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Project ID: 03-2-1-02

Year: 2003

Date Started: 08/15/2003

Date Completed: 08/14/2007

Title: Assessing the Causes, Consequences and Spatial Variability of Burn Severity: A Rapid Response Proposal

Project Proposal Abstract: We propose a rapid response project to collect fire behavior, fire effects, and fuels data from five 2003 active 2004 wildfires across the US. It is critical that field and remotely sensed data be collected soon (two weeks to the first growing season) after wildfires are burning if we are to understand the interactions and spatial variability in fire effects, fuels, fire behavior, local weather and topography and to assess the accuracy of current and alternative image analyses for remote sensing of burn severity. This most directly addresses Task 2.1 (AFP 2003-2, Task 1) by quantifying the relationships between pre-fire fuel structure, fire behavior and post-fire effects, and also Tasks 4.1 and 1.1. On all ten fires, we will collect field data on pre and post-burn fuels, fire behavior, fire effects on soils and vegetation composition and structure, and compare them to pre and post-burn Landsat imagery. If possible, we will select two of the five wildfires we sample each year from locations for which we have extensive preburn vegetation and fuels information. On those sites, we will ensure that we sample exactly the same points as where another rapid response team proposes to collect detailed instrumental data on fire behavior and heat flux, as well as some preburn data. For two of those sites we will also obtain hyperspectral and lidar imagery for in-depth analysis. Our rapid response team will work closely with and share data and results with Fire Use, Incident Command, and BAER teams. Our efforts will complement ongoing research and management applications by comparing alternative remote sensors and analysis approaches across a diversity of soils, vegetation, and fire conditions, and by explicitly linking fire behavior, fuels and fire effects to quantitative indicators of burn severity, that can be assessed in the field, predicted from fire effects models and mapped. We will compare spatial variability of preburn site and vegetation conditions, heat flux, fire effects and satellite imagery. Co-I Robichaud and others are studying the spatial variability of fire effects and evaluating hyperspectral, AVIRIS and SPOT remote sensing tools for mapping fire effects on the Hayman and Williams fires. Co-I Jam and others are predicting post-burn fire effects (soils and tree effects) from pre-burn forest structure based on extensive sampling of areas burned in the northern Rockies in 2000 and 2001. Collaborator Key and others are validating delta Nonnalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) across a wide range of sites. We will also organize a research and applications workshop for researchers and applications specialists from multiple federal agencies to synthesize and recommend methods for quantitative field measurement and remote sensing of burn severity. We will work to develop a rapid yet consistent burn severity mapping approach that is applicable to different types of imagery (depending on which is available at the right time). We will share our results at BAER training, on the FIREMON ( and FRAMES ( websites, and with the USFS Remote Sensing Applications Center staff working to improve their procedures for mapping fire effects. The spectral library from all sites will also be available on FRAMES. The data will be useful to those developing the next generation of fire effects models. Morgan et a!. Fire Severity 2

Principal Investigator: Penny Morgan

Agency/Organization: University of Idaho

Branch or Dept: Department of Forest Resources

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Paul Gessler

University of Idaho

Department of Forest Resources

Co-Principal Investigator

Theresa (Terrie) B. Jain

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Moscow

Co-Principal Investigator

Keith Lannom

Forest Service

White Mountain National Forest

Co-Principal Investigator

Peter R. Robichaud

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Moscow

Co-Principal Investigator

Kevin C. Ryan

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula


Carl H. Key

USGS-Geological Survey

CCME-Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems


Greg Kuyumjian

Forest Service

Santa Fe National Forest

Federal Cooperator

Andrew T. Hudak

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Moscow

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network



Northern 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   84 Book Characterizing Stand-Replacing Harvest and Fire Disturbance Patches in a Forested Landscape: A Case Study from Cooney Ridge, Montana
view or print   1620 Government Publication Post-Wildfire Ground Cover Mapping by Spectral Unmixing of Hyperspectral Data
view or print   1156 Government Publication The Relationship of Multispectral Satellite Imagery to Immediate Fire Effects
view or print   1195 Government Publication Field Validation of Burned Area Remote Classification (BARC) Products for the Purpose of Rapid Response
view or print   1196 Government Publication The Relationship of Field Burn Severity Measures to Satellite-Derived Burned Area Reflectance Classification (BARC) Maps
view or print   1197 Government Publication Forest Harvest Can Increase Subsequent Forest Fire Severity
    1198 Government Publication Relationships Between Field and Remotely Sensed Indicators of Burn Severity
view or print   1293 Government Publication Value and Challenges of Conducting Rapid Response Research on Wildland Fires
    1296 Government Publication Comparing Remotely Sensed Burn Severity with Fire-Induced Soil Water Repellency
    1297 Government Publication Fire Effects and Recovery Following Mixed Severity Fire in Ponderosa Pine Forests of the South Dakota Black Hills and Colorado Front Range
view or print   1420 Government Publication Lessons Learned From Rapid Response Research on Wildland Fires
view or print   1421 Government Publication Post-Fire Burn Severity and Vegetation Response Following Eight Large Wildfires Across the Western U.S.
view or print   1464 Government Publication Remote Sensing for Prediction of One-Year Post-Fire Ecosystem Condition
view or print   2494 Journal Article International Journal of Wildland Fire
view or print   2640 Journal Article Journal of Fire Ecology
    2720 Journal Article The Value of Rapid Response Research to Wildland Fire Management
view or print   2784 Journal Article International Journal of Remote Sensing
view or print   2785 Journal Article Potential of Char Fraction Maps for Evaluating Burned Area and Post-Fire Effects: Bridging the Immediate to Long-Term Divide
view or print   2786 Journal Article Fire Effects on Vegetation Recovery Following Eight Large Western Wildfires
view or print   2789 Journal Article Sensitivity of Landsat Image-Derived Burn Severity Indices to Immediate Post-Fire Effects
view or print   2790 Journal Article Remote Sensing of Environment
    2804 Journal Article Using Hyperspectral Imagery to Predict Post-Wildfire Soil Water Repellency
    388 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Postfire Treatment Effectiveness-The Latest Findings
    389 Conference/Symposia/Workshop New Tools to Assess Post-Fire Water Repellent Soil Conditions
    1750 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Postfire Burn Severity: Technical Fire Management Fire Ecology Module
    3191 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Fire Symposium: University of Idaho
    3192 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Value of Rapid Response Research to Incident Management Teams
    3193 Conference/Symposia/Workshop JFSP Governing Boarfd Meeting
view or print   3194 Poster Rapid Response Research: Lessons from Assessing Burn Severity on Active Wildfires
view or print   3195 Poster Consequences and Spatial Variability of Burn Severity for Four 2003 Montana Wildfires
    3196 Dataset (including spatial)  
  go to website 2868 Website  
    2875 Traning Session  
    2878 Invited Paper/Presentation BARC-Burn Severity Evaluation--Relationship of NBR and dNBR to Surface Organic, Soil, and Vegetation Cover
    2561 Progress Report  
    2562 Progress Report  
view or print   2563 Progress Report  
    2564 Progress Report  
    1846 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Soil Burn Severity Within the Fire-Disturbance Continuum
    1847 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Rapid Response Project Objectives, Protocols and Results
    1848 Conference/Symposia/Workshop BAER Team Needs, Research Direction, and Collaborative Opportunities
    1850 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Improved Procedures for Mapping Fire Effects
  go to website 2605 Website  
    2606 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Latest Findings on the Effectiveness of Various Postfire Rehabilitation Treatments
    2607 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Latest Findings on Effectiveness of Various Postfire Rehabilitation Treatments
    1895 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Remote Sensing Techniques to Assess Active Fire and Postfire Effects: Clarification of Terminology
    1896 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Influence of Fire Induced Water Repellency on Runoff and Erosion
    1897 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Tools, Treatment Effectiveness: What Managers Need to Know
view or print   2415 Invited Paper/Presentation Challenges and Recommendations for the Mapping of Active Fire and Post-Fire Effects
    5686 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Remote Sensing of Burn Severity Using Hyperspectral Imagery
    5832 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Relationships Between Field and Remotely Sensed Indicators of Burn Severity
view or print   5454 Book or Book Chapter Characterizing Stand-Replacing Harvest and Fire Disturbance Patches in a Forested Landscape: A Case Study from Cooney Ridge, Montana

Supporting Documents

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