Print Friendly and PDF

Advanced Search Results Detail

Project ID: 05-2-1-101

Year: 2005

Date Started: 05/11/2005

Date Completed: 05/29/2008

Title: Predicting Burn Severity in the Gila Wilderness, New Mexico: Meeting Local Need for Assessing the Potential Impact of Fire on Fish and Streams

Project Proposal Abstract: This research will investigate the broad-scale factors associated with burn severity in the Gila Wilderness, NM. This directly addresses JFSP Task 2-1 (AFP 2005-2) since this is an important local need identified by the Gila National Forest and the Nature Conservancy. Changes in vegetation structure and fuel loading have increased the risks associated with burning. A key question in fire science remains where and under what conditions fires are likely to burn severely. Concerns about the potential impacts of recent, large (49,000 ha) Wildland Fire Use fires in the Gila Wilderness on critical threatened and endangered Gila trout and Gila chub populations, which are now restricted to small, geographically isolated streams in the wilderness, have raised questions about the long-term future of one of the most active and long-term Wildland Fire Use programs in the US. Successful management of Wildland Fire Use programs while protecting critical resources in the Gila Wilderness and elsewhere requires a better understanding of the landscape and vegetation characteristics that are associated with burn severity. We propose two research tasks to address this question. Task 1- Using pre and post-fire high-resolution satellite imagery and ground measures of burn severity, we will address the following questions: 1) how do factors like pre-fire vegetation structure, landscape and topographic position influence the occurrence of high burn severity? 2) How well can comparison of pre and post-fire high-resolution images map burn severity, compared to dNBR and ground measures of severity? 3) how do post-fire effects such as vegetation damage and tree mortality vary with prior treatments? Task 2- Using Landsat satellite imagery, we will build an historical burn severity atlas with which we will assess relationships between landscape factors (slope, aspect, elevation, vegetation type, prior fire history) and burn severity. Previous funding from the Joint Fire Sciences Program (JFSP 01-1-1-06) has been used to acquire high-resolution (Quickbird) satellite imagery and collect field data. We request additional funding to purchase Landsat imagery, analyze burn severity data and produce risk assessment maps for the areas of the Gila NF encompassing fish populations and streams of concern. Carl Key and Nate Benson will use CBI burn severity data we collect in the field in their ongoing investigation into burn severity (JFSP 01-1-04-12) Field data will also be used by the Gila NF to develop Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) layers for the Gila National Forest. This project is linked with three closely related JFSP projects.

Principal Investigator: Matthew G. Rollins

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: WO-Research & Development

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Zack A. Holden

University of Idaho

Department of Forest Resources

Co-Principal Investigator

Penny Morgan

University of Idaho

Department of Forest Resources

Federal Cooperator

Matthew G. Rollins

Forest Service

WO-Research & Development

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network




Great Basin

Great Plains

Lake States

Oak Woodlands

Northern Rockies




Southern Rockies



There are no project locations identified for this project.

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.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   66 Ph.D. Dissertation Twenty Year (1984-2004) Temporal and Spatial Burn Severity Patterns Inferred from Satellite Imagery in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico--Zachary Alan Holden
view or print   957 Government Publication Evaluating Risks and Opportunities for Gila Trout Management in the Gila National Forest
view or print   2687 Journal Article Geophysical Research Letters
view or print   2688 Journal Article International Journal of Wildland Fire
    2795 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Climate Drivers of Fire Extent and Severity
    5707 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Twenty-Five Year Temporal and Spatial Burn Severity Patterns in the Gila Wilderness, New Mexico

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

view or print


Convert PDF documents to an html document using Adobe's online conversion tool.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader