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Project ID: 01C-2-1-08

Year: 2002

Date Started: 07/31/2002

Date Completed: 01/03/2005

Title: Real-Time Evaluation of Effects of Fuel-Treatments and Other Previous Land Management Activities on Fire Behavior During Wildfires: A Rapid Response Proposal

Project Proposal Abstract: This proposal addresses all of the principle purposes identified by IFS: 1) evaluation of fuel treatments; 2) scheduling of fuel treatments; 3) monitoring and evaluation, and 4) wildland fuels inventory and mapping. We propose to use a rapid response team to measure fuel conditions pre- and post-fire, and fire behavior during wildland fire in areas with various fuel treatments and other past land-use management activities. Direct observation and measurement of fire behavior as it passes through a fuel treatment areas is the most direct way to evaluate the effectiveness of fuel treatments on changing fire behavior or effects. Concordant measurement of fuel conditions before the fire and fire behavior during the fire provide a direct means of evaluating which fuel metrics best relate to wildland fire behavior, allowing refinement of our ability to inventory, map, and monitor fuels in ways meaningful to fire behavior predictions. Our goal is to prototype techniques for such research, in addition to directly addressing the research hypotheses and questions regarding fuel-treatment and fire behavior relationships. Our plan is to sample 3 locations on ito 3 fires. We fully recognize the lack of predictability with wildfires and potential limitations of research on wildfires associated with this but have planned carefully to ensure we are able to perform the research. We will select fires that are expected to last at least 5 days in duration. Initially, we will respond to fires in California, because the USDA PS Region 5 Fire and Aviation Management have committed to coveting 40% of the costs. Since California encompasses 12 of the 13 standard, national fuel types and always has wildfires, it provides a logical location for this prototype. Further, we have established working relationships with Type I and Type II IMT's located in California. While this proposal is for a short-duration prototype research project, we plan on continuing long-term and would broaden the research to include fires throughout the western U.S. For each fire event, we will: 1) rapidly obtain vegetation management history information; 2) obtain pre-fire aerial photography; 3) collect pre-fire fuels condition data ahead of the fire; 4) measure fire behavior through sites where we have measured fuels; and 5) measure some immediate post-fire effects and indirect measures of fire behavior. We will capture and record all weather, fire behavior, topography, fuels, fire suppression actions and other pertinent information providing an overall context for the pattern of the fire. This research is complementary to a related proposal by Dr. Bret Butler of the Rocky Mountain Research Station, which has more of an emphasis on the physics of fire behavior. We are collaborating on this proposal to ensure that our work is complementary and makes efficient use of equipment and potential for shared data. We have developed a rapid response team, with fully fire-qualified and PPE equipped staff to conduct this research. The PT is fully fire fighter qualified and is part of the rapid response team that will be conducting the field portion. Our planning team includes a Type I FBAN and a Type I Division Supervisor.

Principal Investigator: Jo Ann Fites-Kaufman

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: AMSET-Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Bernie Bahro

Forest Service

Region 5-Fire & Aviation Management-McClellan

Co-Principal Investigator

Bret W. Butler

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Co-Principal Investigator

Larry Hood

Forest Service

Region 5-Fire & Aviation Management-Yreka

Co-Principal Investigator

Danny C. Lee

Forest Service

SRS-Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Ctr

Co-Principal Investigator

David B. Sapsis


CAL Fire-Forestry & Fire Protection-Sacramento Headquarters

Federal Cooperator

Jo Ann Fites-Kaufman

Forest Service

AMSET-Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team

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.")

There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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