Tundra Fire Effects Studies

Tundra Fire Effects Studies

Featured case studies on the effects of fire in Alaska Tundra from partners and cooperators. Wildfires occur less frequently in tundra areas of Alaska than in boreal forest, but the rapid climate warming and longer fire seasons we are now seeing are bringing more fire weather to tundra areas--not only in Western Alaska but also on the North Slope of Alaska--where they have been previously very rare. Tundra fire effects are sometimes not as obvious as forest fire effects, and most tundra plant species recover quickly after fire, yet, on some fires, impacts due to induction of soil warming, thermokarst and shifts induced in plant community make-up have the potential to transform the landscape.

Fuel Treatment Effectiveness in Alaska

The Evaluating the Effectiveness of Fuel Treatments in Alaska project was funded by the Joint Fire Science Program (Project 14-5-01-27). The project was designed to assess the effectiveness of maturing treatment projects in terms of previously defined risk reduction and fire behavior objectives in order to better understand the contribution of fuel treatments to the broader economics of wildfire management in Alaska.

Read the final report

Nenana Ridge Project

The Nenana Ridge Experimental Fuels Treatment Research Project was funded by the Joint Fire Science Program. The project was designed to quantify the effects of fuels reduction treatments on fire behavior and post-fire vegetation dynamics in Alaska black spruce forests.

Scientists, engineers and foresters from the USFS RMRS Fire, Fuels and Smoke Science Program worked closely with scientists from the USFS Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the BLM Alaska Fire Service and local land managers to measure the effect of different treatments on fire behavior.

Alaska Boreal Fire History Project

The Alaska Boreal Fire History compiles and synthesizes existing Alaska boreal forest fire history literature and datasets. This includes a literature review and synthesis of publications related to fire regimes in boreal forests in Alaska (the pending general technical report "Fire Regimes of the Alaskan Boreal Forest"), and incorporation of the reference information into the Alaska Reference Database.

Fourteen existing published and unpublished fire history (or stand age) datasets were compiled (and as necessary, processed) into the standardized Alaska Fire History Database, and data summarized by plot are available through a dynamic map interface (within the Alaska Fire and Fuels Research Map).

Applying the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) to Alaskan Ecosystems

The Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) has been used in Alaska since 1992. The CFFDRS is comprised of two major subsystems: the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System and the Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) System.

The Art of Fire

In a Time of Change: The Art of Fire is a visual art project designed generate excitement, facilitate mutual understanding and promote meaningful dialogue on issues related to fire science and society. The interaction between artists, fire managers and scientists can promote understanding and awareness of the scientific basis behind fire management practices in the context of Alaska's changing ecosystems.