Global wildland fire season severity in the 21st century: A 1-page research brief summarizes a recently published article by Canadian fire scientist Mike Flannigan of the University of Alberta. Dr. Flannigan is well-known in Alaska fire management circles due to his contributions to boreal forest wildfire studies and the Canadian large fire database. This 2013 article describes the use of component indices of the Canadian Fuels Danger Rating System to forecast future changes in fire season severity world-wide.
Is Alaska’s Boreal Forest Now Crossing a Major Ecological Threshold?: Read up on what Alaskan forest and climate research has found out about the influence of warming climate on boreal forests in the Interior! Here’s a new 2-page Research Brief that digests one of the more significant papers on forest and climate change. The authors– Dan Mann, Scott Rupp, Mark Olson and Paul Duffy– are well-known to Alaska fire managers. This is a good basis to our upcoming focus on multi-faceted influences of dynamic climate on fire regime, forests, and fire management in Alaska in 2014!
For his MS Thesis, Winslow Hansen explored the social and ecological implications of changing boreal forest natural disturbance regimes. He analyzed how the occurrence of spruce bark beetle outbreak has altered the probability of subsequent wildfire activity between 2001 and 2009 on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska as well as the economic impact of fire and insect disturbances to private property values.
In late April 2013, scientists from universities in Alaska, Florida, and Saskatchewan met with fire managers and resource specialists to share early results from a study called Identifying Indicators of State Change and Forecasting Future Vulnerability in Alaskan Boreal Ecosystems. This project, funded by the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), looks at military training lands in interior boreal forest ecosystems and surroundings. The objectives are to 1) determine linkages among climate, fire, soils, permafrost, and vegetation succession; 2) test field-based measurements indicating boreal ecosystem vulnerability to state change; and 3) forecast landscape change in response to projected changes in climate, fire regime, and fire management.
Summary of the latest findings on predicted vs. observed climate trends across the US were presented at a Webinar hosted by ACCAP and the National Climate Assessment Team–Alaska Chapter on March 6, 2013. Presenters were Dr. John Walsh, a well-known weather and climate scientist from UAF, and Dr. Sarah Trainor, Director of ACCAP.
Summary of the Alaska Fire and Fuels Research Map, which provides online site-level information and locations for fire and fuels-related studies through a map interface. Funding for the initial development was provided by the Joint Fire Science Program and it is hosted through Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.
Dr. Carissa Brown, Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Sherbrooke, will be joining us for a webinar on February 23, 2012 (11:00 am to noon AKST) entitled “Once burned, twice shy: Repeat fires result in black spruce regeneration failure.” Dr. Brown is currently studying plant species and communities at the edge of their range, focusing on the direct and indirect effects of climate change on species distribution at northern latitudes. Most recently, her work has focused on the responses to altered fire frequency at the northern margin of the boreal forest, particularly in black spruce forests.
This document summarizes the 2011 AFSC workshop. Topics discussed included boreal fire history datasets in Alaska, fire return intervals in boreal forests, the Probabilistic Fire Analysis System (PFAS), the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy, impacts of changing tundra fire regimes on caribou and moose, Alaskan early season forecasting tool, and state change and vulnerability in Alaska boreal forests.
This document summarizes the 2010 AFSC workshop. Topics included the Tanacross Shaded Fuel Break project, the Nenana Ridge Experimental Fuels Treatment project, climate change in Alaska, fire mapping methods using SAR, and potential research needs in Alaska and the method of science delivery.
The Nenana Ridge Experimental Fuels Treatment Research Project was funded by the Joint Fire Science Program. The project was designed to quantify the effects of fuels reduction treatments on fire behavior and post-fire vegetation dynamics in Alaska black spruce forests. Scientists, engineers and foresters from RMRS Fire Fuels and Smoke program worked closely with scientists from PNW station, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Alaska Fire Service and local land managers to measure the effect of different treatments on fire behavior.