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Eidenshink, Jeff, and Stephen Howard. 2012 United States Geological Survey fire science--Fire danger monitoring and forecasting. USGS Fact Sheet: 2012-3121

Cochrane, Mark A.; Moran, C.J.; Wimberly, Michael C.; Baer, A.D.; Finney, M.A.; Beckendorf, Kari L.; Eidenshink, Jeffery C.; Zhu, Z. 2012. Estimation of wildfire size and risk changes due to fuels treatments. International Journal of Wildland Fire,

Fire Science

Locations and changed fire risk for 14 simulated large wildfires. Fuels treatments influence the probability of fire prevention (warmer colors) and the probability of fire promotion (cool colors).
Locations and changed fire risk for 14 simulated large wildfires. Fuels
treatments influence the probability of fire prevention (warmer colors) and
the probability of fire promotion (cool colors).
Wildfire is a major source of land cover change on federal lands. In recent years, there has been significant increase in frequency, size, and intensity of wildland fires in the United States with millions of acres burned, many communities affected, billions of dollars spent on suppression and hazardous fuel treatment projects, and heated debates about causes and consequences of the fires. Often times, wildland fire conditions are attributed to land management practices and fire suppression that resulted in a significant build-up of wildland fuels. Others have pointed-out that ongoing climate change is a critical factor leading to the altered fire regimes.

We are undertaking an active research program that characterizes the behavior and effects of wildland fire on landscape composition, structure, and function. This includes investigations of interactions with other ecosystem disturbances, changes in ecosystem composition and structure, land management practices and history, vegetation seasonal characteristics, and climate change patterns. Fire science projects at USGS/EROS have produced a large amount of data that is being analyzed to provide information concerning causes and consequences of wildland fires in past, present, and near-future time periods. Because wildland fires are a major ecosystem disturbance in this country, fire monitoring research is one significant part of the USGS LCS science goals in terms of landscape change and trends, as well as risk assessment and vulnerability analysis. In addition, the research directly supports the USGS science strategy in three of the six focus areas: understanding ecosystems and predicting ecosystem changes, climate variability and change, and national hazards, risk, and resilience assessment. The USGS EROS Fire Science Team meets the strategic goals of the USGS and is responsive to federal fire management agencies and programs. Project organization, operation, and deliverables are relevant to fire science, fire and land management, and department and bureau strategic plans.

Improving spatial knowledge of current and historical dynamics of wildland fire and its effects is the foundation for USGS EROS fire science. Research, data production, and application development will emphasize the importance of remote sensing and GIS technology for monitoring wildfire conditions and effects.

Principal Investigator: Jeff Eidenshink,, EROS Center, Sioux Falls, SD

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