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Project ID: 01-1-6-01

Year: 2001

Date Started: 09/19/2001

Date Completed: 01/03/2005

Title: Fire and Climate Variability in the Inland Pacific Northwest Integrating Science and Management

Project Proposal Abstract: In order to manage fire regimes based on scientific information, it is critical to quantify the spatial and temporal variation in historical fire regimes, link this variation to climatic variability, and develop tools to identify fire hazard based on these linkages. This project addresses tasks 6 and 7 of the Joint Fire Science Program request for proposals 200 1-1 by linking climate to fire regime characteristics and by developing spatially explicit, empirically based tools for predicting fire risks as a function of climatic conditions. We propose a multi-scale analysis of the relationships between climate and topography and spa tio-temporal patterns in hi storical fire regimes in the inland Pacific Northwest, using existing fire history data from the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Colville National Forests. We will identify the primary constraints on fire occurrence and fire extent at three spatial scales. For individual points within watersheds (small scale), topography likely constrains fire sizes, and the rate of fuel accumulation constrains fire occurrence. Across 36 individual watersheds (medium scale) and three national forests (large scale), climatic variation (e.g., El Ni?o/Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation) and extreme drought likely constrain the area burned and location of large fires. We will develop visual products that map fire hazard based on long-lead climate forecasts and our empirical analysis, These outputs will be used as inputs to the Northeastern Cascades Landscape Analysis Management and MonitOring System (NOCLAMMS) using Ecosystem Management Decision Support System (EMDS) software. By understanding how the dominant processes that drive fire regimes change across scales and incorporating this information in decision support systems, we can improve forecasting of large fire events, promote better allocation of fire suppression resources and provide assessment of spatio-temporal patterns of fire effects.

Principal Investigator: John F. Lehmkuhl

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-Forestry Sciences Lab-Wenatchee

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

James K. Agee

University of Washington

School of Forest Resources

Co-Principal Investigator

Amy Hessl

West Virginia University

Department of Geology & Geography

Co-Principal Investigator

David L. Peterson

Forest Service

PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances


Nathan Mantua

University of Washington

Joint Institute-Study of Atmosphere & Ocean


Donald Z. McKenzie

Forest Service

PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances


John Schelhas

Forest Service

SRS-Alabama A&M University

Federal Cooperator

John F. Lehmkuhl

Forest Service

PNW-Forestry Sciences Lab-Wenatchee

Project Locations


Great Basin


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
    51 Book Fire History and its Relation to Climate
    2270 Journal Article A Neutral Model of Low-Severity Fire Regimes
    197 MS Thesis Quantifying Spatial Strucutures Associated with Low-Severity Fire Regimes in the Eastern Cascade Mountains of Washington, USA (L-K.B. Kellogg)
    3 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Scaling Laws in Fire Regimes: Moving Landscape Fire History into the 21st Century
    4 Dataset (including spatial)  
    3221 Book or Book Chapter Fire History and its Relation to Climate
  go to website 3225 Dataset (including spatial)  

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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