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Project ID: 05-2-1-07

Year: 2005

Date Started: 06/01/2005

Date Completed: 12/04/2009

Title: Post-Fire Studies Supporting Computer-Assisted Management of Fire and Fuels During a Regime of Changing Climate in the Alaskan Boreal Forest

Project Proposal Abstract: Land managers face unique challenges in Alaska. Most of the boreal forest is currently managed as wilderness. Though largely free of direct human impacts, the boreal forest grows in a region that is now experiencing significant climate changes. In addition, the fire ecology of Alaska is relatively poorly understood, and these data gaps hinder effective fuel and fire management there. To meet these challenges, we have developed the computer model Boreal ALFRESCO for use as a multi-disciplinary planning tool and as an operational tool for assessing fuels and fire hazards. Boreal ALFRESCO simulates the responses of boreal forest vegetation on real landscapes to changes in fire management, ignition frequency, and climate. Boreal ALFRESCO is up and running - we submitted a beta version to our agency partners in November 2004 as part of our previously funded JFSP project. Here we propose to further develop Boreal ALFRESCO by filling important data gaps and expanding its ability to model climate change. This work will benefit the implementation of the FRCC and LANDFIRE programs in Alaska. Land managers have identified several data gaps regarding fire regimes in Alaska. One gap concerns the relative importance of stand age, stand type, and fire weather/climate in determining burn severity. The first goal of our proposed work is the post-fire assessment of the factors controlling burn severity using the extraordinary 2004 fire season as a natural laboratory. Another gap in our understanding of the boreal forest is the effect of climate change on the fire regime. High latitude forests like Alaska's are predicted to be affected first and most drastically by anthropogenic climate changes. Our second goal is to enable Boreal ALFRESCO to predict changes in fire regime and fire hazards based on changes in climate. This has not been done before, and the techniques we develop may have important applications elsewhere.

Principal Investigator: Scott T. Rupp

Agency/Organization: University of Alaska-Fairbanks

Branch or Dept: SNRAS-School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Sciences

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Daniel H. Mann Ph.D.

University of Alaska-Fairbanks

Geosciences Department

Federal Cooperator

Karen A. Murphy

FWS-Fish and Wildlife Service

Region 7-Alaska Regional Office

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network










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
    2976 Invited Paper/Presentation Modeling Fire Dynamics in Interior Alaska Using the ALFRESCO Model

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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