State of Fire Behavior Models and their Application to Ecosystem and Smoke Management Issues: Special Session Summary Report
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE WA SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND FOREST SCIENCES
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With over 30 million acres of land throughout the United States, the DoD manages a wide diversity of ecosystems and important habitat for many threatened and endangered species. Of the 5 million acres of DoD forestland, over half are southern pine forests that are generally maintained by frequent prescribed burns. In fire-adapted ecosystems such as southern pine and western pine forests, the DoD uses fire as an important ecological restoration and forest management tool and conducts prescribed burns on an average of 400,000 acres annually. To support DoDs continued use of fire in ecosystem-based management, SERDP and its sister demonstration program ESTCP have funded efforts to characterize wildland fire emissions to meet air quality requirements, understand how fire interacts with invasive non-native species such as cheatgrass Bromus techtorum in the western United States, and demonstrate and validate fire behavior models. To provide direction to its future research and demonstration efforts, SERDPESTCP is developing a fire science plan. The fire science plan has five focus areas that support DoD needs and offer areas of potential collaboration with other agencies to advance fire science 1 fire behavior, 2 ecological effects of fire, 3 carbon accounting, 4 emissions characterization, and 5 fire plume dispersion. Smoke emissions from wildland fires are highly dependent on accurate estimates of area burned, pre-burn fuel loading, and fuel consumption. For this reason, better understanding of wildland fire behavior is fundamental to improving estimates of fuel consumption and pollutant emissions.
- Air Pollution and Control
- Environmental Health and Safety