Beyond wildfire: perspectives of climate, managed fire and policy in the USA
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Crystal A. Kolden; Tim J. Brown
Publication Year: 2010

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • climatology
  • drought
  • ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation
  • escaped prescribed fires
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire weather
  • NFP - National Fire Plan
  • wildfires
  • wildland fire use
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 8487
Tall Timbers Record Number: 24986
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals - I
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Climate-wildfire relationships have been widely addressed by the scientific community over the last two decades; however, the role of climate in managed fire in the US (i.e. prescribed fire and wildland fire use) has not yet been addressed. We hypothesised that if climate is an important component of managed fire, the fire community would already be aware of this and using climate information in order to mitigate risks associated with managed fires. We conducted 223 surveys with fire managers to ascertain how climate information is utilised in managed-fire decision-making. We found that wildland fire use managers consider climate to be an important aspect of managed fire and use various types of climate information, but prescribed-fire managers do not generally consider climate or use climate information in their planning activities. Survey responses also indicate a lack of agency training on climate information and decision-support tools. This is partly attributed to obstacles in US fire policy that inhibit widespread utilisation of climate information. We suggest these results are indicative of a broader conflict in US wildfire policy, which does not directly address climate despite two decades of scientific research showing climate plays a key role in wildfire regimes.

Online Link(s):
Kolden, Crystal A.; Brown, Timothy J. 2010. Beyond wildfire: perspectives of climate, managed fire and policy in the USA. International Journal of Wildland Fire 19(3):364-373.