Funded Research Projects: FOREST ECOLOGY

Solutions to Current and Future Wildfires: Physical and Ecological Models for Fire, Fuels, and Smoke in Ecosystems and the Wildland Urban Interface

Research Sponsored By: US Forest Service
Principal Investigator: Ernesto Alvarado
Project Description
This Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with the USFS PNW Research Station will generate science-based information, strategies and tools for current and future fire management needs in public, tribal lands, and the wildland urban interface. This joint research is aimed to promote attainment of desired future ecosystem conditions and ensure the long-term integrity of ecosystems under a changing climate scenario, reduce air quality impacts and carbon emissions, and contribute to carbon management; enhance restoration of healthy, resilient, fire-adapted ecosystems through evaluation of integrated fire/fuel management practices; and to develop WUI hazard reduction guidelines to prevent home losses from WUI fires across the United States. Specific objectives of this JVA are:

• To develop a methodology for creating and mapping dynamic fuel models across multiple ecosystems the United States that will improve estimation of fuel consumption and smoke and greenhouse gases from wildland fires.

• To study the relation between severity patchiness and fuel consumption components with climate and topography on alpine ecotones.

• To model FCCS fuelbed pathways to model fire hazard across landscapes in federal, tribal and military installation lands for fire hazard mitigation and improving fuel consumption and emissions from wildfires and prescribed burns.

• To integrate high-resolution information of fuelbeds, winds, and topography into physics-based fire and ecological models for developing a new exposure scale for the wildland-urban-interface. This component of the JVA will assist managers to improve mitigation of structural damage, smoke effects, and socioeconomic effects in fire-prone areas.