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Project ID: 14-1-02-21

Year: 2014

Date Started: 08/01/2014

Ending Date:  07/31/2017

Title: Wildfire effects on subsequent wildfire ignition, severity, and management in the Southwest: applying massive data sets to address management questions

Project Proposal Abstract: Do wildfires act as fuel treatments by affecting subsequent wildfire behavior and management options? We propose to track the fate of wildfires that start inside and outside of previous wildfire perimeters and compare the results. Our objectives are to: 1) determine how different characteristics of past fires influence patterns of subsequent size, 2) determine to what degree past wildfires have resulted in conditions that can be considered effective fuel treatments, measured by subsequent fire severity, and 3) determine how past wildfires influence opportunities for different management strategies for subsequent wildfires, measured by subsequent fire flame length, rate of spread, and number of units responding. This is important information for managers because the fuel changes caused by past wildfires may result in smaller subsequent fires, lower (or higher) severity in subsequent fires, and more options for managing a subsequent fire start. Data will be obtained from multiple sources, including the National Fire and Aviation Management FAMWEB website, the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) website, and the LANDFIRE website. By mining a massive data set of thousands of wildfires from both FAMWEB and MTBS in our analysis, we will provide a robust evaluation of factors that allow wildfires to meet ecological and fire behavior objectives. We will draw on data for past fire size and age, past fire severity, and fuel type, as well as subsequent fire starts, size, severity, and management outcomes. We will include fires since 1984 from all forests in Region 3 (Southwest) to cover a wide range of land cover, including forests, grasslands, and chaparral. The broad scale of the analysis will allow findings to be applicable across the region and in similar ecosystems West-wide. The project team includes fire ecologists and managers, which will ensure that the project results in scientifically valuable information that is also useful for fire professionals.

Principal Investigator: Larissa L. Yocom

Agency/Organization: Northern Arizona University

Branch or Dept: School of Forestry

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Wilma G. Ennenga

Northern Arizona University

Office of Grant & Contract Service

Budget Contact

Cindy L. Judge

Northern Arizona University

Office of Grant & Contract Service

Co-Principal Investigator

Peter Z. Fule

Northern Arizona University

School of Forestry

Co-Principal Investigator

Wsley A. Hall

Forest Service

Coconino National Forest

Co-Principal Investigator

Jose M. Iniguez

Forest Service

RMRS-Southwest Forest Science Complex

Co-Principal Investigator

Mary E. Lata

Forest Service

Coconino National Forest

Co-Principal Investigator

Andrea E. Thode

Northern Arizona University

School of Forestry


Tessa Nicolet

Forest Service

Region 3-Southwestern Region

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network







Interior West


Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

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