Wildland Fire Science

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USGS Fire Science is fundamental to understanding the causes, consequences, and benefits of wildfire and helps prevent and manage larger, catastrophic events. USGS scientists possess diverse technical capabilities that are used to address a variety of problems posed by wildland fires. Outcomes of USGS science can be used by fire and land managers to respond to fire-related issues when they arise.

Diverse Fire Science Topics

Diverse Fire Science Topics

Learn more about the different ways that USGS science is used for wildland fire management.

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Browse USGS Fire Science Publications

Browse USGS Fire Science Publications

Get more information about recent scientific publications produced by USGS that deal with wildland fire science.

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Current Wildfire Hazards in the U.S.

Current Wildfire Hazards in the U.S.

Use the USGS GEOMAC tool to see the locations of current and past wildfires in the U.S.

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News

Date published: December 19, 2019

Rating Fire Danger from the Ground Up

A new article in Eos highlights the outcomes of a workshop hosted in April by the International Association of Wildland Fire and partially funded by the South Central CASC, focused on using soil moisture information to predict wildfire probability.

Date published: October 10, 2019

New USGS Research on 21st Century California Wildfires Examines Drivers of Fire Behavior and Structure Losses

Two new publications underscore the role of wind in destructive California wildfires

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Economic effects of wildfire risk reduction and source water protection projects in the Rio Grande River Basin in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado

Investments in landscape-scale restoration and fuels management projects can protect publicly managed trusts, enhance public health and safety, and help to preserve the many environmental goods and services enjoyed by the public. These investments can also support jobs and generate business sales activities within nearby local economies. This...

Huber, Christopher; Cullinane Thomas, Catherine; Meldrum, James R.; Meier, Rachel; Bassett, Steven
Huber, C., Cullinane Thomas, C., Meldrum, J.R., Meier, R., and Bassett, S., 2019, Economic effects of wildfire risk reduction and source water protection projects in the Rio Grande River Basin in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1108, 8 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191108.

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Year Published: 2019

Rating fire danger from the ground up

Soil moisture information could improve assessments of wildfire probabilities and fuel conditions, resulting in better fire danger ratings.

Matthew Levi; Erik S. Krueger; Grant J. Snitker; Tyson Ochsner; Villarreal, Miguel L.; Emile H. Elias; Dannele E. Peck

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Year Published: 2019

Developing and optimizing shrub parameters representing sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems in the Northern Great Basin using the Ecosystem Demography (EDv2.2) model

Ecosystem dynamic models are useful for understanding ecosystem characteristics over time and space because of their efficiency over direct field measurements and applicability to broad spatial extents. Their application, however, is challenging due to internal model uncertainties and complexities arising from distinct qualities of the ecosystems...

Pandit, Karun; Dasthi, Hamid; Glenn, Nancy; Flores, Alejandro; Maguire, Kaitlin C.; Shinneman, Douglas; Flerchinger, Gerald; Fellow, Aaron