Refinement and Development of Fire Management Decision Support Models Through Field Assessment of Relationships Between Stand Characteristics, Fire Behavior and Burn Severity
Principal Investigator(s):
Co-Principal Investigator(s):
  • Philip N. Omi
    Colorado State University
Completion Date: September 14, 2007

Cataloging Information

  • black spruce
  • boreal forest
  • burn severity
  • model evaluation
  • Picea mariana
  • stand characteristics
JFSP Project Number(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: April 11, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 15742


The Alaska Interagency Fire Management Plan promulgates policy objectives that recognize the ecological importance of perpetuating natural fire regimes. The same policy also directs land managers to balance the protection of ecological principles with appropriate risk management to protect anthropogenic values susceptible to fire. Fire management in Alaska needs the ability to predict fire behavior and to understand successional trends of fuel characteristics in relation to flammability in order to achieve policy objectives. This research aims to improve these two knowledge gaps that exist in Alaska (AFP 2004-2 Task #1 with linkages to AFP-2004-1 Task #1). The first objective of this research is to develop a flammability curve model for black spruce boreal forest types using currently available datasets of seral stage stand characteristics and appropriate fuel attributes followed by testing this curve with data collected from wildfire and prescribed fire events. This process will serve land management agencies well in creating long-term natural resource management plans that balance ecological and social needs by providing a faster, reliable method of defining fuel hazards at a landscape scale. The second objective of this research is to assess two black spruce fuel type fuel model inputs for decision support models widely used in Alaska through direct field measurements of fire behavior. This objective will add an additional degree of confidence to the application of these models and any discrepancies between actual fire behavior and model predictions will be used to recommend specific changes to improve the model's application in the Alaskan black spruce boreal forest type. Data obtained from fire events are unique and will have broader potential applications for improving a host of forest simulation models used for boreal forests. This project will realize significant cost savings by merging data collection efforts with Roger Ottmar's current JFSP project (AFP 2003-2 Task #1). Products will be distributed through web page dissemination, published materials and workshops with Alaska fire and land managers.