.; Reiner, A. L.; Ewell, C. M.; Sanderman, J.; Maestrini, B.; Adkins, J.

    2016-12-01

    Widespread US fire suppression policy has contributed to an accumulation of vegetation in many western forests relative to historic conditions, and these changes can exacerbate wildfire severity and carbon (C) emissions. Serious concern exists about positive feedbacks between wildfire emissions and global climate; however, fires not only release C from terrestrial to atmospheric pools, they also create "black" or pyrogenic C (PyC) which contributes to longer-term C stability. Our objective was to quantify wildfire impacts on aboveground and belowground total C and PyC stocks in California mixed-conifer forests. We worked with incident management teams to access five active wildfires to establish and measure plots within days before and after fire. We measured pre- and post-fire aboveground forest structure and woody fuels to calculate aboveground biomass, biomass C, and PyC, and we collected pre- and post-fire forest floor and 0-5 cm mineral soil samples to measure belowground C and PyC stocks. Our preliminary results show that fire had minimal impact on the number of trees per hectare, whereas C losses from the tree layer occurred via consumption of foliage, and PyC gain occurred in tree bark. Fire released 54% to 100% of surface fuel C. In the forest floor layer, we observed 33 to 100% C loss, whereas changes in PyC stocks ranged from 100% loss to 186% gain relative to pre-fire samples. In general, fire had minimal to no impact on 0-5 cm mineral soil C. We will present relationships between total C, PyC and post-fire C and N dynamics in one of the five wildfire sites. Our data are unique because they represent nearly immediate pre- and post-fire measurements in major wildfires in a widespread western U.S. forest type. This research advances understanding of the role of fire on forest C fluxes and C sequestration potential as PyC.

  1. Late Holocene geomorphic record of fire in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests, Kendrick Mountain, northern Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, S.E.; Hull, Sieg C.; Anderson, D.E.; Kaufman, D.S.; Pearthree, P.A.

    2011-01-01

    Long-term fire history reconstructions enhance our understanding of fire behaviour and associated geomorphic hazards in forested ecosystems. We used 14C ages on charcoal from fire-induced debris-flow deposits to date prehistoric fires on Kendrick Mountain, northern Arizona, USA. Fire-related debris-flow sedimentation dominates Holocene fan deposition in the study area. Radiocarbon ages indicate that stand-replacing fire has been an important phenomenon in late Holocene ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and ponderosa pine-mixed conifer forests on steep slopes. Fires have occurred on centennial scales during this period, although temporal hiatuses between recorded fires vary widely and appear to have decreased during the past 2000 years. Steep slopes and complex terrain may be responsible for localised crown fire behaviour through preheating by vertical fuel arrangement and accumulation of excessive fuels. Holocene wildfire-induced debris flow events occurred without a clear relationship to regional climatic shifts (decadal to millennial), suggesting that interannual moisture variability may determine fire year. Fire-debris flow sequences are recorded when (1) sufficient time has passed (centuries) to accumulate fuels; and (2) stored sediment is available to support debris flows. The frequency of reconstructed debris flows should be considered a minimum for severe events in the study area, as fuel production may outpace sediment storage. ?? IAWF 2011.

  2. Multi-trophic resilience of boreal lake ecosystems to forest fires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Tyler L; Lindberg, Mark S; Schmutz, Joel A; Bertram, Mark R

    2014-05-01

    Fires are the major natural disturbance in the boreal forest, and their frequency and intensity will likely increase as the climate warms. Terrestrial nutrients released by fires may be transported to boreal lakes, stimulating increased primary productivity, which may radiate through multiple trophic levels. Using a before-after-control-impact (BACI) design, with pre- and postfire data from burned and unburned areas, we examined effects of a natural fire across several trophic levels of boreal lakes, from nutrient and chlorophyll levels, to macroinvertebrates, to waterbirds. Concentrations of total nitrogen and phosphorus were not affected by the fire. Chlorophyll a levels were also unaffected, likely reflecting the stable nutrient concentrations. For aquatic invertebrates, we found that densities of three functional feeding groups did not respond to the fire (filterers, gatherers, scrapers), while two groups increased (shredders, predators). Amphipods accounted for 98% of shredder numbers, and we hypothesize that fire-mediated habitat changes may have favored their generalist feeding and habitat ecology. This increase in amphipods may, in turn, have driven increased predator densities, as amphipods were the most numerous invertebrate in our lakes and are commonly taken as prey. Finally, abundance of waterbird young, which feed primarily on aquatic invertebrates, was not affected by the fire. Overall, ecosystems of our study lakes were largely resilient to forest fires, likely due to their high initial nutrient concentrations and small catchment sizes. Moreover, this resilience spanned multiple trophic levels, a significant result for ecologically similar boreal regions, especially given the high potential for increased fires with future climate change.

  3. Gis-Based Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis for Forest Fire Risk Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akay, A. E.; Erdoğan, A.

    2017-11-01

    The forested areas along the coastal zone of the Mediterranean region in Turkey are classified as first-degree fire sensitive areas. Forest fires are major environmental disaster that affects the sustainability of forest ecosystems. Besides, forest fires result in important economic losses and even threaten human lives. Thus, it is critical to determine the forested areas with fire risks and thereby minimize the damages on forest resources by taking necessary precaution measures in these areas. The risk of forest fire can be assessed based on various factors such as forest vegetation structures (tree species, crown closure, tree stage), topographic features (slope and aspect), and climatic parameters (temperature, wind). In this study, GIS-based Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) method was used to generate forest fire risk map. The study was implemented in the forested areas within Yayla Forest Enterprise Chiefs at Dursunbey Forest Enterprise Directorate which is classified as first degree fire sensitive area. In the solution process, "extAhp 2.0" plug-in running Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method in ArcGIS 10.4.1 was used to categorize study area under five fire risk classes: extreme risk, high risk, moderate risk, and low risk. The results indicated that 23.81 % of the area was of extreme risk, while 25.81 % was of high risk. The result indicated that the most effective criterion was tree species, followed by tree stages. The aspect had the least effective criterion on forest fire risk. It was revealed that GIS techniques integrated with MCDA methods are effective tools to quickly estimate forest fire risk at low cost. The integration of these factors into GIS can be very useful to determine forested areas with high fire risk and also to plan forestry management after fire.

  4. Prescribed burning experiences in Italy: an integrated approach to prevent forest fires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ascoli D

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Prescribed burning is used in many geographical areas for multiple and integrated objectives (wildfire prevention, habitat conservation, grazing management. In Europe the collaboration between researchers and fire professionals has brought to implement this technique over increasing areas (~104 ha year-1, effectively and efficiently. In Italy prescribed burning has not been much studied and it is rarely applied. A new interest is recently rising. Some Regions particularly threatened by wildfires have updated their legislation and set up procedures to authorize prescribed fire experiments and interventions. From 2004 to 2011 several scientific, operative and training experiences have been carried out at a regional level (Basilicata, Campania, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piemonte, Sardegna, Toscana. The present paper aims to: (i document and compare these regional programs; (ii discuss their frameworks and limitations; (iii provide information about objectives, prescriptions, methods and results. The study has involved Universities, Forest Corps, Civil Protection, Municipalities, Parks and professionals from Italy and other Countries. Interventions have regarded integrated objectives (fire hazard reduction; habitat conservation; forest and grazing management, and involved several vegetation types (broadleaved and conifer forests; Mediterranean and Continental shrublands; grasslands. Studies on fire behaviour and ecology have helped to set prescriptions for specific objectives and environments. Results have been transferred to professionals through training sessions. Several common elements are outlined: integrated objectives, multidisciplinary character, training and research products. Ecological questions, certification to the use of fire, communication to local communities and the proposal of new studies, are some of the issues outlined in the discussion. The present study is the first review at national level and we hope it will help to deepen the

  5. Prediction of forest fires occurrences with area-level Poisson mixed models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boubeta, Miguel; Lombardía, María José; Marey-Pérez, Manuel Francisco; Morales, Domingo

    2015-05-01

    The number of fires in forest areas of Galicia (north-west of Spain) during the summer period is quite high. Local authorities are interested in analyzing the factors that explain this phenomenon. Poisson regression models are good tools for describing and predicting the number of fires per forest areas. This work employs area-level Poisson mixed models for treating real data about fires in forest areas. A parametric bootstrap method is applied for estimating the mean squared errors of fires predictors. The developed methodology and software are applied to a real data set of fires in forest areas of Galicia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Shifts in microbial communities and soil nutrients along a fire chronosequence in Alaskan boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treseder, K. K.; Mack, M. C.; Cross, A.

    2002-12-01

    Fires are important pathways of carbon loss from boreal forests, while microbial communities form equally important mechanisms for carbon accumulation between fires. We used a chronosequence in Alaska to examine shifts in microbial abundance and community composition in the several decades following severe fire, and then related these responses to soil characteristics in the same sites. The sites are located in upland forests near Delta Junction, Alaska, and represent stages at 3-, 15-, 45-, and over 100-yr following fire. Plant communities shift from herbaceous species in the youngest site, to deciduous shrubs and trees (e.g. Populus tremuloides and Salix) in the intermediate sites, to black spruce (Picea mariana) forest in the oldest site. Soil organic matter accumulated 2.8-fold over time. Potential mineralization was highest in the intermediate-aged sites, as was nitrification and standing pools of inorganic nitrogen. In contrast, inorganic phosphorus pools were highest immediately following fire, and then decreased nine-fold with age. As measured with BiologTM plates, bacterial diversity and abundance were greatest in the oldest sites. Plant roots in the intermediate-aged sites displayed higher colonization by ecto- and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi than those in the youngest and oldest sites. Likewise, glomalin, a glycoprotein produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, was most abundant in the 14-yr old site. Glomalin is believed to contribute to the formation of water-stable aggregates in the soil. However, water stable aggregates were most abundant in the younger sites and did not follow the pattern of glomalin or arbuscular mycorrhizal abundance. Our results indicate that fire may maintain landscape-level diversity of microbial functional groups, and that carbon sequestration in microbial tissues (e.g. glomalin and fungal biomass) may be greatest in areas that have burned several decades earlier. Changes in soil structure may not be directly attributable to

  7. Quantifying the effect of fuel reduction treatments on fire behavior in boreal forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    B.W. Butler; R.D. Ottmar; T.S. Rupp; R. Jandt; E. Miller; K. Howard; R. Schmoll; S. Theisen; R.E. Vihnanek; D. Jimenez

    2013-01-01

    Mechanical (e.g., shearblading) and manual (e.g., thinning) fuel treatments have become the preferred strategy of many fire managers and agencies for reducing fire hazard in boreal forests. This study attempts to characterize the effectiveness of four fuel treatments through direct measurement of fire intensity and forest floor consumption during a single prescribed...

  8. Impact assessment of the forest fires on Oarai Research and Development Center Waste Treatment Facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimomura, Yusuke; Kitamura, Ryoichi; Hanari, Akira; Sato, Isamu

    2016-03-01

    In response to new standards for regulating waste treatment facility ('new regulatory standards'; December 18, 2013 enforcement), it was carried out impact assessment of forest fires on the Waste Treatment Facility existed in Oarai Research and Development Center of Japan Atomic Energy Agency. At first, a fire spread scenario of forest fires was assumed. The intensity of forest fires was evaluated from field surveys, forest fire evaluation models and so on. As models of forest fire intensity evaluation, Rothermel Model and Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) System were used. Impact assessment of radiant heat to the facility was carried out, and temperature change of outer walls for the assumed forest fires was estimated. The outer wall temperature of facility was estimated around 160degC at the maximum, it was revealed that it doesn't reach allowable temperature limit. Consequently, it doesn't influence the strength of concrete. In addition, a probability of fire breach was estimated to be about 20%. This report illustrates an example of evaluation of forest fires for the new regulatory standards through impact assessment of the forest fires on the Waste Treatment Facility. (author)

  9. Birth-jump processes and application to forest fire spotting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillen, T; Greese, B; Martin, J; de Vries, G

    2015-01-01

    Birth-jump models are designed to describe population models for which growth and spatial spread cannot be decoupled. A birth-jump model is a nonlinear integro-differential equation. We present two different derivations of this equation, one based on a random walk approach and the other based on a two-compartmental reaction-diffusion model. In the case that the redistribution kernels are highly concentrated, we show that the integro-differential equation can be approximated by a reaction-diffusion equation, in which the proliferation rate contributes to both the diffusion term and the reaction term. We completely solve the corresponding critical domain size problem and the minimal wave speed problem. Birth-jump models can be applied in many areas in mathematical biology. We highlight an application of our results in the context of forest fire spread through spotting. We show that spotting increases the invasion speed of a forest fire front.

  10. A Wireless Sensor Network Deployment for Rural and Forest Fire Detection and Verification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloret, Jaime; Garcia, Miguel; Bri, Diana; Sendra, Sandra

    2009-01-01

    Forest and rural fires are one of the main causes of environmental degradation in Mediterranean countries. Existing fire detection systems only focus on detection, but not on the verification of the fire. However, almost all of them are just simulations, and very few implementations can be found. Besides, the systems in the literature lack scalability. In this paper we show all the steps followed to perform the design, research and development of a wireless multisensor network which mixes sensors with IP cameras in a wireless network in order to detect and verify fire in rural and forest areas of Spain. We have studied how many cameras, sensors and access points are needed to cover a rural or forest area, and the scalability of the system. We have developed a multisensor and when it detects a fire, it sends a sensor alarm through the wireless network to a central server. The central server selects the closest wireless cameras to the multisensor, based on a software application, which are rotated to the sensor that raised the alarm, and sends them a message in order to receive real-time images from the zone. The camera lets the fire fighters corroborate the existence of a fire and avoid false alarms. In this paper, we show the test performance given by a test bench formed by four wireless IP cameras in several situations and the energy consumed when they are transmitting. Moreover, we study the energy consumed by each device when the system is set up. The wireless sensor network could be connected to Internet through a gateway and the images of the cameras could be seen from any part of the world. PMID:22291533

  11. A Wireless Sensor Network Deployment for Rural and Forest Fire Detection and Verification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Sendra

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Forest and rural fires are one of the main causes of environmental degradation in Mediterranean countries. Existing fire detection systems only focus on detection, but not on the verification of the fire. However, almost all of them are just simulations, and very few implementations can be found. Besides, the systems in the literature lack scalability. In this paper we show all the steps followed to perform the design, research and development of a wireless multisensor network which mixes sensors with IP cameras in a wireless network in order to detect and verify fire in rural and forest areas of Spain. We have studied how many cameras, sensors and access points are needed to cover a rural or forest area, and the scalability of the system. We have developed a multisensor and when it detects a fire, it sends a sensor alarm through the wireless network to a central server. The central server selects the closest wireless cameras to the multisensor, based on a software application, which are rotated to the sensor that raised the alarm, and sends them a message in order to receive real-time images from the zone. The camera lets the fire fighters corroborate the existence of a fire and avoid false alarms. In this paper, we show the test performance given by a test bench formed by four wireless IP cameras in several situations and the energy consumed when they are transmitting. Moreover, we study the energy consumed by each device when the system is set up. The wireless sensor network could be connected to Internet through a gateway and the images of the cameras could be seen from any part of the world.

  12. Spatial and temporal corroboration of a fire-scar-based fire history in a frequently burned ponderosa pine forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, Calvin A; Baisan, Christopher H; Falk, Donald A; Yool, Stephen R; Swetnam, Thomas W

    2010-09-01

    Fire scars are used widely to reconstruct historical fire regime parameters in forests around the world. Because fire scars provide incomplete records of past fire occurrence at discrete points in space, inferences must be made to reconstruct fire frequency and extent across landscapes using spatial networks of fire-scar samples. Assessing the relative accuracy of fire-scar fire history reconstructions has been hampered due to a lack of empirical comparisons with independent fire history data sources. We carried out such a comparison in a 2780-ha ponderosa pine forest on Mica Mountain in southern Arizona (USA) for the time period 1937-2000. Using documentary records of fire perimeter maps and ignition locations, we compared reconstructions of key spatial and temporal fire regime parameters developed from documentary fire maps and independently collected fire-scar data (n = 60 plots). We found that fire-scar data provided spatially representative and complete inventories of all major fire years (> 100 ha) in the study area but failed to detect most small fires. There was a strong linear relationship between the percentage of samples recording fire scars in a given year (i.e., fire-scar synchrony) and total area burned for that year (y = 0.0003x + 0.0087, r2 = 0.96). There was also strong spatial coherence between cumulative fire frequency maps interpolated from fire-scar data and ground-mapped fire perimeters. Widely reported fire frequency summary statistics varied little between fire history data sets: fire-scar natural fire rotations (NFR) differed by or = 25% of study area burned) were identical between data sets (25.5 yr); fire-scar MFIs for all fire years differed by 1.2 yr from documentary records. The known seasonal timing of past fires based on documentary records was furthermore reconstructed accurately by observing intra-annual ring position of fire scars and using knowledge of tree-ring growth phenology in the Southwest. Our results demonstrate clearly

  13. Carbon tradeoffs of restoration and provision of endangered species habitat in a fire-maintained forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katherine L. Martin; Matthew D. Hurteau; Bruce A. Hungate; George W. Koch; Malcolm P. North

    2015-01-01

    Forests are a significant part of the global carbon cycle and are increasingly viewed as tools for mitigating climate change. Natural disturbances, such as fire, can reduce carbon storage. However, many forests and dependent species evolved with frequent fire as an integral ecosystem process. We used a landscape forest simulation model to evaluate the effects of...

  14. Defining old growth for fire-adapted forests of the Western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill R. Kaufmann; Daniel Binkley; Peter Z. Fule; Johnson Marlin; Scott L. Stephens; Thomas W. Swetnam

    2007-01-01

    There are varying definitions of old-growth forests because of differences in environment and differing fire influence across the Intermountain West. Two general types of forests reflect the role of fire: 1) forests shaped by natural changes in structure and species makeup-plant succession-that are driven by competitive differences among species and individual trees...

  15. Prescribed fires effects on physico-chemical properties and quantity of runoff and soil erosion in a Mediterranean forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban Lucas-Borja, Manuel; Plaza Alvaréz, Pedro Antonio; Sagra, Javier; Alfaro Sánchez, Raquel; Moya, Daniel; Ferrandiz Gotor, Pablo; De las Heras Ibañez, Jorge

    2017-04-01

    Wildfires have an important influence in forest ecosystems. Contrary to high severity fire, which may have negative impacts on the ecosystems, low severity induce small changes on soil properties. Thus and in order to reduce fire risk, low-severity prescribed fires have been widely used as a fuel reduction tool and silvicultural treatment in Mediterranean forest ecosystems. However, fire may alter microsite conditions and little is known about the impact of prescribed burning on the physico-chemical properties of runoff. In this study, we compared the effects of prescribed burning on physico-chemical properties and quantity of runoff and soil erosion during twelve months after a low severity prescribed fire applied in twelve 16 m2 plot (6 burned plots and 6 control plots used for comparison) set up in the Lezuza forest (Albacete, central-eastern Spain). Physico-chemical properties and quantity of runoff and soil losses were monitored after each rainfall event (five rainfall events in total). Also, different forest stand characteristics (slope, tree density, basal area and shrub/herbal cover) affecting each plot were measured. Results showed that forest stand characteristics were very similar in all used plots. Also, physico-chemical runoff properties were highly modified after the prescribed fire, increasing water pH, carbonates, bicarbonates, total dissolved solids and organic matter content dissolved in water. Electrical conductivity, calcium, sodium, chloride and magnesium were not affected by prescribed fire. Soil losses were highly related to precipitation intensity and tree interception. Tree intercepted the rainfall and significantly reduced soil losses and also runoff quantity. In conclusion and after the first six-month experiment, the influence of prescribed fires on physico-chemical runoff properties should be taken into account for developing proper prescribed burnings guidelines.

  16. Measuring and Modeling the Effects of Alternate Post-Fire Successional Trajectories on Boreal Forest Carbon Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loranty, M. M.; Goetz, S. J.; Mack, M. C.; Alexander, H. D.; Beck, P. S.

    2011-12-01

    High latitude ecosystems are experiencing amplified climate warming, and recent evidence suggests concurrent intensification of fire disturbance regimes. In central Alaskan boreal forests, severe burns consume more of the soil organic layer, resulting in increased establishment of deciduous seedlings and altered post-fire stand composition with increased deciduous dominance. Quantifying differences in ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics between forest successional trajectories in response to burn severity is essential for understanding potential changes in regional or global feedbacks between boreal forests and climate. We used the Biome BioGeochemical Cycling model (Biome-BGC) to quantify differences in C stocks and fluxes associated with alternate post-fire successional trajectories related to fire severity. A version of Biome-BGC that allows alternate competing vegetation types was calibrated against a series of aboveground biomass observations from chronosequences of stands with differing post-fire successional trajectories characterized by the proportion of deciduous biomass. The model was able to reproduce observed patterns of biomass accumulation after fire, with stands dominated by deciduous species sequestering more C at a faster rate than stands dominated by conifers. Modeled C fluxes suggest that stands dominated by deciduous species are a stronger sink of atmospheric C soon after disturbance than coniferous stands. These results agree with the few available C flux observations. We use a historic database in conjunction with a map of deciduous canopy cover to explore the consequences of ongoing and potential future changes in the fire regime on central Alaskan C balance.

  17. FireWorks curriculum featuring ponderosa, lodgepole, and whitebark pine forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jane Kapler Smith; Nancy E. McMurray

    2000-01-01

    FireWorks is an educational program for students in grades 1-10. The program consists of the curriculum in this report and a trunk of laboratory materials, specimens, and reference materials. It provides interactive, hands-on activities for studying fire ecology, fire behavior, and the influences of people on three fire-dependent forest types - Pinus ponderosa...

  18. Fire frequency effects on fuel loadings in pine-oak forests of the Madrean Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francisco J. Escobedo; Peter F. Ffolliott; Gerald J. Gottfried; Florentino Garza

    2001-01-01

    Loadings of downed woody fuels in pine-oak forests of the Madrean Province are heavier on sites in southeastern Arizona with low fire frequencies and lower on sites in northeastern Sonora, Mexico, with high fire frequencies. Low fire frequencies in southeastern Arizona are attributed largely to past land uses and the fire suppression policies of land management...

  19. Understanding the effects of fire management practices on forest health: implications for weeds and vegetation structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anne E. Black; Peter Landres

    2012-01-01

    Current fire policy to restore ecosystem function and resiliency and reduce buildup of hazardous fuels implies a larger future role for fire (both natural and human ignitions) (USDA Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior 2000). Yet some fire management (such as building fire line, spike camps, or helispots) potentially causes both short- and longterm...

  20. Fire in Ghana's dry forest: Causes, frequency, effects and management interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandra Opoku Agyemang; Michael Muller; Victor Rex Barnes

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes the number of fires, area burned, causes and seasonality of fires over a ten year period from 2002-2012 and investigates different fire management strategies and their effectiveness in the Afram headwaters forest reserve in Ghana. Data were collected from interviews of stakeholders in two communities adjacent to the reserve, and from 2002-2012 fire...

  1. Development and analysis of a 12-year daily 1-km forest fire dataset across North America from NOAA/AVHRR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiliang Pu; Zhanqing Li; Peng Gong; Ivan Csiszar; Robert Fraser; Wei-Min Hao; Shobha Kondragunta; Fuzhong Weng

    2007-01-01

    Fires in boreal and temperate forests play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. While forest fires in North America (NA) have been surveyed extensively by U.S. and Canadian forest services, most fire records are limited to seasonal statistics without information on temporal evolution and spatial expansion. Such dynamic information is crucial for modeling fire...

  2. Forest fires and their consequences in the central ecological zone of the Baikal natural territory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Makarenko E. L.

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available fires in the forests of the central ecological zone are the main disaster, which disturb forests’ ecosystems and reduce the environmental impact of forests. Through statistical analysis the author identified as follows: forest fire situation (square, frequency, and timber loss for the period from 2011 to 2015. Moreover, the research includes the information about the dynamic patterns and main causes of fire.

  3. Atlantic SSTs control regime shifts in forest fire activity of Northern Scandinavia

    OpenAIRE

    Drobyshev, Igor; Bergeron, Yves; Vernal, Anne de; Moberg, Anders; Ali, Adam A.; Niklasson, Mats

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of the boreal forest fire activity is challenging due to the complexity of the interactions driving fire regimes. We analyzed drivers of forest fire activity in Northern Scandinavia (above 60 N) by combining modern and proxy data over the Holocene. The results suggest that the cold climate in northern Scandinavia was generally characterized by dry conditions favourable to periods of regionally increased fire activity. We propose that the cold conditions over the nort...

  4. Impacts of fire on forest age and runoff in mountain ash forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, S.A.; Beringer, J.; Hutley, L.B.; McGuire, A.D.; Van Dijk, A.; Kilinc, M.

    2008-01-01

    Runoff from mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans F.Muell.) forested catchments has been shown to decline significantly in the few decades following fire - returning to pre-fire levels in the following centuries - owing to changes in ecosystem water use with stand age in a relationship known as Kuczera's model. We examined this relationship between catchment runoff and stand age by measuring whole-ecosystem exchanges of water using an eddy covariance system measuring forest evapotranspiration (ET) combined with sap-flow measurements of tree water use, with measurements made across a chronosequence of three sites (24, 80 and 296 years since fire). At the 296-year old site eddy covariance systems were installed above the E. regnans overstorey and above the distinct rainforest understorey. Contrary to predictions from the Kuczera curve, we found that measurements of whole-forest ET decreased by far less across stand age between 24 and 296 years. Although the overstorey tree water use declined by 1.8 mm day-1 with increasing forest age (an annual decrease of 657 mm) the understorey ET contributed between 1.2 and 1.5 mm day-1, 45% of the total ET (3 mm day-1) at the old growth forest. ?? CSIRO 2008.

  5. Visibility analysis of fire lookout towers in the Boyabat State Forest Enterprise in Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucuk, Omer; Topaloglu, Ozer; Altunel, Arif Oguz; Cetin, Mehmet

    2017-07-01

    For a successful fire suppression, it is essential to detect and intervene forest fires as early as possible. Fire lookout towers are crucial assets in detecting forest fires, in addition to other technological advancements. In this study, we performed a visibility analysis on a network of fire lookout towers currently operating in a relatively fire-prone region in Turkey's Western Black Sea region. Some of these towers had not been functioning properly; it was proposed that these be taken out of the grid and replaced with new ones. The percentage of visible areas under the current network of fire lookout towers was 73%; it could rise to 81% with the addition of newly proposed towers. This study was the first research to conduct a visibility analysis of current and newly proposed fire lookout towers in the Western Black Sea region and focus on its forest fire problem.

  6. A dendrochronology based fire history of Jeffry pine-mixed conifer forests in the Sierra San Pedro Martir, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott L. Stephens; Carl N. Skinner; Samantha J. Gill

    2003-01-01

    Conifer forests in northwestern Mexico have not experienced systematic fire suppression or logging, making them unique in western North America. Fire regimes of Pinus jeffreyi Grev. & Balf. mixed conifer forests in the Sierra San Pedro Martir, Baja California, Mexico, were determined by identifying 105 fire dates from 1034 fire scars in 105 specimens. Fires were...

  7. Scenario Modeling of Thermal Influence from Forest Fire Front on a Coniferous Tree Trunk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baranovskiy Nikolay V.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Scenario research results of heat transfer and tissue damage in three-layered tree trunk influenced by heat flux from forest fire are presented. The problem is solved in two-dimensional statement in polar coordinates. The typical range of influence parameters (heat flux from forest fire front, trunk radius, coniferous species, air temperature, duration of exposure and distance from fire line is considered. Temperature distributions in different moments of time are obtained. Condition of tree damage by forest fire influence is under consideration in this research. Information summarized using tables with scenario and fire consequences results.

  8. Fire Severity Controlled Susceptibility to a 1940s Spruce Beetle Outbreak in Colorado, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulakowski, Dominik; Veblen, Thomas T; Bebi, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The frequency, magnitude, and size of forest disturbances are increasing globally. Much recent research has focused on how the occurrence of one disturbance may affect susceptibility to subsequent disturbances. While much has been learned about such linked disturbances, the strength of the interactions is likely to be contingent on the severity of disturbances as well as climatic conditions, both of which can affect disturbance intensity and tree resistance to disturbances. Subalpine forests in western Colorado were affected by extensive and severe wildfires in the late 19th century and an extensive and severe outbreak of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) in the 1940s. Previous research found that most, but not all, of the stands that burned and established following the late 19th century fires were not susceptible to the 1940s outbreak as beetles preferentially attack larger trees and stands in advanced stages of development. However, previous research also left open the possibility that some stands that burned and established following the 19th century fires may have been attacked during the 1940s outbreak. Understanding how strongly stand structure, as shaped by disturbances of varying severity, affected susceptibility to past outbreaks is important to provide a baseline for assessing the degree to which recent climate change may be relaxing the preferences of beetles for larger trees and for stands in latter stages of structural development and thereby changing the nature of linked disturbances. Here, dendroecological methods were used to study disturbance history and tree age of stands in the White River National Forest in Western Colorado that were identified in historical documents or remotely-sensed images as having burned in the 19th century and having been attacked by spruce beetle in the 1940s. Dendroecological reconstructions indicate that in young post-fire stands only old remnant trees that survived the otherwise stand-replacing fires were

  9. Fire Severity Controlled Susceptibility to a 1940s Spruce Beetle Outbreak in Colorado, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Kulakowski

    Full Text Available The frequency, magnitude, and size of forest disturbances are increasing globally. Much recent research has focused on how the occurrence of one disturbance may affect susceptibility to subsequent disturbances. While much has been learned about such linked disturbances, the strength of the interactions is likely to be contingent on the severity of disturbances as well as climatic conditions, both of which can affect disturbance intensity and tree resistance to disturbances. Subalpine forests in western Colorado were affected by extensive and severe wildfires in the late 19th century and an extensive and severe outbreak of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis in the 1940s. Previous research found that most, but not all, of the stands that burned and established following the late 19th century fires were not susceptible to the 1940s outbreak as beetles preferentially attack larger trees and stands in advanced stages of development. However, previous research also left open the possibility that some stands that burned and established following the 19th century fires may have been attacked during the 1940s outbreak. Understanding how strongly stand structure, as shaped by disturbances of varying severity, affected susceptibility to past outbreaks is important to provide a baseline for assessing the degree to which recent climate change may be relaxing the preferences of beetles for larger trees and for stands in latter stages of structural development and thereby changing the nature of linked disturbances. Here, dendroecological methods were used to study disturbance history and tree age of stands in the White River National Forest in Western Colorado that were identified in historical documents or remotely-sensed images as having burned in the 19th century and having been attacked by spruce beetle in the 1940s. Dendroecological reconstructions indicate that in young post-fire stands only old remnant trees that survived the otherwise stand

  10. PCDD/F and Aromatic Emissions from Simulated Forest and Grassland Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emissions of polychlorinated dibenzodioxin and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDD/F) from simulated grassland and forest fires were quantitatively sampled to derive emission factors in support of PCDD/F inventory development. Grasses from Kentucky and Minnesota; forest shrubs fro...

  11. [Influence of fire disturbance on aboveground deadwood debris carbon storage in Huzhong forest region of Great Xing'an Mountains, Northeast China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Da; He, Hong-shi; Wu, Zhi-wei; Liang, Yu; Huang, Chao; Luo, Xu; Xiao, Jiang-tao; Zhang, Qing-long

    2015-02-01

    Based on the field inventory data, the aboveground deadwood debris carbon storage under different fire severities was analyzed in Huzhong forest region of Great Xing' an Mountains. The results showed that the fire severity had a significant effect on aboveground deadwood debris carbon storage. The deadwood debris carbon storage was in the order of high-severity > low-severity > unburned in Larix gmelinii stands, and mixed conifer-broadleaf stands ( L. gmelinii and Betula platyphylla), and in the order of high severity > unburned > low-severity in B. platyphylla stands. Fire disturbance significantly changed the component percentage of the deadwood debris carbon storage. The component percentage of snags increased and litter decreased with the increasing fire severity. Logs and stumps did not change significantly with the increasing fire severity. The spatial variation of deadwood debris carbon storage in forests burned with low-severity fire was higher than that in unburned forests. The spatial variation of deadwood debris carbon storage with high-severity fires was lowest. This spatial variation needed to be accounted when calculating forest deadwood debris carbon storage.

  12. The impact of post-fire salvage logging on microbial nitrogen cyclers in Mediterranean forest soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereg, Lily; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; McMillan, Mary; García-Orenes, Fuensanta

    2018-04-01

    Forest fires are a regular occurrence in the Mediterranean basin. High severity fires and post-fire management can affect biological, chemical and physical properties of soil, including the composition and abundance of soil microbial communities. Salvage logging is a post-fire management strategy, which involves the removal of burnt wood from land after a fire. The main objective of this work was to evaluate the impact of post-fire salvage logging and microaggregation on soil microbial communities, specifically on the abundance of nitrogen cyclers and, thus, the potential of the soil for microbial nitrogen cycling. The abundance of nitrogen cyclers was assessed by quantification of microbial nitrogen cycling genes in soil DNA, including nifH (involved in nitrogen fixation), nirS/K and nosZ (involved in denitrification), amoA-B and amoA-Arch (involved in bacterial and archaeal nitrification, respectively). It was demonstrated that salvage logging reduced bacterial load post-fire when compared to tree retention control and resulted in significant changes to the abundance of functional bacteria involved in nitrogen cycling. Microbial gene pools involved in various stages of the nitrogen cycle were larger in control soil than in soil subjected to post-fire salvage logging and were significantly correlated with organic matter, available phosphorous, nitrogen and aggregate stability. The microaggregate fraction of the soil, which has been associated with greater organic carbon, was shown to be a hotspot for nitrogen cyclers particularly under salvage logging. The impact of post-fire management strategies on soil microbial communities needs to be considered in relation to maintaining ecosystem productivity, resilience and potential impact on climate change. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. IMPROVING THE INTEROPERABILITY OF DISASTER MODELS: A CASE STUDY OF PROPOSING FIREML FOR FOREST FIRE MODEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Jiang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a new standardized data format named Fire Markup Language (FireML, extended by the Geography Markup Language (GML of OGC, to elaborate upon the fire hazard model. The proposed FireML is able to standardize the input and output documents of a fire model for effectively communicating with different disaster management systems to ensure a good interoperability. To demonstrate the usage of FireML and testify its feasibility, an adopted forest fire spread model being compatible with FireML is described. And a 3DGIS disaster management system is developed to simulate the dynamic procedure of forest fire spread with the defined FireML documents. The proposed approach will enlighten ones who work on other disaster models' standardization work.

  14. Improving the Interoperability of Disaster Models: a Case Study of Proposing Fireml for Forest Fire Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, W.; Wang, F.; Meng, Q.; Li, Z.; Liu, B.; Zheng, X.

    2018-04-01

    This paper presents a new standardized data format named Fire Markup Language (FireML), extended by the Geography Markup Language (GML) of OGC, to elaborate upon the fire hazard model. The proposed FireML is able to standardize the input and output documents of a fire model for effectively communicating with different disaster management systems to ensure a good interoperability. To demonstrate the usage of FireML and testify its feasibility, an adopted forest fire spread model being compatible with FireML is described. And a 3DGIS disaster management system is developed to simulate the dynamic procedure of forest fire spread with the defined FireML documents. The proposed approach will enlighten ones who work on other disaster models' standardization work.

  15. Climate change impact on fire probability and severity in Mediterranean areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachisio Arca; Grazia Pellizzaro; Pierpaolo Duce; Michele Salis; Valentina Bacciu; Donatella Spano; Alan Ager; Mark Finney

    2010-01-01

    Fire is one of the most significant threats for the Mediterranean forested areas. Global change may increase the wildland fire risk due to the combined effect of air temperature and humidity on fuel status, and the effect of wind speed on fire behaviour. This paper investigated the potential effect of the climate changes predicted for the Mediterranean basin by a...

  16. Factors affecting fuel break effectiveness in the control of large fires on the Los Padres National Forest, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syphard, Alexandra D.; Keeley, Jon E.; Brennan, Teresa J.

    2011-01-01

    As wildfires have increased in frequency and extent, so have the number of homes developed in the wildland-urban interface. In California, the predominant approach to mitigating fire risk is construction of fuel breaks, but there has been little empirical study of their role in controlling large fires.We constructed a spatial database of fuel breaks on the Los Padres National Forest in southern California to better understand characteristics of fuel breaks that affect the behaviour of large fires and to map where fires and fuel breaks most commonly intersect. We evaluated whether fires stopped or crossed over fuel breaks over a 28-year period and compared the outcomes with physical characteristics of the sites, weather and firefighting activities during the fire event. Many fuel breaks never intersected fires, but others intersected several, primarily in historically fire-prone areas. Fires stopped at fuel breaks 46% of the time, almost invariably owing to fire suppression activities. Firefighter access to treatments, smaller fires and longer fuel breaks were significant direct influences, and younger vegetation and fuel break maintenance indirectly improved the outcome by facilitating firefighter access. This study illustrates the importance of strategic location of fuel breaks because they have been most effective where they provided access for firefighting activities.

  17. Effects of forest fires and post-fire rehabilitation: a Colorado, USA case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee H. MacDonald; Isaac J. Larsen

    2009-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities have increased the number of large, high-burn severity wildfires in the lower and mid-elevation coniferous forests in Colorado as well as much of the western US. Forests provide most of the water for cities and agriculture, and the increased runoff and erosion after wildfires is a major concern because of the potential adverse effects on...

  18. Simulating Changes in Fires and Ecology of the 21st Century Eurasian Boreal Forests of Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ksenia Brazhnik

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Wildfires release the greatest amount of carbon into the atmosphere compared to other forest disturbances. To understand how current and potential future fire regimes may affect the role of the Eurasian boreal forest in the global carbon cycle, we employed a new, spatially-explicit fire module DISTURB-F (DISTURBance-Fire in tandem with a spatially-explicit, individually-based gap dynamics model SIBBORK (SIBerian BOReal forest simulator calibrated to Krasnoyarsk Region. DISTURB-F simulates the effect of forest fire on the boreal ecosystem, namely the mortality of all or only the susceptible trees (loss of biomass, i.e., carbon within the forested landscape. The fire module captures some important feedbacks between climate, fire and vegetation structure. We investigated the potential climate-driven changes in the fire regime and vegetation in middle and south taiga in central Siberia, a region with extensive boreal forest and rapidly changing climate. The output from this coupled simulation can be used to estimate carbon losses from the ecosystem as a result of fires of different sizes and intensities over the course of secondary succession (decades to centuries. Furthermore, it may be used to assess the post-fire carbon storage capacity of potential future forests, the structure and composition of which may differ significantly from current Eurasian boreal forests due to regeneration under a different climate.

  19. The role of fire severity, distance from fire perimeter and vegetation on post-fire recovery of small-mammal communities in chaparal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jay Diffendorfer; Genie M. Fleming; Scott Tremor; Wayne Spencer; Jan L. Beyers

    2012-01-01

    Chaparral shrublands in southern California, US, exhibit significant biodiversity but are prone to large, intense wildfires. Debate exists regarding fuel reduction to prevent such fires in wildland areas, but the effects of these fires on fauna are not well understood. We studied whether fire severity and distance from unburned fire perimeter influenced recovery of the...

  20. Burn Severities, Fire Intensities, and Impacts to Major Vegetation Types from the Cerro Grande Fire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Balice, Randy G. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Bennett, Kathryn D. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Wright, Marjorie A. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2004-12-15

    The Cerro Grande Fire resulted in major impacts and changes to the ecosystems that were burned. To partially document these effects, we estimated the acreage of major vegetation types that were burned at selected burn severity levels and fire intensity levels. To accomplish this, we adopted independently developed burn severity and fire intensity maps, in combination with a land cover map developed for habitat management purposes, as a basis for the analysis. To provide a measure of confidence in the acreage estimates, the accuracies of these maps were also assessed. In addition, two other maps of comparable quality were assessed for accuracy: one that was developed for mapping fuel risk and a second map that resulted from a preliminary application of an evolutionary computation software system, called GENIE.

  1. Forests, people, fire: Integrating the sciences to build capacity for an “All Lands” approach to forest restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marie Oliver; Susan Charnley; Thomas Spies; Jeff Kline; Eric White

    2017-01-01

    Interest in landscape-scale approaches to fire management and forest restoration is growing with the realization that these approaches are critical to maintaining healthy forests and protecting nearby communities. However, coordinated planning and action across multiple ownerships have been elusive because of differing goals and forest management styles among...

  2. Historical fire behavior of forest fires occurred from 2002 to 2011 in the Forest Enterprise Minas de Matahambre, Pinar del Río, Cuba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Pedro Ramos Rodríguez

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The forest fires are a global problem. In all cases, they occur and develop showing certain regularities, imposed mainly by weather, fuel and topography. To evaluate these regularities of spatial and temporal character helps to explain the phenomenon in order to plan their management in a given territory. In correspondence with the above mentioned the present paper aims at evaluating the historical fire behavior of the forest fires occurred from 2002 to 2011 in the Forest Enterprise Minas de Matahambre. To carry out this objective the database, which collects the fires occurred at the enterprise, was updated. Its data processing was carried out with the Integrated Management Database System for Forest Fires (SIMBDIF, in Spanish. In addition, it can be mentioned that in the same period 87 fires occurred and as a result affected a surface of 1,515.11 ha. The fire season was observed between the months of March and May. During the day the 58.62% of fires occurred between 14:00 and 17:00 hours. The main causes were the streak of lightning with the 62.07%, while the 47.08% of burned areas was caused by negligence. Most fires (72.41% are grouped into the size class I and II (< 4.0 ha, indicating the good efficiency of the protection service.

  3. Ash after forest fires. Effects on soil hydrology and erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodí, Merche B.

    2013-04-01

    from certain Eucaliptus and Pinus), or if clog soil pores (depending also on the soil type). If ash is wettable, it can store even 80% of its volume and then it will delay and reduce overland flow proportionally to the thickness of the ash layer. Once ash gets saturated, the flow tends to adjust to an infiltration rate similar to the soil itself, or sometimes higher due to the protection of ash that can reduce soil water repellency and soil sealing (Bodí et al. 2011, 2012). Still, many other aspects on ash remain unknown and ash present us more questions like, what it is its role on the carbon cycle? what is the extent of the ahs effects at basin scale? what is the fate of ash and how long it remains in the ecosystem? are there specific effects of ash depending on the ecosystem and so the type of ash? Acknowledgements This work was supported financially by a research fellowship (AP2007-04602) from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (M.B. Bodí) and the projects PT2009-0073 and CGL2010-21670-C02-01. References Bodí, M.B., Mataix-Solera, J., Doerr, S.H., Cerdà, A., 2011, The wettability of ash from burned vegetation and its relationship to Mediterranean plant species type, burn severity and total organic carbon content. Geoderma 160, 599-607. Bodí, M.B., Doerr, S.H., Cerdà, A., Mataix-Solera, J., 2012, Hydrological effects of a layer of vegetation ash on underlying wettable and water repellent soil. Geoderma 191, 14-23 Cerdà, A., 1998, Changes in overland flow and infiltration after a rangeland fire in a Mediterranean scrubland. Hydrological Processes 12, 1031-1042. Cerdà, A., Doerr, S.H., 2008, The effect of ash and needle cover on surface runoff and erosion in the immediate post-fire period. Catena 74, 256-263. Woods, S.W., Balfour, V., 2008, The effect of ash on runoff and erosion after a forest wildfire, Montana, U.S.A. International Journal of Wildland Fire 17, 535-548.

  4. Factors affecting collective action for forest fire management: a comparative study of community forest user groups in central Siwalik, Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapkota, Lok Mani; Shrestha, Rajendra Prasad; Jourdain, Damien; Shivakoti, Ganesh P

    2015-01-01

    The attributes of social ecological systems affect the management of commons. Strengthening and enhancing social capital and the enforcement of rules and sanctions aid in the collective action of communities in forest fire management. Using a set of variables drawn from previous studies on the management of commons, we conducted a study across 20 community forest user groups in Central Siwalik, Nepal, by dividing the groups into two categories based on the type and level of their forest fire management response. Our study shows that the collective action in forest fire management is consistent with the collective actions in other community development activities. However, the effectiveness of collective action is primarily dependent on the complex interaction of various variables. We found that strong social capital, strong enforcement of rules and sanctions, and users' participation in crafting the rules were the major variables that strengthen collective action in forest fire management. Conversely, users' dependency on a daily wage and a lack of transparency were the variables that weaken collective action. In fire-prone forests such as the Siwalik, our results indicate that strengthening social capital and forming and enforcing forest fire management rules are important variables that encourage people to engage in collective action in fire management.

  5. Alaska's Changing Fire Regime - Implications for the Vulnerability of Its Boreal Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasischke, E. S.; Hoy, E. E.; Verbyla, D. L.; Rupp, T. S.; Duffy, P. A.; McGuire, A. D.; Murphy, K. A.; Jandt, R.; Barnes, J. L.; Calef, M.; hide

    2010-01-01

    A synthesis was carried out to examine Alaska s boreal forest fire regime. During the 2000s, an average of 767 000 ha/year burned, 50% higher than in any previous decade since the 1940s. Over the past 60 years, there was a decrease in the number of lightning-ignited fires, an increase in extreme lightning-ignited fire events, an increase in human-ignited fires, and a decrease in the number of extreme human-ignited fire events. The fraction of area burned from humanignited fires fell from 26% for the 1950s and 1960s to 5% for the 1990s and 2000s, a result from the change in fire policy that gave the highest suppression priorities to fire events that occurred near human settlements. The amount of area burned during late-season fires increased over the past two decades. Deeper burning of surface organic layers in black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) forests occurred during late-growing-season fires and on more well-drained sites. These trends all point to black spruce forests becoming increasingly vulnerable to the combined changes of key characteristics of Alaska s fire regime, except on poorly drained sites, which are resistant to deep burning. The implications of these fire regime changes to the vulnerability and resilience of Alaska s boreal forests and land and fire management are discussed.

  6. Snowpack, fire, and forest disturbance: interactions affect montane invasions by non-native shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jens T; Latimer, Andrew M

    2015-06-01

    Montane regions worldwide have experienced relatively low plant invasion rates, a trend attributed to increased climatic severity, low rates of disturbance, and reduced propagule pressure relative to lowlands. Manipulative experiments at elevations above the invasive range of non-native species can clarify the relative contributions of these mechanisms to montane invasion resistance, yet such experiments are rare. Furthermore, global climate change and land use changes are expected to cause decreases in snowpack and increases in disturbance by fire and forest thinning in montane forests. We examined the importance of these factors in limiting montane invasions using a field transplant experiment above the invasive range of two non-native lowland shrubs, Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) and Spanish broom (Spartium junceum), in the rain-snow transition zone of the Sierra Nevada of California. We tested the effects of canopy closure, prescribed fire, and winter snow depth on demographic transitions of each species. Establishment of both species was most likely at intermediate levels of canopy disturbance, but at this intermediate canopy level, snow depth had negative effects on winter survival of seedlings. We used matrix population models to show that an 86% reduction in winter snowfall would cause a 2.8-fold increase in population growth rates in Scotch broom and a 3.5-fold increase in Spanish broom. Fall prescribed fire increased germination rates, but decreased overall population growth rates by reducing plant survival. However, at longer fire return intervals, population recovery between fires is likely to keep growth rates high, especially under low snowpack conditions. Many treatment combinations had positive growth rates despite being above the current invasive range, indicating that propagule pressure, disturbance, and climate can all strongly affect plant invasions in montane regions. We conclude that projected reductions in winter snowpack and increases in

  7. Singapore’s willingness to pay for mitigation of transboundary forest-fire haze from Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yuan; Wijedasa, Lahiru S.; Chisholm, Ryan A.

    2017-02-01

    Haze pollution over the past four decades in Southeast Asia is mainly a result of forest and peatland fires in Indonesia. The economic impacts of haze include adverse health effects and disruption to transport and tourism. Previous studies have used a variety of approaches to assess the economic impacts of haze and the forest fires more generally. But no study has used contingent valuation to assess non-market impacts of haze on individuals. Here we apply contingent valuation to estimate impacts of haze on Singapore, one of most severely affected countries. We used a double-bounded dichotomous-choice survey design and the Kaplan-Meier-Turnbull method to infer the distribution of Singaporeans’ willingness to pay (WTP) for haze mitigation. Our estimate of mean individual WTP was 0.97% of annual income (n = 390). To calculate total national WTP, we stratified by income, the demographic variable most strongly related to individual WTP. The total WTP estimate was 643.5 million per year (95% CI [527.7 million, 765.0 million]). This estimate is comparable in magnitude to previously estimated impacts of Indonesia’s fires and also to the estimated costs of peatland protection and restoration. We recommend that our results be incorporated into future cost-benefit analyses of the fires and mitigation strategies.

  8. Total peroxy nitrates and ozone production : analysis of forest fire plumes during BORTAS campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busilacchio, Marcella; Di Carlo, Piero; Aruffo, Eleonora; Biancofiore, Fabio; Giammaria, Franco; Bauguitte, Stephane; Lee, James; Moller, Sarah; Lewis, Ally; Parrington, Mark; Palmer, Paul; Dari Salisburgo, Cesare

    2014-05-01

    The goal of this work is to investigate the connection between PNS and ozone within plumes emitted from boreal forest fires and the possible perturbation to oxidant chemistry in the troposphere. During the Aircraft campaign in Canada called BORTAS (summer 2011 ) were carried out several profiles from ground up to 10 km with the BAe-146 aircraft to observe the atmospheric composition inside and outside fire plumes. The BORTAS flights have been selected based on the preliminary studies of 'Plume identification', selecting those effected by Boreal forest fire emissions (CO > 200 ppbv). The FLAMBE fire counts were used concertedly with back trajectory calculations generated by the HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model to locate the sources of Boreal biomass burning.Profiles measured on board the BAe-146 aircraft are used to calculate the productions of PNs and O3 within the biomass burning plume. By selecting the flights that intercept the biomass burning plume, we evaluate the ratio between the ozone production and the PNs production within the plume. Analyzing this ratio it is possible to determine whether O3 production or PNs production is the dominant process in the biomass burning boreal plume detected during BORTAS campaign.

  9. UNDERSTANDING SEVERE WEATHER PROCESSES THROUGH SPATIOTEMPORAL RELATIONAL RANDOM FORESTS

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — UNDERSTANDING SEVERE WEATHER PROCESSES THROUGH SPATIOTEMPORAL RELATIONAL RANDOM FORESTS AMY MCGOVERN, TIMOTHY SUPINIE, DAVID JOHN GAGNE II, NATHANIEL TROUTMAN,...

  10. Extreme fire events are related to previous-year surface moisture conditions in permafrost-underlain larch forests of Siberia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forkel, Matthias; Beer, Christian; Thonicke, Kirsten; Cramer, Wolfgang; Bartalev, Sergey; Schmullius, Christiane

    2012-01-01

    Wildfires are a natural and important element in the functioning of boreal forests. However, in some years, fires with extreme spread and severity occur. Such severe fires can degrade the forest, affect human values, emit huge amounts of carbon and aerosols and alter the land surface albedo. Usually, wind, slope and dry air conditions have been recognized as factors determining fire spread. Here we identify surface moisture as an additional important driving factor for the evolution of extreme fire events in the Baikal region. An area of 127 000 km 2 burned in this region in 2003, a large part of it in regions underlain by permafrost. Analyses of satellite data for 2002–2009 indicate that previous-summer surface moisture is a better predictor for burned area than precipitation anomalies or fire weather indices for larch forests with continuous permafrost. Our analysis advances the understanding of complex interactions between the atmosphere, vegetation and soil, and how coupled mechanisms can lead to extreme events. These findings emphasize the importance of a mechanistic coupling of soil thermodynamics, hydrology, vegetation functioning, and fire activity in Earth system models for projecting climate change impacts over the next century. (letter)

  11. Forest Monitoring and Wildland Early Fire Detection by a Hierarchical Wireless Sensor Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Molina-Pico

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A wildland fire is an uncontrolled fire that occurs mainly in forest areas, although it can also invade urban or agricultural areas. Among the main causes of wildfires, human factors, either intentional or accidental, are the most usual ones. The number and impact of forest fires are expected to grow as a consequence of the global warming. In order to fight against these disasters, it is necessary to adopt a comprehensive, multifaceted approach that enables a continuous situational awareness and instant responsiveness. This paper describes a hierarchical wireless sensor network aimed at early fire detection in risky areas, integrated with the fire fighting command centres, geographical information systems, and fire simulators. This configuration has been successfully tested in two fire simulations involving all the key players in fire fighting operations: fire brigades, communication systems, and aerial, coordination, and land means.

  12. Joint simulation of regional areas burned in Canadian forest fires: A Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steen Magnussen

    2009-01-01

    Areas burned annually in 29 Canadian forest fire regions show a patchy and irregular correlation structure that significantly influences the distribution of annual totals for Canada and for groups of regions. A binary Monte Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC) is constructed for the purpose of joint simulation of regional areas burned in forest fires. For each year the MCMC...

  13. Response of northern bats (Myotis septentrionalis) to prescribed fires in eastern Kentucky forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael J. Lacki; Daniel R. Cox; Luke E. Dodd; Matthew B. Dickinson

    2009-01-01

    Prescribed fire is becoming a common management tool for restoring forests of North America; however, effects of prescribed fire on forest-dwelling bats remain unclear. During 2006 and 2007, we monitored prey availability, diet, foraging behavior, and roost selection of adult female northern bats (Myotis septentrionalis) before and after 2 prescribed...

  14. A synoptic climatology for forest fires in the NE US and future implications for GCM simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan Qing; Ronald Sabo; Yiqiang Wu; J.Y. Zhu

    1994-01-01

    We studied surface-pressure patterns corresponding to reduced precipitation, high evaporation potential, and enhanced forest-fire danger for West Virginia, which experienced extensive forest-fire damage in November 1987. From five years of daily weather maps we identified eight weather patterns that describe distinctive flow situations throughout the year. Map patterns...

  15. Fire effects on Gambel oak in southwestern ponderosa pine-oak forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott R. Abella; Peter Z. Fulé

    2008-01-01

    Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) is ecologically and aesthetically valuable in southwestern ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests. Fire effects on Gambel oak are important because fire may be used in pine-oak forests to manage oak directly or to accomplish other management objectives. We used published literature to: (1) ascertain...

  16. Drought, tree mortality, and wildfire in forests adapted to frequent fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott L Stephens; Brandon M Collins; Christopher J Fettig; Mark A Finney; Chad M Hoffman; Eric E Knapp; Malcolm P North; Hugh Safford; Rebecca B Wayman

    2018-01-01

    Massive tree mortality has occurred rapidly in frequent-fire-adapted forests of the Sierra Nevada, California. This mortality is a product of acute drought compounded by the long-established removal of a key ecosystem process: frequent, low- to moderate-intensity fire. The recent tree mortality has many implications for the future of these forests and the ecological...

  17. Restoring oak forest, woodlands and savannahs using modern silvicultural analogs to historic cultural fire regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel C. Dey; Richard P. Guyette; Callie J. Schweitzer; Michael C. Stambaugh; John M. Kabrick

    2015-01-01

    Variability in historic fire regimes in eastern North America resulted in an array of oak savannahs, woodlands and forests that were dominant vegetation types throughout the region. In the past century, once abundant savannahs and woodlands have become scarce due to conversion to agriculture, or development of forest structure in the absence of fire. In addition, the...

  18. A New Supersensitive Flame Detector and its Use for Early Forest Fire Detection

    CERN Document Server

    Peskov, Vladimir

    2007-01-01

    A new flame detector, three orders of magnitude more powerful than the existing ones, is presented. This detector needs to be mass-produced for its use in order to be incorporated in an early forest fire detection system. A project able to implement its use to overcome the forest fire emergency is described.

  19. Civic Ecology Education and Resilient Societies: A Survey of Forest Fires in Greece

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papaspiliou, Konstantina; Skanavis, Constantina; Giannoulis, Christos

    2014-01-01

    Forest fires, as all natural disasters, have the potential to seriously affect both the environment and the social structure of a local community. Unlike some of the natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados and tsunamis which are unpredictable, the phenomenon of forest fires could be easily predicted and controlled, since the causes are…

  20. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Fire in Whitebark Pine Stands on two Mountains in the Lolo National Forest, Montana, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, E. R.; Grissino-Mayer, H. D.

    2004-12-01

    Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is a long-lived tree species that exists throughout high elevation and treeline forest communities of western North America. It is the foundation of a diminishing ecosystem that supports Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana), red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), and black bears (U. americana). Several factors are directly linked to the decline of the whitebark pine ecosystem: mortality from recent and widespread mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreaks, infestation by the invasive white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola, an exotic fungal canker that weakens and eventually kills white pines), and fire suppression that may have altered the historic fire regime and enabled fire-intolerant tree species to encroach upon whitebark pine stands. The synergistic effects of these factors have led to a dramatic decline in whitebark pine communities throughout its native range, and in response land managers and conservationists have called for research to better understand the ecological dynamics of this little studied ecosystem. My research uses dendrochronology to investigate the fire history of whitebark pine stands on three mountains in the Lolo National Forest, Montana, via fire-scar and age structure analyses. I present here the results from the fire-scar analyses from Morrell Mountain where I obtained 40 cross sections from dead and down whitebark pines. Individual tree mean fire return intervals (MFRI) range from 33 to 119 years, with a stand MFRI of 49 years that includes fire scars dating to the 16th century. Fire events scarred multiple trees in AD 1754, 1796, and 1843, indicating a mixed-severity fire regime. The majority of the samples recorded a frost event in AD 1601, perhaps evidence of the AD 1600 eruption of Mt. Huaynapatina in the Peruvian Andes. My research not only provides an historical framework for land managers, but also provides an opportunity to examine long

  1. Latent resilience in ponderosa pine forest: effects of resumed frequent fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Andrew J; Belote, R Travis; Cansler, C Alina; Parks, Sean A; Dietz, Matthew S

    2013-09-01

    Ecological systems often exhibit resilient states that are maintained through negative feedbacks. In ponderosa pine forests, fire historically represented the negative feedback mechanism that maintained ecosystem resilience; fire exclusion reduced that resilience, predisposing the transition to an alternative ecosystem state upon reintroduction of fire. We evaluated the effects of reintroduced frequent wildfire in unlogged, fire-excluded, ponderosa pine forest in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana, USA. Initial reintroduction of fire in 2003 reduced tree density and consumed surface fuels, but also stimulated establishment of a dense cohort of lodgepole pine, maintaining a trajectory toward an alternative state. Resumption of a frequent fire regime by a second fire in 2011 restored a low-density forest dominated by large-diameter ponderosa pine by eliminating many regenerating lodgepole pines and by continuing to remove surface fuels and small-diameter lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir that established during the fire suppression era. Our data demonstrate that some unlogged, fire-excluded, ponderosa pine forests possess latent resilience to reintroduced fire. A passive model of simply allowing lightning-ignited fires to burn appears to be a viable approach to restoration of such forests.

  2. The relation between Puelche wind and the occurrence of forest fires in Bio Bio region, Chile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inzunza, Juan Carlos

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a study of the relation between Puelche wind and forest fires in the Bio Bio Region, Chile. To establish a relationship between Puelche wind and forest fire generation, different data analysis methods and statistics test were applied. The relation between the total number of fires in the season and the days with Puelche wind were not statistically significant. When analyzing daily averages of fires produced with and without Puelche wind for each season, the highest daily fire occurrence values were found when there is Puelche wind, indicating that this event produces a strong effect on the daily occurrence of fires since these increased by 90% in comparison to the days without Puelche wind. The results of the difference between the number of fires with and without Puelche wind with respect to the average number of total fires indicate that the days with Puelche wind surpass both the total and the average values for days without Puelche wind, confirming the strong effect that a Puelche wind day has on forest fires. The greatest number of fires produced with Puelche wind occurs in the Province of Concepcion. This Province is the most affected by Puelche wind conditions despite having the smallest surface area for the region studied. Still, it is the most populous province of the region and has the greatest surface area with forests and plantations with respect to its size. Consequently, Puelche wind is a factor that increases the occurrence of forest fires and favors their propagation.

  3. Biological properties of soils of former forest fires in Samosir Regency of North Sumatera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Elfiati

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available A study that was aimed to identify the impact of forest fires on the biological properties of soils was carried out at former forest fire areas in Samosir Regency of North Sumatera. Soil samples were collected from former forest fire areas of 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010. The composite soil samples were collected systematically using diagonal method as much as 5 points in each period of fire. The soil samples were taken at three plots measuring 20 x 20 m 0-20 cm depth. Soil biological properties observed were soil organic C content, total number of microbes, abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, phosphate solubilizing microbes, and soil microbial activity. The results showed that organic C content ranged from 0.75 to 2.47% which included criteria for very low to moderate. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi spores were found belonging to the genus of Glomus and Acaulospora. Spore number increased with the fire period ranging from 45 spores (forest fire in 2014 to 152 spores (forest fire in 2010. The total number of microbes obtained ranged from 53.78 x 107 cfu/mL (forest fire in 2010 to 89.70 x107 cfu/mL (forest fire in 2013. It was found 29 isolates of phosphate solubilizing microbes that consisted of 14 bacterial isolates and 15 fungi isolates with densities ranging from 27.642 x105 cfu/mL (forest fires in 2014 to 97.776 x 105 cfu/ mL (forest fires in 2011. The isolates of phosphate solubilizing bacteria identified consisted of Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium, Staphylococcus, and Mycobacterium genus, whereas the isolates of phosphate solubilizing fungi obtained consisted of Aspergillus and Penicillium genus. Soil respiration ranged from 2.14 kg / day (forest fire in 2010 up to 3.71 kg / day (forest fire in 2013. The varied results were greatly influenced by the type or form of the fires and intensity of fires. In the study area the type or form of the fires were canopy fires with low intensity.

  4. Fire-mediated dieback and compositional cascade in an Amazonian forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Jos; Peres, Carlos A

    2008-05-27

    The only fully coupled land-atmosphere global climate model predicts a widespread dieback of Amazonian forest cover through reduced precipitation. Although these predictions are controversial, the structural and compositional resilience of Amazonian forests may also have been overestimated, as current vegetation models fail to consider the potential role of fire in the degradation of forest ecosystems. We examine forest structure and composition in the Arapiuns River basin in the central Brazilian Amazon, evaluating post-fire forest recovery and the consequences of recurrent fires for the patterns of dominance of tree species. We surveyed tree plots in unburned and once-burned forests examined 1, 3 and 9 years after an unprecedented fire event, in twice-burned forests examined 3 and 9 years after fire and in thrice-burned forests examined 5 years after the most recent fire event. The number of trees recorded in unburned primary forest control plots was stable over time. However, in both once- and twice-burned forest plots, there was a marked recruitment into the 10-20cm diameter at breast height tree size classes between 3 and 9 years post-fire. Considering tree assemblage composition 9 years after the first fire contact, we observed (i) a clear pattern of community turnover among small trees and the most abundant shrubs and saplings, and (ii) that species that were common in any of the four burn treatments (unburned, once-, twice- and thrice-burned) were often rare or entirely absent in other burn treatments. We conclude that episodic wildfires can lead to drastic changes in forest structure and composition, with cascading shifts in forest composition following each additional fire event. Finally, we use these results to evaluate the validity of the savannization paradigm.

  5. Contrasting spatial patterns in active-fire and fire-suppressed Mediterranean climate old-growth mixed conifer forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, Danny L; Stephens, Scott L; Collins, Brandon M; North, Malcolm P; Franco-Vizcaíno, Ernesto; Gill, Samantha J

    2014-01-01

    In Mediterranean environments in western North America, historic fire regimes in frequent-fire conifer forests are highly variable both temporally and spatially. This complexity influenced forest structure and spatial patterns, but some of this diversity has been lost due to anthropogenic disruption of ecosystem processes, including fire. Information from reference forest sites can help management efforts to restore forests conditions that may be more resilient to future changes in disturbance regimes and climate. In this study, we characterize tree spatial patterns using four-ha stem maps from four old-growth, Jeffrey pine-mixed conifer forests, two with active-fire regimes in northwestern Mexico and two that experienced fire exclusion in the southern Sierra Nevada. Most of the trees were in patches, averaging six to 11 trees per patch at 0.007 to 0.014 ha(-1), and occupied 27-46% of the study areas. Average canopy gap sizes (0.04 ha) covering 11-20% of the area were not significantly different among sites. The putative main effects of fire exclusion were higher densities of single trees in smaller size classes, larger proportion of trees (≥ 56%) in large patches (≥ 10 trees), and decreases in spatial complexity. While a homogenization of forest structure has been a typical result from fire exclusion, some similarities in patch, single tree, and gap attributes were maintained at these sites. These within-stand descriptions provide spatially relevant benchmarks from which to manage for structural heterogeneity in frequent-fire forest types.

  6. Contrasting spatial patterns in active-fire and fire-suppressed Mediterranean climate old-growth mixed conifer forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny L Fry

    Full Text Available In Mediterranean environments in western North America, historic fire regimes in frequent-fire conifer forests are highly variable both temporally and spatially. This complexity influenced forest structure and spatial patterns, but some of this diversity has been lost due to anthropogenic disruption of ecosystem processes, including fire. Information from reference forest sites can help management efforts to restore forests conditions that may be more resilient to future changes in disturbance regimes and climate. In this study, we characterize tree spatial patterns using four-ha stem maps from four old-growth, Jeffrey pine-mixed conifer forests, two with active-fire regimes in northwestern Mexico and two that experienced fire exclusion in the southern Sierra Nevada. Most of the trees were in patches, averaging six to 11 trees per patch at 0.007 to 0.014 ha(-1, and occupied 27-46% of the study areas. Average canopy gap sizes (0.04 ha covering 11-20% of the area were not significantly different among sites. The putative main effects of fire exclusion were higher densities of single trees in smaller size classes, larger proportion of trees (≥ 56% in large patches (≥ 10 trees, and decreases in spatial complexity. While a homogenization of forest structure has been a typical result from fire exclusion, some similarities in patch, single tree, and gap attributes were maintained at these sites. These within-stand descriptions provide spatially relevant benchmarks from which to manage for structural heterogeneity in frequent-fire forest types.

  7. How will climate change affect wildland fire severity in the western US?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sean A. Parks; Carol Miller; John T. Abatzoglou; Lisa M. Holsinger; Marc-Andre Parisien; Solomon Z. Dobrowski

    2016-01-01

    Fire regime characteristics in North America are expected to change over the next several decades as a result of anthropogenic climate change. Although some fire regime characteristics (e.g., area burned and fire season length) are relatively well-studied in the context of a changing climate, fire severity has received less attention. In this study, we used...

  8. Static and dynamic controls on fire activity at moderate spatial and temporal scales in the Alaskan boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Kirsten; Loboda, Tatiana; McGuire, A. David; Genet, Hélène; Hoy, Elizabeth; Kasischke, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Wildfire, a dominant disturbance in boreal forests, is highly variable in occurrence and behavior at multiple spatiotemporal scales. New data sets provide more detailed spatial and temporal observations of active fires and the post-burn environment in Alaska. In this study, we employ some of these new data to analyze variations in fire activity by developing three explanatory models to examine the occurrence of (1) seasonal periods of elevated fire activity using the number of MODIS active fire detections data set (MCD14DL) within an 11-day moving window, (2) unburned patches within a burned area using the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity fire severity product, and (3) short-to-moderate interval (fires using areas of burned area overlap in the Alaska Large Fire Database. Explanatory variables for these three models included dynamic variables that can change over the course of the fire season, such as weather and burn date, as well as static variables that remain constant over a fire season, such as topography, drainage, vegetation cover, and fire history. We found that seasonal periods of high fire activity are associated with both seasonal timing and aggregated weather conditions, as well as the landscape composition of areas that are burning. Important static inputs to the model of seasonal fire activity indicate that when fire weather conditions are suitable, areas that typically resist fire (e.g., deciduous stands) may become more vulnerable to burning and therefore less effective as fire breaks. The occurrence of short-to-moderate interval fires appears to be primarily driven by weather conditions, as these were the only relevant explanatory variables in the model. The unique importance of weather in explaining short-to-moderate interval fires implies that fire return intervals (FRIs) will be sensitive to projected climate changes in the region. Unburned patches occur most often in younger stands, which may be related to a greater deciduous fraction of

  9. Soils of Mountainous Forests and Their Transformation under the Impact of Fires in Baikal Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasnoshchekov, Yu. N.

    2018-04-01

    Data on postpyrogenic dynamics of soils under mountainous taiga cedar ( Pinus sibirica) and pine ( Pinus sylvestris) forests and subtaiga-forest-steppe pine ( Pinus sylvestris) forests in the Baikal region are analyzed. Ground litter-humus fires predominating in this region transform the upper diagnostic organic soil horizons and lead to the formation of new pyrogenic organic horizons (Opir). Adverse effects of ground fires on the stock, fractional composition, and water-physical properties of forest litters are shown. Some quantitative parameters of the liquid and solid surface runoff in burnt areas related to the slope gradient, fire intensity, and the time passed after the fire are presented. Pyrogenic destruction of forest ecosystems inevitably induces the degradation of mountainous soils, whose restoration after fires takes tens of years. The products of soil erosion from the burnt out areas complicate the current situation with the pollution of coastal waters of Lake Baikal.

  10. Fire severity effects on ash extractable Total Phosphorous

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Paulo; Úbeda, Xavier; Martin, Deborah

    2010-05-01

    Phosphorous (P) is a crucial element to plant nutrition and limits vegetal production. The amounts of P in soil are lower and great part of this nutrient is absorbed or precipitated. It is well known that fire has important implications on P cycle, that can be lost throughout volatilization, evacuated with the smoke, but also more available to transport after organic matter mineralization imposed by the fire. The release of P depends on ash pH and their chemical and physical characteristics. Fire temperatures impose different severities, according to the specie affected and contact time. Fire severity is often evaluated by ash colour and this is a low-cost and excellent methodology to assess the fire effects on ecosystems. The aim of this work is study the ash properties physical and chemical properties on ash extractable Total Phosphorous (TP), collected in three wildfires, occured in Portugal, (named, (1) Quinta do Conde, (2) Quinta da Areia and (3) Casal do Sapo) composed mainly by Quercus suber and Pinus pinaster trees. The ash colour was assessed using the Munsell color chart. From all three plots we analyzed a total of 102 ash samples and we identified 5 different ash colours, ordered in an increasing order of severity, Very Dark Brown, Black, Dark Grey, Very Dark Grey and Light Grey. In order to observe significant differences between extractable TP and ash colours, we applied an ANOVA One Way test, and considered the differences significant at a p<0.05. The results showed that significant differences in the extractable TP among the different ash colours. Hence, to identify specific differences between each ash colour, we applied a post-hoc Fisher LSD test, significant at a p<0.05. The results obtained showed significant differences between the extractable TP from Very dark Brown and Black ash, produced at lower severities, in relation to Dark Grey, Very Dark Grey and Light Grey ash, generated at higher severities. The means of the first group were higher

  11. Mitigating old tree mortality in long-unburned, fire-dependent forests: a synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharon M. Hood

    2010-01-01

    This report synthesizes the literature and current state of knowledge pertaining to reintroducing fire in stands where it has been excluded for long periods and the impact of these introductory fires on overstory tree injury and mortality. Only forested ecosystems in the United States that are adapted to survive frequent fire are included. Treatment options that...

  12. Influence of forest management alternatives and land type on susceptibility to fire in northern Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric J. Gustafson; Patrick A. Zollner; Brian R. Sturtevant; S. He Hong; David J. Mladenoff

    2004-01-01

    We used the LANDIS disturbance and succession model to study the effects of six alternative vegetation management scenarios on forest succession and the subsequent risk of canopy fire on a 2791 km2 landscape in northern Wisconsin, USA. The study area is a mix of fire-prone and fire-resistant land types. The alternatives vary the spatial...

  13. Does fire affect amphibians and reptiles in eastern U.S. oak forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochelle B. Renken

    2006-01-01

    Current information about the effect of fire on amphibians and reptiles in oak forests of the Eastern and Central United States is reviewed. Current data suggest that fire results in little direct mortality of amphibians and reptiles. Fire has no effect on overall amphibian abundance, diversity, and number of species in comparisons of burned and unburned plots, though...

  14. Understanding the long-term fire risks in forests affected by sudden oak death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yana Valachovic; Chris Lee; Radoslaw Glebocki; Hugh Scanlon; J. Morgan Varner; David. Rizzo

    2010-01-01

    It is assumed that large numbers of dead and down tanoak in forests infested by Phytophthora ramorum contribute to increased fire hazard risk and fuel loading. We studied the impact of P. ramorum infestation on surface fuel loading, potential fire hazard, and potential fire behavior in Douglas-fir- (Pseudotsuga...

  15. Influence of fire on dead woody material in forests of California and southwestern Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carl N. Skinner

    2002-01-01

    The frequent occurrence of fire in most forested areas of California and southwestern Oregon before this century has been well established. Likewise, the importance of dead woody material to various wildlife species as snags and downed logs has been well documented. It is unlikely that much large woody material survived fire long enough to decompose fully in fire...

  16. Forest landowner decisions and the value of information under fire risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory S. Amacher; Arun S. Malik; Robert G. Haight

    2005-01-01

    We estimate the value of three types of information about fire risk to a nonindustrial forest landowner: the relationship between fire arrival rates and stand age, the magnitude of fire arrival rates, and the efficacy of fuel reduction treatment. Our model incorporates planting density and the level and timing of fuel reduction treatment as landowner decisions. These...

  17. Long-term trends and interannual variability of forest, savanna and agricultural fires in South America

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, Y.; Morton, D. C.; Yin, Y. F.; Collatz, G. J.; Kasibhatla, P. S.; van der Werf, G.R.; DeFries, R. S.; Randerson, J. T.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Landscape fires in South America have considerable impacts on ecosystems, air quality and the climate system. We examined long-term trends and interannual variability of forest, savanna and agricultural fires for the continent during 2001-2012 using multiple satellite-derived fire

  18. Surface forcing of non-stand-replacing fires in Siberian larch forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Dong; Loboda, Tatiana V.

    2018-04-01

    Wildfires are the dominant disturbance agent in the Siberian larch forests. Extensive low- to mediate-intensity non-stand-replacing fires are a notable property of fire regime in these forests. Recent large scale studies of these fires have focused mostly on their impacts on carbon budget; however, their potential impacts on energy budget through post-fire albedo changes have not been considered. This study quantifies the post-fire surface forcing for Siberian larch forests that experienced non-stand-replacing fires between 2001 and 2012 using the full record of MODIS MCD43A3 albedo product and a burned area product developed specifically for the Russian forests. Despite a large variability, the mean effect of non-stand-replacing fires imposed through albedo is a negative forcing which lasts for at least 14 years. However, the magnitude of the forcing is much smaller than that imposed by stand-replacing fires, highlighting the importance of differentiating between the two fire types in the studies involving the fire impacts in the region. The results of this study also show that MODIS-based summer differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR) provides a reliable metric for differentiating non-stand-replacing from stand-replacing fires with an overall accuracy of 88%, which is of considerable importance for future work on modeling post-fire energy budget and carbon budget in the region.

  19. Wildfire and drought dynamics destabilize carbon stores of fire-suppressed forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Mason Earles; Malcolm P. North; Matthew D. Hurteau

    2014-01-01

    Widespread fire suppression and thinning have altered the structure and composition of many forests in the western United States, making them more susceptible to the synergy of large-scale drought and fire events. We examine how these changes affect carbon storage and stability compared to historic fire-adapted conditions. We modeled carbon dynamics under possible...

  20. Differences in human versus lightning fires between urban and rural areas of the boreal forest in interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calef, Monika; Varvak, Anna; McGuire, A. David

    2017-01-01

    In western North America, the carbon-rich boreal forest is experiencing warmer temperatures, drier conditions and larger and more frequent wildfires. However, the fire regime is also affected by direct human activities through suppression, ignition, and land use changes. Models are important predictive tools for understanding future conditions but they are based on regional generalizations of wildfire behavior and weather that do not adequately account for the complexity of human–fire interactions. To achieve a better understanding of the intensity of human influence on fires in this sparsely populated area and to quantify differences between human and lightning fires, we analyzed fires by both ignition types in regard to human proximity in urban (the Fairbanks subregion) and rural areas of interior Alaska using spatial (Geographic Information Systems) and quantitative analysis methods. We found substantial differences in drivers of wildfire: while increases in fire ignitions and area burned were caused by lightning in rural interior Alaska, in the Fairbanks subregion these increases were due to human fires, especially in the wildland urban interface. Lightning fires are starting earlier and fires are burning longer, which is much more pronounced in the Fairbanks subregion than in rural areas. Human fires differed from lightning fires in several ways: they started closer to settlements and highways, burned for a shorter duration, were concentrated in the Fairbanks subregion, and often occurred outside the brief seasonal window for lightning fires. This study provides important insights that improve our understanding of the direct human influence on recently observed changes in wildfire regime with implications for both fire modeling and fire management.

  1. Differences in Human versus Lightning Fires between Urban and Rural Areas of the Boreal Forest in Interior Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika P. Calef

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In western North America, the carbon-rich boreal forest is experiencing warmer temperatures, drier conditions and larger and more frequent wildfires. However, the fire regime is also affected by direct human activities through suppression, ignition, and land use changes. Models are important predictive tools for understanding future conditions but they are based on regional generalizations of wildfire behavior and weather that do not adequately account for the complexity of human–fire interactions. To achieve a better understanding of the intensity of human influence on fires in this sparsely populated area and to quantify differences between human and lightning fires, we analyzed fires by both ignition types in regard to human proximity in urban (the Fairbanks subregion and rural areas of interior Alaska using spatial (Geographic Information Systems and quantitative analysis methods. We found substantial differences in drivers of wildfire: while increases in fire ignitions and area burned were caused by lightning in rural interior Alaska, in the Fairbanks subregion these increases were due to human fires, especially in the wildland urban interface. Lightning fires are starting earlier and fires are burning longer, which is much more pronounced in the Fairbanks subregion than in rural areas. Human fires differed from lightning fires in several ways: they started closer to settlements and highways, burned for a shorter duration, were concentrated in the Fairbanks subregion, and often occurred outside the brief seasonal window for lightning fires. This study provides important insights that improve our understanding of the direct human influence on recently observed changes in wildfire regime with implications for both fire modeling and fire management.

  2. Fire impact on carbon storage in light conifer forests of the Lower Angara region, Siberia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ivanova, G A; Kukavskaya, E A; Conard, S G; McRae, D J

    2011-01-01

    This study focused on structural analysis of ground carbon storage following fires in light conifer stands of the Lower Angara region (Siberia, Russia). Experimental fires of varying frontal intensity were conducted at Scots pine and mixed larch forests of southern taiga. Considerable amounts of surface and ground forest fuels (21–38 tC ha −1 ) enhanced low- to high-intensity fires. Post-fire carbon storage decreased by 16–49% depending on fire intensity and rate of spread, with depth of burn being 0.9–6.6 cm. Carbon emissions varied from 4.48 to 15.89 t ha −1 depending on fire intensity and forest type. Depth of burn and carbon emissions for four major site types were correlated with a weather-based fire hazard index.

  3. Forest Fire Smoke Exposures and Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests in Melbourne, Australia: A Case-Crossover Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennekamp, Martine; Straney, Lahn D; Erbas, Bircan; Abramson, Michael J; Keywood, Melita; Smith, Karen; Sim, Malcolm R; Glass, Deborah C; Del Monaco, Anthony; Haikerwal, Anjali; Tonkin, Andrew M

    2015-10-01

    Millions of people can potentially be exposed to smoke from forest fires, making this an important public health problem in many countries. In this study we aimed to measure the association between out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and forest fire smoke exposures in a large city during a severe forest fire season, and estimate the number of excess OHCAs due to the fire smoke. We investigated the association between particulate matter (PM) and other air pollutants and OHCA using a case-crossover study of adults (≥ 35 years of age) in Melbourne, Australia. Conditional logistic regression models were used to derive estimates of the percent change in the rate of OHCA associated with an interquartile range (IQR) increase in exposure. From July 2006 through June 2007, OHCA data were collected from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry. Hourly air pollution concentrations and meteorological data were obtained from a central monitoring site. There were 2,046 OHCAs with presumed cardiac etiology during our study period. Among men during the fire season, greater increases in OHCA were observed with IQR increases in the 48-hr lagged PM with diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5) (8.05%; 95% CI: 2.30, 14.13%; IQR = 6.1 μg/m(3)) or ≤ 10 μm (PM10) (11.1%; 95% CI: 1.55, 21.48%; IQR = 13.7 μg/m(3)) and carbon monoxide (35.7%; 95% CI: 8.98, 68.92%; IQR = 0.3 ppm). There was no significant association between the rate of OHCA and air pollutants among women. One hundred seventy-four "fire-hours" (i.e., hours in which Melbourne's air quality was affected by forest fire smoke) were identified during 12 days of the 2006/2007 fire season, and 23.9 (95% CI: 3.1, 40.2) excess OHCAs were estimated to occur due to elevations in PM2.5 during these fire-hours. This study found an association between exposure to forest fire smoke and an increase in the rate of OHCA. These findings have implications for public health messages to raise community awareness and for planning of emergency

  4. Chemical and dispersal characteristics of particulate emissions from forest fires in Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Y. N. Samsonov; V. A. Ivanov; D. J. McRae; S. P. Baker

    2012-01-01

    Approximately 20 experimental fires were conducted on forest plots of 1-4 ha each in 2000-07 in two types of boreal forests in central Siberia, and 18 on 6 x 12-m plots in 2008-10. These experiments were designed to mimic wildfires under similar burning conditions. The fires were conducted in prescribed conditions including full documentation on pre-fire weather, pre-...

  5. Numerical simulations of forest fire propagation and smoke transport as an external hazard assessment methodology development for a nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okano, Yasushi; Yamano, Hidemasa

    2016-01-01

    A new method has been developed to assess potential challenges by forest fire smoke on a cooling function of a decay heat removal system (DHRS) of a sodium-cooled fast reactor. Combinational numerical simulations of a forest fire propagation and a smoke transport were performed to evaluate a cumulative amount of smoke captured on air filters of the DHRS. The forest fire propagation simulations were performed using FARSITE code to evaluate a temporal increase of a forest fire spread area, a frontal fireline location, reaction intensity, and fireline intensity. Peripheral boundary of the forest fire spread area is shaped like an ellipse on the terrain, and the active forest fire area from which smoke is produced as a forest fire product is increased with forest fire spread. The smoke transport simulations were performed using ALOFT-FT code where a spatial distribution of smoke density, especially of particle matter (PM), is evaluated. The snapshot (i.e. at a certain time step) outputs by FARSITE on the reaction intensity and the fireline intensity were utilized as the input data for ALOFT-FT, while it was conservatively assumed that the smoke generated from the active forest fire area along the periphery boundary rises up from the frontal fireline location nearest to a nuclear power plant (NPP) and that prevailing wind transports all smoke to an NPP in the leeward side. The evaluated time-dependent changes of spatial PM density were utilized to calculate a cumulative amount of PM captured on the air filters of the DHRS. Sensitivity analysis was performed on prevailing wind speed to which both the fireline intensity and the smoke transport behavior are sensitive. The total amount of PM on the air filters was conservatively estimated around several hundred grams per m 2 which is well below the utilization limit. (author)

  6. Long-term impacts of prescribed fire on stand structure, growth, mortality, and individual tree vigor in Pinus resinosa forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer S. Scherer; Anthony W. D' Amato; Christel C. Kern; Brian J. Palik; Matthew B. Russell

    2016-01-01

    Prescribed fire is increasingly being viewed as a valuable tool for mitigating the ecological consequences of long-term fire suppression within fire-adapted forest ecosystems. While the use of burning treatments in northern temperate conifer forests has at times received considerable attention, the long-term (>10 years) effects on forest structure and...

  7. Simulating boreal forest carbon dynamics after stand-replacing fire disturbance : Insights from a global process-based vegetation model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yue, Chao; Ciais, P.; Luyssaert, S.; Cadule, Patricia; Harden, J. L.; Randerson, J.; Bellassen, V.; Wang, T.; Piao, S.L.; Poulter, B.; Viovy, N.

    2013-01-01

    Stand-replacing fires are the dominant fire type in North American boreal forests. They leave a historical legacy of a mosaic landscape of different aged forest cohorts. This forest age dynamics must be included in vegetation models to accurately quantify the role of fire in the historical and

  8. Biogeochemistry and plant physiological traits interact to reinforce patterns of post-fire dominance in boreal forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenoy, A.; Kielland, K.; Johnstone, J. F.

    2011-12-01

    -specific differences in N preference coupled with their respective physiological response to fire severity represent a positive feedback loop that reinforce the opposing stand dominance patterns that have developed at the two ends of the fire severity spectrum. Shifts in forest composition from the current dominance by conifers to a future landscape dominated by deciduous forest are of concern due to impacts on climate-albedo feedbacks, forest productivity, ecosystem carbon storage, and wildlife habitat use.

  9. Fire Regime along Latitudinal Gradients of Continuous to Discontinuous Coniferous Boreal Forests in Eastern Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeanne Portier

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Fire is the main disturbance in North American coniferous boreal forests. In Northern Quebec, Canada, where forest management is not allowed, the landscape is gradually constituted of more opened lichen woodlands. Those forests are discontinuous and show a low regeneration potential resulting from the cumulative effects of harsh climatic conditions and very short fire intervals. In a climate change context, and because the forest industry is interested in opening new territories to forest management in the north, it is crucial to better understand how and why fire risk varies from the north to the south at the transition between the discontinuous and continuous boreal forest. We used time-since-fire (TSF data from fire archives as well as a broad field campaign in Quebec’s coniferous boreal forests along four north-south transects in order to reconstruct the fire history of the past 150 to 300 years. We performed survival analyses in each transect in order to (1 determine if climate influences the fire risk along the latitudinal gradient; (2 fractionate the transects into different fire risk zones; and (3 quantify the fire cycle—defined as the time required to burn an area equivalent to the size of the study area—of each zone and compare its estimated value with current fire activity. Results suggest that drought conditions are moderately to highly responsible for the increasing fire risk from south to north in the three westernmost transects. No climate influence was observed in the last one, possibly because of its complex physical environment. Fire cycles are shortening from south to north, and from east to west. Limits between high and low fire risk zones are consistent with the limit between discontinuous and continuous forests, established based on recent fire activity. Compared to the last 40 years, fire cycles of the last 150–300 years are shorter. Our results suggest that as drought episodes are expected to become more frequent

  10. Forest fires in Himalayan region during 2016 - Aerosol load and smoke plume heights detection by multi sensor observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, S.; Dumka, U. C.

    2017-12-01

    The forest fires are common events over the Central Himalayan region during the pre-monsoon season (March - June) of every year. Forest fire plays a crucial role in governing the vegetation structure, ecosystem, climate change as well as in atmospheric chemistry. In regional and global scales, the combustion of forest and grassland vegetation releases large volumes of smoke, aerosols, and other chemically active species that significantly influence Earth's radiative budget and atmospheric chemistry, impacting air quality and risks to human health. During the year 2016, massive forest fires have been recorded over the Central Himalayan region of Uttarakhand which continues for several weeks. To study this event we used the multi-satellite observations of aerosols and pollutants during pre-fire, fire and post-fire period over the central Himalayan region. The data used in this study are active fire count and aerosol optical depth (AOD) from MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), aerosol index and gases pollutants from Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), along with vertical profiles of aerosols and smoke plume height information from Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO). The result shows that the mean fire counts were maximum in April. The daily average AOD value shows an increasing trend during the fire events. The mean value of AOD before the massive fire (25 April), during the fire (30 April) and post fire (5 May) periods are 0.3, 1.2 and 0.6 respectively. We find an increasing trend of total columnar NO2 over the Uttarakhand region during the massive fire event. Space-born Lidar (CALIPSO) retrievals show the extent of smoke plume heights beyond the planetary boundary layer up to 6 km during the peak burning day (April 30). The HYSPLIT air mass forward trajectory shows the long-range transportation of smoke plumes. The results of the present study provide valuable information for addressing smoke plume and

  11. The role of major forest fires on rock physical decay in a Mediterranean environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtober-Zisu, Nurit; Tessler, Naama; Tsatskin, Alexander; Greenbaum, Noam

    2017-04-01

    Massive destruction of carbonate rocks occurred on the slopes of Mt. Carmel (Israel), during a severe forest fire in 2010. The bedrock surfaces exhibited extensive exfoliation into flakes and spalls covering up to 80%-100% of the exposed rocks; detached boulders were totally fractured or disintegrated. The fire affected six carbonate units—various types of chalk, limestone, and dolomite. The burned flakes show a consistent tendency towards flatness, in all lithologies, as 85%-95% of the flakes were detached in the form of blades, plates, and slabs. The extent of the physical disruption depends on rock composition: the most severe response was found in the chalk formations which are covered by calcrete (Nari crusts). These rocks reacted by extreme exfoliation, at an average depth of 7.7 to 9.6 cm and a maximum depth of 20 cm. Scorched and blackened faces under the upper layer of spalls provide strong evidence that chalk breakdown took place at an early stage of the fire. The extreme response of the chalks can be explained by the laminar structure of the Nari, which served as planes of weakness for the rock destruction. Three years after the fire, the rocks continue to exfoliate and break down internally. As the harder surface of the Nari was removed, the more brittle underlying chalk is exposed to erosion. These flakes seem to play an important role in reforming the soil after the fire, especially by increasing the coarse particles percentage. These, in spite of the absence of vegetation cover, improve soil infiltration and percolation rates and cause long-term changes to the hydrological regime. It is difficult to estimate the frequency of high-intensity fires in the Carmel region over the past 2-3 million years, as well as the extension and density of the vegetation. It is even harder to assess the frequency of fires (and the destruction) of a single rock outcrop. Our findings show that rock outcrop may lose even 20 cm of its thickness in a single fire. This

  12. Tree mortality from fire and bark beetles following early and late season prescribed fires in a Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwilk, Dylan W.; Knapp, Eric E.; Ferrenberg, Scott; Keeley, Jon E.; Caprio, Anthony C.

    2006-01-01

    consumption and potentially less injury to trees. This reduction in fire severity may compensate for relatively modest increases in bark beetle attack probabilities on some tree species, ultimately resulting in a forest structure that differs little between early and late season prescribed burning treatments.

  13. Ohia forest decline: its spread and severity in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwin Q. P. Petteys; Robert E. Burgan; Robert E. Nelson

    1975-01-01

    Ohia forest decline–its severity and rate of spread–was studied by aerial photographic techniques on a 197,000-acre (80,000-ha) portion of the island of Hawaii. In 1954, only 300 acres (121 ha) showed signs of severe decline; by 1972, the acreage of severely affected forest had increased to 85,200 acres (34,480 ha). Rate of decline and current severity were related to...

  14. A review of the main driving factors of forest fire ignition over Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganteaume, Anne; Camia, Andrea; Jappiot, Marielle; San-Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus; Long-Fournel, Marlène; Lampin, Corinne

    2013-03-01

    Knowledge of the causes of forest fires, and of the main driving factors of ignition, is an indispensable step towards effective fire prevention policies. This study analyses the factors driving forest fire ignition in the Mediterranean region including the most common human and environmental factors used for modelling in the European context. Fire ignition factors are compared to spatial and temporal variations of fire occurrence in the region, then are compared to results obtained in other areas of the world, with a special focus on North America (US and Canada) where a significant number of studies has been carried out on this topic. The causes of forest fires are varied and their distribution differs among countries, but may also differ spatially and temporally within the same country. In Europe, and especially in the Mediterranean basin, fires are mostly human-caused mainly due arson. The distance to transport networks and the distance to urban or recreation areas are among the most frequently used human factors in modelling exercises and the Wildland-Urban Interface is increasingly taken into account in the modelling of fire occurrence. Depending on the socio-economic context of the region concerned, factors such as the unemployment rate or variables linked to agricultural activity can explain the ignition of intentional and unintentional fires. Regarding environmental factors, those related to weather, fuel and topography are the most significant drivers of ignition of forest fires, especially in Mediterranean-type regions. For both human and lightning-caused fires, there is a geographical gradient of fire ignition, mainly due to variations in climate and fuel composition but also to population density for instance. The timing of fires depends on their causes. In populated areas, the timing of human-caused fires is closely linked to human activities and peaks in the afternoon whereas, in remote areas, the timing of lightning-caused fires is more linked to

  15. Bringing soil science to society after catastrophic events such as big forest fires. Some examples of field approaches in Spanish Mediterranean areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Arcenegui, Vicky; Cerdà, Artemi; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Moltó, Jorge; Chrenkovà, Katerina; Torres, Pilar; Lozano, Elena; Jimenez-Pinilla, Patricia; Jara-Navarro, Ana B.

    2015-04-01

    Forest fires must be considered a natural factor in Mediterranean ecosystems, but the changes in land use in the last six decades have altered its natural regime making them an ongoing environmental problem. Some big forest fires (> 500 has) also have a great socio-economical impact on human population. Our research team has experience of 20 years studying the effects of forest fires on soil properties, their recovery after fire and the impact of some post-fire management treatments. In this work we want to show our experience of how to transfer part of our knowledge to society after two catastrophic events of forest fires in the Alicante Province (E Spain). Two big forest fires: one in "Sierra de Mariola (Alcoi)" and other in "Montgó Natural Park (Javea-Denia)" occurred in in July 2012 and September 2014 respectivelly, and as consequence a great impact was produced on the populations of nearby affected villages. Immediatelly, some groups were formed through social networks with the aim of trying to help recover the affected areas as soon as possible. Usually, society calls for early reforestation and this preassure on forest managers and politicians can produce a response with a greater impact on fire-affected area than the actual fire. The soil is a fragile ecosystem after forest fire, and the situation after fire can vary greatly depending on many factors such as fire severity, previous history of fire in the area, soil type, topography, etc. An evaluation of the site to make the best decision for recovery of the area, protecting the soil and avoiding degradation of the ecosystem is necessary. In these 2 cases we organized some field activities and conferences to give society knowledge of how soil is affected by forest fires, and what would be the best post-fire management depending on how healthy the soil is and the vegetation resilience after fire and our expectations for a natural recovery. The application of different types of mulch in vulnerable areas, the

  16. Modeling soil erosion and sediment transport from fires in forested watersheds of the South Carolina Piedmont

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler Crumbley; Ge Sun; Steve McNulty

    2008-01-01

    Forested watersheds in the Southeastern U.S. provide high quality water vital to ecosystem integrity and downstream aquatic resources. Excessive sedimentation from human activities in forest streams is of concern to responsible land managers. Prescribed fire is a common treatment applied to Southeastern piedmont forests and the risk of wildfire is becoming increasingly...

  17. The effect of fire intensity on soil respiration in Siberia boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. Baker; A. V. Bogorodskaya

    2010-01-01

    Russian boreal forests have an annual wildfire activity averaging 10 to 20 million ha, which has increased in recent years. This wildfire activity, in response to changing climate has the potential to significantly affect the carbon storage capacity of Siberian forests. A better understanding of the effect of fire on soil respiration rates in the boreal forest of...

  18. Modeling soil erosion and sediment transport from fires in forested watersheds of the South Carolina Piedmont

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler Crumbley; Ge Sun; Steve McNulty

    2007-01-01

    Forested watersheds in the Southeastern U.S. provide high quality water vital to ecosystem integrity and downstream aquatic resources. Excessive sedimentation from human activities in forest streams is of concern to responsible land managers. Prescribed fire is a common treatment applied to Southeastern Piedmont forests and the risk of wildfire is becoming increasingly...

  19. The interacting effects of ungulates and fire on forest dynamics: an analysis using the model FORSPACE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kramer, K.; Groen, T.A.; Wieren, van S.E.

    2003-01-01

    The effects of interactions between the density of ungulates and forest fires on forest dynamics were studied on an area of 1188 ha called Planken Wambuis. The vegetation consists mainly of heathland and Scots pine forest but also includes oak, beech and birch, and parts of former arable land that

  20. Human Health Impacts of Forest Fires in the Southern United States: A Literature Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia T. Fowler

    2003-01-01

    Forestry management practices can shape patterns of health, illness, and disease. A primary goal for owners federal, state, andprivate forests is to crap ecosystem management plans that simultaneously optimize forest health and human health. Fire-a major forest management issue in the United States-complicates these goals. Wildfires are natural phenomena with...

  1. Mixed Conifer Forest Duff Consumption during Prescribed Fires: Tree Crown Impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hille, M.G.; Stephens, S.L.

    2005-01-01

    Fire suppression has produced large forest floor fuel loads in many coniferous forests in western North America. This study describes spatial patterns of duff consumption in a mixed-conifer forest in the north-central Sierra Nevada, California. Overstory crown coverage was correlated to spatial

  2. Long-term effects of prescribed fire on mixed conifer forest structure in the Sierra Nevada, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillip J. Van Mantgem; Nathan L. Stephenson; Eric Knapp; John Barrles; Jon E. Keeley

    2011-01-01

    The capacity of prescribed fire to restore forest conditions is often judged by changes in forest structure within a few years following burning. However, prescribed fire might have longer-term effects on forest structure, potentially changing treatment assessments. We examined annual changes in forest structure in five 1 ha old-growth plots immediately before...

  3. [Prediction model of human-caused fire occurrence in the boreal forest of northern China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Fu-tao; Su, Zhang-wen; Wang, Guang-yu; Wang, Qiang; Sun, Long; Yang, Ting-ting

    2015-07-01

    The Chinese boreal forest is an important forest resource in China. However, it has been suffering serious disturbances of forest fires, which were caused equally by natural disasters (e.g., lightning) and human activities. The literature on human-caused fires indicates that climate, topography, vegetation, and human infrastructure are significant factors that impact the occurrence and spread of human-caused fires. But the studies on human-caused fires in the boreal forest of northern China are limited and less comprehensive. This paper applied the spatial analysis tools in ArcGIS 10.0 and Logistic regression model to investigate the driving factors of human-caused fires. Our data included the geographic coordinates of human-caused fires, climate factors during year 1974-2009, topographic information, and forest map. The results indicated that distance to railway (x1) and average relative humidity (x2) significantly impacted the occurrence of human-caused fire in the study area. The logistic model for predicting the fire occurrence probability was formulated as P= 1/[11+e-(3.026-0.00011x1-0.047x2)] with an accuracy rate of 80%. The above model was used to predict the monthly fire occurrence during the fire season of 2015 based on the HADCM2 future weather data. The prediction results showed that the high risk of human-caused fire occurrence concentrated in the months of April, May, June and August, while April and May had higher risk of fire occurrence than other months. According to the spatial distribution of possibility of fire occurrence, the high fire risk zones were mainly in the west and southwest of Tahe, where the major railways were located.

  4. Climate, lightning ignitions, and fire severity in Yosemite National Park, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    James A. Lutz; Jan W. van Wagtendonk; Andrea E. Thode; Jay D. Miller; Jerry F. Franklin

    2009-01-01

    Continental-scale studies of western North America have attributed recent increases in annual area burned and fire size to a warming climate, but these studies have focused on large fires and have left the issues of fire severity and ignition frequency unaddressed. Lightning ignitions, any of which could burn a large area given appropriate conditions for fire spread,...

  5. [Forest fire division by using MODIS data based on the temporal-spatial variation law].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Cheng; He, Cheng; Gong, Yin-xi; Zhang, Si-yu; He, Teng-fei; Chen, Feng; Sun, Yu; Feng, Zhong-ke

    2013-09-01

    Forest fires are harmful to the ecological environment, which have induced global attention. In the present paper fire activities extracted from MODIS and burned areas were compared, and it was found that the wave band of 8-9 extracted from MOD14A1 was useful for fire monitoring, and the data accorded with field investigation with goodness of fit reaching up to 0. 83. Through combining this wave band and the relative data to make the time and space analysis of the forest fires for 11 years, from 2000 to 2010, the study showed that the fire occurred most frequently in the spring, the autumn took the second place, and in the summer there was almost no fire occurrence unless drought. Through the analysis of the research area, the burned areas of the coniferous forest and temperate mixed forest were 53.68% and 44%, respectively, while the grassland was only 2.32%. Da Hinggan Ling region was the main combustion area, the burned areas were 64.7% and that for Xiao Hinggan Ling was about 23.49%, while those for other areas were less than 5%. The majority of forest land of burned areas has a gentle slope (forests would make the relationship between the fire activities, climate change, topography and vegetation type clear and it is also helpful to predicting the risk level of the fire areas.

  6. Forest fires detection in Indonesia using satellite Himawari-8 (case study: Sumatera and Kalimantan on august-october 2015)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatkhuroyan; Wati, Trinah; Panjaitan, Andersen

    2017-01-01

    Forest fires in Indonesia are serious problem affecting widely in material losses, health and environment. Himawari-8 as one of meteorological satellites with high resolution 0,5 km x 0,5 km can be used for forest fire monitoring and detection. Combination between 3, 4 and 6 channels using Sataid (Satellite Animation and Interactive Diagnosis) software will visualize forest fire in the study site. Monitoring which used Himawari-8 data on August, September and October 2015 can detect the distribution of smoke and the extents of forest fire in Sumatera and Kalimantan. The result showed the extent of forest fire can be identified for anticipation in the next step.

  7. Strategy for increasing the participation of masyarakat peduli api in forest fire control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni’mah, N. L. K.; Herdiansyah, H.; Soesilo, T. E. B.; Mutia, E. F.

    2018-03-01

    Forest fires have negative impact on ecology, health, and damage economic activities. One of conservation areas facing the threat of forest fire is Gunung Ciremai National Park. This research aims to formulate a strategy to increase the participation of Masyarakat Peduli Api in the effort of forest fire control. This research use quantitative method with SWOT analysis. Expert consisting of representatives from the national park, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and BPBD Kuningan Regency. An alternative strategy based on SWOT analysis is in quadrant 1 with coordinate point (0,39; 1,23). The position shows that sustainability of national park management through forest fire control can be done with an aggressive strategy. That is maximizing the strength that is owned with its potential as an ecotourism area to increase community motivation to engage in forest fire control activities. Provision of tourism management licenses will create employment opportunities and increase income for the community so it is expected to increase community participation to prevent the occurrence of forest fires rather than forest fire prevention.

  8. Natural forest fires and controlled burning - a study of the literature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoernsten, L.; Nohlgren, E.; Aldentun, Y.

    1995-01-01

    A study of the literature was made to elucidate the history of forest fires in Sweden. Both the frequency of natural forest fires and the extent of controlled burning as a forest-management technique were examined. The literature revealed that natural forest fires occurred every 40 to 160 years, depending on the type of site and the climatic conditions. Natural forest fires are an unusual occurrence nowadays, mainly thanks to effective fire-fighting methods but also because of the reduction in the quantity of combustible materials left in the stands in modern forestry practice. The report describes the factors influencing the occurrence and frequency of forest fires and the impact these have on flora and fauna. Controlled burning has a long history of use as a method of site preparation prior to natural regeneration. Peak usage of the method occurred in the 1950s and 1960s, since when it has steadily declined. An account is given of the methods used for controlled burning. In parallel with the study, we conducted a questionnaire survey among forest enterprises to identify current interest in controlled burning. The techniques used and the costs involved are discussed. In addition to Sweden, we also looked at controlled burning in Canada, Finland and the USA. Finland is closest to Sweden when it comes to the history of controlled burning and the current interest in fire for conservation purposes. 103 refs, 18 figs

  9. Volatile organic compounds composition of merged and aged forest fire plumes from Alaska and western Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gouw, J. A.; Warneke, C.; Stohl, A.; Wollny, A. G.; Brock, C. A.; Cooper, O. R.; Holloway, J. S.; Trainer, M.; Fehsenfeld, F. C.; Atlas, E. L.; Donnelly, S. G.; Stroud, V.; Lueb, A.

    2006-05-01

    The NOAA WP-3 aircraft intercepted aged forest fire plumes from Alaska and western Canada during several flights of the NEAQS-ITCT 2k4 mission in 2004. Measurements of acetonitrile (CH3CN) indicated that the air masses had been influenced by biomass burning. The locations of the plume intercepts were well described using emissions estimates and calculations with the transport model FLEXPART. The best description of the data was generally obtained when FLEXPART injected the forest fire emissions to high altitudes in the model. The observed plumes were generally drier than the surrounding air masses at the same altitude, suggesting that the fire plumes had been processed by clouds and that moisture had been removed by precipitation. Different degrees of photochemical processing of the plumes were determined from the measurements of aromatic VOCs. The removal of aromatic VOCs was slow considering the transport times estimated from the FLEXPART model. This suggests that the average OH levels were low during the transport, which may be explained by the low humidity and high concentrations of carbon monoxide and other pollutants. In contrast with previous work, no strong secondary production of acetone, methanol and acetic acid is inferred from the measurements. A clear case of removal of submicron particle volume and acetic acid due to precipitation scavenging was observed.

  10. Using an agent-based model to examine forest management outcomes in a fire-prone landscape in Oregon, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A. Spies

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Fire-prone landscapes present many challenges for both managers and policy makers in developing adaptive behaviors and institutions. We used a coupled human and natural systems framework and an agent-based landscape model to examine how alternative management scenarios affect fire and ecosystem services metrics in a fire-prone multiownership landscape in the eastern Cascades of Oregon. Our model incorporated existing models of vegetation succession and fire spread and information from original empirical studies of landowner decision making. Our findings indicate that alternative management strategies can have variable effects on landscape outcomes over 50 years for fire, socioeconomic, and ecosystem services metrics. For example, scenarios with federal restoration treatments had slightly less high-severity fire than a scenario without treatment; exposure of homes in the wildland-urban interface to fire was also slightly less with restoration treatments compared to no management. Treatments appeared to be more effective at reducing high-severity fire in years with more fire than in years with less fire. Under the current management scenario, timber production could be maintained for at least 50 years on federal lands. Under an accelerated restoration scenario, timber production fell because of a shortage of areas meeting current stand structure treatment targets. Trade-offs between restoration outcomes (e.g., open forests with large fire-resistant trees and habitat for species that require dense older forests were evident. For example, the proportional area of nesting habitat for northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis was somewhat less after 50 years under the restoration scenarios than under no management. However, the amount of resilient older forest structure and habitat for white-headed woodpecker (Leuconotopicus albolarvatus was higher after 50 years under active management. More carbon was stored on this landscape without management than

  11. Does prescribed fire promote resistance to drought in low elevation forests of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Das, Adrian J.

    2016-01-01

    Prescribed fire is a primary tool used to restore western forests following more than a century of fire exclusion, reducing fire hazard by removing dead and live fuels (small trees and shrubs).  It is commonly assumed that the reduced forest density following prescribed fire also reduces competition for resources among the remaining trees, so that the remaining trees are more resistant (more likely to survive) in the face of additional stressors, such as drought.  Yet this proposition remains largely untested, so that managers do not have the basic information to evaluate whether prescribed fire may help forests adapt to a future of more frequent and severe drought.During the third year of drought, in 2014, we surveyed 9950 trees in 38 burned and 18 unburned mixed conifer forest plots at low elevation (accounting for differences in individual tree diameter, common conifer species found in the burned plots had significantly reduced probability of mortality compared to unburned plots during the drought.  Stand density (stems ha-1) was significantly lower in burned versus unburned sites, supporting the idea that reduced competition may be responsible for the differential drought mortality response.  At the time of writing, we are not sure if burned stands will maintain lower tree mortality probabilities in the face of the continued, severe drought of 2015.  Future work should aim to better identify drought response mechanisms and how these may vary across other forest types and regions, particularly in other areas experiencing severe drought in the Sierra Nevada and on the Colorado Plateau.

  12. Linking tree demography to climate change feedbacks: fire, larch forests, and carbon pools of the Siberian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, H. D.; Loranty, M. M.; Natali, S.; Pena, H., III; Ludwig, S.; Spektor, V.; Davydov, S. P.; Zimov, N.; Mack, M. C.

    2017-12-01

    Fire severity is increasing in larch forests of the Siberian Arctic as climate warms, and initial fire impacts on tree demographic processes could be an especially important determinant of long-term forest structure and carbon (C) dynamics. We hypothesized that (1) larch forest regrowth post-fire is largely determined by residual soil organic layer (SOL) depth because of the SOL's role as a seedbed and thermal regulator, and (2) changes in post-fire larch recruitment impact C accumulation through stand density impacts on understory microclimate and permafrost thaw. We tested these hypotheses by (1) experimentally creating a soil burn severity gradient in a Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi Mayr.) forest near Cherskiy, Russia and (2) quantifying C pools across a stand density gradient within a 75-year old fire scar. From 2012-2015, we added larch seeds to plots burned at different severities and monitored recruitment along with permafrost and active layer (i.e., subject to annual freeze-thaw) conditions (SOL depth, temperature, moisture, and thaw depth). Across the density gradient, we inventoried larch trees and harvested ground-layer vegetation to estimate aboveground contribution to C pools. We quantified woody debris C pools and sampled belowground C pools (soil, fine roots, and coarse roots) in the organic + upper (0-10 cm) mineral soil. Larch recruits were rare in unburned and low severity plots, but a total of 6 new germinants m-2 were tallied in moderate and high severity plots during the study. Seedling survival for > 1 year was only 40 and 25% on moderate and high severity treatments, respectively, but yielded net larch recruitment of 2 seedlings m-2, compared to 0.3 seedlings m-2 on low severity plots. Density of both total and established recruits increased with decreasing residual SOL depth, which correlated with increased soil temperature, moisture, and thaw depth. At 75-year post-fire, total C pools increased with increased larch density, largely due to

  13. A Mega-fire event in Central Russia: fire weather, radiative, and optical properties of the atmosphere, and consequences for subboreal forest plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nataly Y. Chubarova; Nickolay G. Prilepsky; Alexei N. Rublev; Allen R. Riebau

    2009-01-01

    In 2002, a major drought and prolonged high temperatures occurred in central Russia that resulted in unprecedented wildland fires. These fires occurred under extreme fire danger conditions and were impossible for the Russian authorities to extinguish. It is perhaps somewhat unique that the fires were first burning peat bogs and later forests, causing very massive smoke...

  14. Animals as Mobile Biological Sensors for Forest Fire Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasar Guneri Sahin

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a mobile biological sensor system that can assist in earlydetection of forest fires one of the most dreaded natural disasters on the earth. The main ideapresented in this paper is to utilize animals with sensors as Mobile Biological Sensors(MBS. The devices used in this system are animals which are native animals living inforests, sensors (thermo and radiation sensors with GPS features that measure thetemperature and transmit the location of the MBS, access points for wireless communicationand a central computer system which classifies of animal actions. The system offers twodifferent methods, firstly: access points continuously receive data about animals’ locationusing GPS at certain time intervals and the gathered data is then classified and checked tosee if there is a sudden movement (panic of the animal groups: this method is called animalbehavior classification (ABC. The second method can be defined as thermal detection(TD: the access points get the temperature values from the MBS devices and send the datato a central computer to check for instant changes in the temperatures. This system may beused for many purposes other than fire detection, namely animal tracking, poachingprevention and detecting instantaneous animal death.

  15. Disentangling Modern Fire-Climate-Vegetation Relationships across the Boreal Forest Biome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, A. M.; Boschetti, L.; Duffy, P.; Hu, F.; Higuera, P.

    2015-12-01

    Fire regimes differ between Eurasian and North American boreal forests, due in part to differences in climate and the dominant forest types. While North American boreal forests are dominated by stand-replacing fires, much of the Eurasian boreal forest is characterized by lower intensity surface fires. These different fire regimes have important consequences for continental-scale biogeochemical cycling and surface-energy fluxes1. Here, we use generalized linear models (GLM) and boosted regression trees (BRT) to explore the relative importance of vegetation, annual climatic factors, and their interactions in determining annual fire occurrence across Eurasian and North American boreal forests. We use remotely sensed burned area (MCD64A1), land cover (MCD12Q1), and observed climate data (CRU) from 2002-2012 at 0.25° spatial resolution to quantify these relationships at annual temporal scales and continental spatial scales. The spatial distribution of boreal fire occurrence was well explained with climate and vegetation variables, with similarities and differences in fire-climate-vegetation relationships between Eurasia and North America. For example, while GLMs indicate vegetation is a significant factor determining fire occurrence in both continents, the effect of climate differed. Spring temperature and precipitation are significant factors explaining fire occurrence in Eurasia, but no climate variables were significant for explaining fire occurrence in North America. BRTs complement this analysis, highlighting climatic thresholds to fire occurrence in both continents. The nature of these thresholds can vary among vegetation types, even within each continent, further implying regional sensitivity to climate-induced shifts in wildfire activity. To build on these results and better understand regional sensitivity of northern-high latitude fire regimes, future work will explore these relationships in forest-tundra and arctic tundra ecosystems, and apply historical

  16. Increasing microbial diversity and nitrogen cycling potential of burnt forest soil in Spain through post-fire management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereg, Lily; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; McMillan, Mary; García-Orenes, Fuensanta

    2016-04-01

    Microbial diversity and function in soils are increasingly assessed by the application of molecular methods such as sequencing and PCR technology. We applied these techniques to study microbial recovery in post-fire f