Climate Variability and Associated Wildfire Implications
Principal Investigator(s):
Co-Principal Investigator(s):
  • Ronald E. Masters
    Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy
  • Joseph P. Ferguson
Completion Date: November 20, 2003

Cataloging Information

JFSP Project Number(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 13, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 1138


In order to keep our focus and avoid unnecessary mission creep that could ultimately prevent us from achieving our objectives, we plan to invite specific personnel and agencies to this work shop. Our plan is to place three focal points at the workshop to represent the climatology/oceanography, fire research, and land management communities. These individuals would work to synthesize the latest work that has been done in their respective fields related to the general topic of the workshop. Then the workshop will break into individual assigned sessions to work through a facilitated process of determining: 1. What the fire management questions are that need to be answered related to climate, 2. What the needs are to supply those answers, 3. What tools are available to fill those needs once they are identified. We believe that this workshop will serve many purposes beyond the production of a set of published deliverables. Our primary concern here is to assist these three communities in identiying the existence of valuable information that they may not, until now been made aware of to assist in their day-to-day management strategies, Florida has had the benefit of the assistance of some of the national leaders in this field. However, we believe that there are still many factors concerning the relationship of climate and wildland fire that we do not know anything about, and are more than willing to explore. The Florida Climate Center, and the Florida Division of Forestry will be the primary organizers of this conference. The importance of this work in light of information concerning climate change and the significant fire seasons both in the Southeast and nationally over the past 20 years point to an urgent need to manage our lands wisely. Stephen Pyne recently wrote "Fire's exclusion did not alone cause the current debacle, and fire's reinstatement will not, unaided, cure it. Fire is a catalyst; it synthesizes whatever surrounds it; it takes its character from its context. Flame is not ecological pixie dust that will magically transform the awful and ugly into the good and the beautiful, Messed-up forests will only yield messed-up fires. We'll have to fashion a suitable habitat for the fire regimes we desire. We'll have to weed the woods. Even so, it's not the trees that matter; it's the grass. We've a lot to do." We believe that climate has played and will continue to play a major role in our ability to manage these lands wisely. We need to anticipate and plan for the seasons that will allow more prescribed fire so that when the serious droughts occur, we are in a much better position to manage the wildfires that threaten life and property in the urban interface. As Steve said, we have a lot to do and it is time we moved from conferences to workshops. It is our goal to produce a product/deliverable to assist private and public land managers in their long and short range planning process. After much consideration and debate we have produced a budget for this project that we believe will minimize the workshop registration fee and the impact on those agencies we are asking to assist in sponsoring the event. This proposal to the Joint Fire Sciences Program is requesting $15,000.00 in support of this project.