The Reburn Project was motivated by a need to better understand wildfires as a type of fuel reduction treatment and to assess the impacts of fire suppression on forested landscapes. The original JFSP task statement (Influence of past wildfires on wildfire behavior, effects, and management) was created to inform the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy and to address how past wildfires influence subsequent wildfire spread and severity as well as to evaluate how past wildfires may support different fire management strategies. Our study focused on three study areas, located in the inland Pacific Northwest, central Idaho and interior British Columbia. Each study area was centered on a recent, large wildfire event in montane, forested landscapes.We first evaluated fire-on-fire interactions between past wildfires and subsequent large fire events (see Stevens-Rumann et al. 2016). Next, we created a landscape fire simulation tool that allowed us to explore the impact of fire management on the patterns of forest vegetation and fuels across landscapes. To do this, we created an iterative tool that uses historical ignition and weather data to evaluate potential burn mosaics compared to actual pre-wildfire landscapes under different wildfire management strategies.
Project website: https://depts.washington.edu/nwfire/reburn
Presenter: Susan Prichard, Research Scientist with the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington