New Directions for Fire Ecology Research

Fire is a complicated process that affects forests in diverse ways. Current methods for predicting fire effects on forests still largely rely on past observations rather than a deep understanding of how fire interacts with a forest environment. In order to more fully understand fire’s effect on an ecosystem, wildland fire must be viewed as…  More 

Predicting Fire Behavior with New 3D Fuel Models

Land managers have a new tool in their firefighting arsenals that models forest fuels in three dimensions. These 3D fuel models developed by the USDA Forest Service have the potential to make firefighting and the management of controlled burns safer and less costly while helping to protect valuable natural resources. The 3D fuels modeling technique…  More 

Weather Conditions Inform Timing of Prescribed Fire

Prescribed fires generate smoke, which can harm human health – especially in areas where humans and forests are close together. “Weather conditions are critical for prescribed fire, especially the effects of wind and humidity on smoke plume formation,” says Yongqiang Liu, USDA Forest Service research meteorologist. Liu is the lead author of a modeling study…  More 

The Guide to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems

Prescribed burning is FIRE “applied in a skillful manner, under exacting weather conditions, in a definite place, to achieve specific results.” Printed on the inside cover of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems, the sentence sets the tone for the revised guide developed by U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists Tom…  More 

Guide to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems

Prescribed burning is FIRE “applied in a skillful manner, under exacting weather conditions, in a definite place, to achieve specific results.” Printed on the inside cover of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems, the sentence sets the tone for the revised guide developed by U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists Tom Waldrop…  More 

Cigarettes are Causing Fewer Wildfires, but Why?

  The number of wildfires caused by cigarettes has fallen drastically. “Since 1980, smoking-caused wildfires fell by 90 percent,” says U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientist Jeffrey Prestemon. “Until recently, little has been known about why, and other causes of wildfire have not experienced this level of decline.” Prestemon, project leader of the…  More 

Rabbit Rules for Prescribed Burns

Forest Service scientists with the Southern Research Station (SRS) Center for Forest Disturbance Science  (CFDS) recently tested Rabbit Rules, a simplified model they developed that can be used to quickly calculate fire and smoke behavior from prescribed burns. The impacts of smoke on air quality are particularly important in the South, where managers use prescribed…  More 

Refining Fire Behavior Modeling

Assessing Wildland Fuels and Hazard Mitigation Treatments in the Southeast Research by Southern Research Station biometrician Bernie Parresol takes center stage in a special issue of the journal Forest Ecology and Management due out in June in print. Parresol is lead author of two of the five articles—and co-author of two more—in an issue that focuses on…  More