Presented by Peter Bieniek
Wildfire in Interior Alaska is a key natural driver of the landscape and can be a hazard at the wildland-urban interface. Years with extreme wildfire activity in Alaska have increased in frequency in recent decades and are projected to continue to increase under climate change. Fire danger estimates and lightning-ignition risk derived from existing seasonal forecast models are being assessed to see if they can effectively inform fire management decisions. Work is also underway to evaluate the current suite of fire weather indices to determine if indices used in the CONUS and the research community might be adopted in the unique Alaska landscape. Finally, the role of long-term climate variability and change in Alaska fire danger is being further examined. It is the goal of these projects to provide Alaska fire managers with guidance from the next season to the next 80+ years.