Evaluation of Past-Fire Mosaics on Subsequent Wildfire Behavior, Severity and Management Strategies
Principal Investigator(s):
Co-Principal Investigator(s):
  • Robert W. Gray
    Gray Consulting, Ltd.
  • Richy J. Harrod
    US Forest Service, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
  • Penelope Morgan
    University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Department of Forest Resources
  • Roger D. Ottmar
    US Forest Service, Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory
Completion Date: October 1, 2018

Cataloging Information

  • fire management
  • fire severity
  • fire spread
  • fuel treatments
  • high severity fire
  • WFDSS - Wildland Fire Decision Support System
JFSP Project Number(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 20, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 56749


Our study will evaluate the influence of past wildfires on subsequent fire behavior, fire severity, and management responses within three study areas, located across the inland Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies. The focus will be on high-severity fire regimes in montane, forested landscapes because wildfires in these systems are typically the most difficult and costly to control. Using past wildfires to manage subsequent wildfires may be one of the most promising approaches to future wildfire management in these systems. We will use a combination of burn severity analysis of reburn areas of past wildfires and simulation analysis informed by field data to evaluate the effectiveness of past wildfires as landscape fuel treatments and their potential role in wildland fire management operations. We will directly involve wildland fire managers in project design and implementation, and through collaborations with managers provide a quantitative examination of the role of past wildfires on subsequent fire management operations under a range of climatic conditions. Our deliverables will include an analysis of fire spread and severity in recent reburns of landscape burn scars, simulations of predicted fire spread across landscapes, sample fire management strategies, and examples of strategic responses developed in the Wildland Fire Decision Support System that incorporate landscape mosaics created by past wildfires. Data layers will be archived and made available as sample datasets and training modules for fire management courses. We will conduct three manager workshops and present results at scientific meetings and regional webinars through the Northwest Fire Science Consortium and Northern Rockies Fire Science Network.