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May 18, 2023

Fueling Discovery with USGS Wildland Fire Science is a public webinar series hosted by USGS Wildland Fire Science and the Ecosystems Mission Area. These webinars are meant to provide information on the breadth of USGS fire science used by stakeholders to make decisions before, during, and after wildfires in ecosystems across the U.S.

USGS Wildland Fire Science

USGS Wildland Fire Science

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Upcoming Webinars:


Our next presenter in the USGS Fueling Discovery Seminar Series represents a partnership between Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Lab and USGS emphasizing our joint work to develop, evaluate and apply advanced fire models to reduce the damaging effects and improve the benefits of wildland fire.

Date: Tuesday, October 10 at 3 pm ET   JOIN WEBINAR

Title: Multi-fidelity Coupled Fire/Atmosphere Modeling to Support Proactive Approaches to Wildland Fire

Speaker:  Dr. Rod Linn, Team Leader, Atmospheric Modeling and Weapons Phenomenology, Los Alamos National Laboratory

screenshot of an model that simulates the wind direction and speed during a wildfire. Colored arrows symbolize the wind velocity and direction.
Screen shot visualization of wind direction and velocity from a coupled/fire atmosphere model run of a wildfire (Dude Fire). 

Summary: As the fire community looks towards proactive approaches to manage the growing challenges of wildland fire, the importance of science-based decision support is increasing. In wildland fire and land management, the decision space is different when determining proactive management strategies compared with reactive crisis management, just as they are in any field.  There is an expectation that decision makers have weighed the pros and cons of their action (or lack of action) and are optimizing their actions to meet objectives, reducing costs (not just monetary costs), and avoiding unintended consequences. Whether it is assessing possible benefits of fuels treatments or planning and analyzing prescribed fires, next generation coupled fire atmosphere models can contribute to the science basis for land management decisions.  The requirements on these models are that they capture the influences of the heterogenous fire environment on fire behavior with sufficient detail to enable decision makers to understand the consequences of the various possible decisions.  Continual improvement of the science basis and availability of decision support requires a multi-fidelity modeling approach where detailed models can continuously help us increase our understanding of the relationship between fire behavior and its environment in current or future climate scenarios, and faster running tools can encompass this understanding in an accessible tool.




Date: Thursday, May 25th at 3pm ET

Title: Wildfire Risk Assessments, Gaps, and Opportunities

Speaker: Todd J. Hawbaker, Research Ecologist, USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center

Summary: Wildfire burned area is increasing, creating challenges for federal agencies to reduce the negative impacts of wildfires on society while balancing their benefits to ecosystems. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) provided funding to help address this challenge but directed agencies to prioritize mitigation actions on lands with very high wildfire hazard potential. To help meet monitoring, maintenance, and treatment plan requirements under the BIL, the USGS inventoried existing wildfire hazard and risk assessments and created an interactive web application, or clearinghouse, to navigate the inventory. The inventory and clearinghouse document the variation among assessments and that no assessment perfectly represents all lands or values at risk. They also provide baseline information to evaluate and identify existing hazard and risk assessment gaps. This presentation highlights the inventory and clearinghouse, reviews the existing wildfire hazard and risk assessments, identifies gaps in the assessments, and opportunities to fill those gaps.

Title: The Wildland Fire Trends Tool:  A web-based data visualization tool for displaying wildfire trends and patterns in the western United States


Douglas J. Shinneman, Research Ecologist, USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center

Michelle I Jeffries, Ecologist, USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center

Description: Accurately assessing recent and historical wildfire activity is critical for numerous agencies who manage fire-prone landscapes. The Wildland Fire Trends Tool (WFTT) is a data visualization and analysis tool that calculates and displays wildfire trends and patterns for the western U.S. based on user-selected regions of interest, time periods, and ecosystem types. For instance, users can determine whether the area burned by wildfire is increasing or decreasing over time for a specific ecoregion or for land ownership types of interest. The tool is available via a web application and generates a variety of maps, graphs, and tabular data that provide useful information for fire science and management objectives, as well as for the interested public. 





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