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Sample records for mapping wildfire burned

  1. Mapping wildfire burn severity in the Arctic Tundra from downsampled MODIS data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kolden, Crystal A.; Rogan, John

    2013-01-01

    Wildfires are historically infrequent in the arctic tundra, but are projected to increase with climate warming. Fire effects on tundra ecosystems are poorly understood and difficult to quantify in a remote region where a short growing season severely limits ground data collection. Remote sensing has been widely utilized to characterize wildfire regimes, but primarily from the Landsat sensor, which has limited data acquisition in the Arctic. Here, coarse-resolution remotely sensed data are assessed as a means to quantify wildfire burn severity of the 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire in Alaska, the largest tundra wildfire ever recorded on Alaska's North Slope. Data from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and downsampled Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) were processed to spectral indices and correlated to observed metrics of surface, subsurface, and comprehensive burn severity. Spectral indices were strongly correlated to surface severity (maximum R2 = 0.88) and slightly less strongly correlated to substrate severity. Downsampled MODIS data showed a decrease in severity one year post-fire, corroborating rapid vegetation regeneration observed on the burned site. These results indicate that widely-used spectral indices and downsampled coarse-resolution data provide a reasonable supplement to often-limited ground data collection for analysis and long-term monitoring of wildfire effects in arctic ecosystems.

  2. Using NASA EOS to Assess Burn Severity and Perform Fire Risk Mapping of the 2011 North Carolina Wildfire Season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gleason, J. L.; Ehlen, A.

    2012-12-01

    Since the beginning of 2011 North Carolina has experienced dry conditions and high winds, which has increased the fuel load on the ground. This extreme weather led to several periods of severe wildfires which burned nearly 100,000 acres, caused significant damage to the Coastal Plains region's ecosystem, and greatly affected the livelihoods of many North Carolinians. Utilizing NASA's Earth Observing Systems (EOS), burn severity, real-time drought severity, and fire- risk mapping were conducted on the two largest fires in North Carolina during the 2011 wildfire season, the Pains Bay Fire in Dare County and the Juniper Road Fire in Pender County. In order to show the impact of fires on the ecosystem and the extent of ecological change the fires caused, burn severity maps were created using Landsat 5 TM and the Relative difference Normalized Burn Ratio (RdNBR). To assess drought conditions, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI) were derived from Landsat 5TM data to show changes in vegetation cover and moisture. In addition, MODIS Daily Surface Reflectance product (MOD09GA/MYD09GA) with the Normalized Multi-band Drought Index (NMDI) was utilized to estimate real-time drought severity of vegetation and soil moisture. Finally, Landsat 5 TM and various ancillary sources were used to create a fire risk map utilizing a Multi-criteria Evaluation (MCE) method with the new Fuzzification method in ArcGIS. Multiple variables were inserted into the MCE including soil survey data, Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI), slope data obtained from ASTER Global DEM, land cover/fuel data, and proximity to roads. Methodologies using NASA EOS to acquire all end products were provided to project partners, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge (ARNWR) and the North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS), in the form of a user tutorial to allow for a better understanding of how remote sensing can be applied to analyze wildfires

  3. Wildfires, smoke, and burn scars, near Yakutsk, Russia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The Lena River in central Siberia is hidden beneath a veil of smoke from multiple wildfires burning around the city of Yakutsk, Russia. Fires have been burning in the region off and on since late May 2002, and may be agricultural in cause. This image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite on July 23, 2002. In the false=-color image, vegetation is bright green, smoke is blueish-white, and burned areas are reddish-brown. In both images, fire detections are marked with red outlines. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

  4. NASA's MISR Instrument Sees Arizona Wildfires Burn

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation from NASA’s Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on the Terra spacecraft show the Wallow and Horseshoe 2 Fires burning in Arizona mid-morning (local time) on Jun...

  5. Mapping Wildfires In Nearly Real Time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nichols, Joseph D.; Parks, Gary S.; Denning, Richard F.; Ibbott, Anthony C.; Scott, Kenneth C.; Sleigh, William J.; Voss, Jeffrey M.

    1993-01-01

    Airborne infrared-sensing system flies over wildfire as infrared detector in system and navigation subsystem generate data transmitted to firefighters' camp. There, data plotted in form of map of fire, including approximate variations of temperature. System, called Firefly, reveals position of fires and approximate thermal intensities of regions within fires. Firefighters use information to manage and suppress fires. Used for other purposes with minor modifications, such as to spot losses of heat in urban areas and to map disease and pest infestation in vegetation.

  6. Linking runoff response to burn severity after a wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moody, J.A.; Martin, D.A.; Haire, S.L.; Kinner, D.A.

    2008-01-01

    Extreme floods often follow wildfire in mountainous watersheds. However, a quantitative relation between the runoff response and burn severity at the watershed scale has not been established. Runoff response was measured as the runoff coefficient C, which is equal to the peak discharge per unit drainage area divided by the average maximum 30 min rainfall intensity during each rain storm. The magnitude of the bum severity was expressed as the change in the normalized burn ratio. A new burn severity variable, hydraulic functional connectivity ?? was developed and incorporates both the magnitude of the burn severity and the spatial sequence of the bum severity along hillslope flow paths. The runoff response and the burn severity were measured in seven subwatersheds (0.24 to 0.85 km2) in the upper part of Rendija Canyon burned by the 2000 Cerro Grande Fire Dear Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA. A rainfall-discharge relation was determined for four of the subwatersheds with nearly the same bum severity. The peak discharge per unit drainage area Qupeak was a linear function of the maximum 30 min rainfall intensity I30. This function predicted a rainfall intensity threshold of 8.5 mm h-1 below which no runoff was generated. The runoff coefficient C = Qupeak/I30 was a linear function of the mean hydraulic functional connectivity of the subwatersheds. Moreover, the variability of the mean hydraulic functional connectivity was related to the variability of the mean runoff coefficient, and this relation provides physical insight into why the runoff response from the same subwatershed can vary for different rainstorms with the same rainfall intensity. Published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Visualizing Global Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, C. C.; Hoffman, J.; Prins, E. M.

    2013-12-01

    The Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (WFABBA) produces fire detection and characterization from a global constellation of geostationary satellites on a realtime basis. Presentation of this data in a timely and meaningful way has been a challenge, but as hardware and software have advanced and web tools have evolved, new options have rapidly arisen. The WFABBA team at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at the Space Science Engineering Center (SSEC) have begun implementation of a web-based framework that allows a user to visualize current and archived fire data from NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), EUMETSAT's Meteosat Second Generation (MSG), JMA's Multifunction Transport Satellite (MTSAT), and KMA's COMS series of satellites. User group needs vary from simple examination of the most recent data to multi-hour composites to animations, as well as saving datasets for further review. In order to maximize the usefulness of the data, a user-friendly and scaleable interface has been under development that will, when complete, allow access to approximately 18 years of WFABBA data, as well as the data produced in real-time. Implemented, planned, and potential additional features will be examined.

  8. Using Logistic Regression to Predict the Probability of Debris Flows in Areas Burned by Wildfires, Southern California, 2003-2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rupert, Michael G.; Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Helsel, Dennis R.

    2008-01-01

    Logistic regression was used to develop statistical models that can be used to predict the probability of debris flows in areas recently burned by wildfires by using data from 14 wildfires that burned in southern California during 2003-2006. Twenty-eight independent variables describing the basin morphology, burn severity, rainfall, and soil properties of 306 drainage basins located within those burned areas were evaluated. The models were developed as follows: (1) Basins that did and did not produce debris flows soon after the 2003 to 2006 fires were delineated from data in the National Elevation Dataset using a geographic information system; (2) Data describing the basin morphology, burn severity, rainfall, and soil properties were compiled for each basin. These data were then input to a statistics software package for analysis using logistic regression; and (3) Relations between the occurrence or absence of debris flows and the basin morphology, burn severity, rainfall, and soil properties were evaluated, and five multivariate logistic regression models were constructed. All possible combinations of independent variables were evaluated to determine which combinations produced the most effective models, and the multivariate models that best predicted the occurrence of debris flows were identified. Percentage of high burn severity and 3-hour peak rainfall intensity were significant variables in all models. Soil organic matter content and soil clay content were significant variables in all models except Model 5. Soil slope was a significant variable in all models except Model 4. The most suitable model can be selected from these five models on the basis of the availability of independent variables in the particular area of interest and field checking of probability maps. The multivariate logistic regression models can be entered into a geographic information system, and maps showing the probability of debris flows can be constructed in recently burned areas of

  9. Vegetation structure and fire weather influence variation in burn severity and fuel consumption during peatland wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, G. M.; Domènech, R.; Gray, A.; Johnson, P. C. D.

    2015-09-01

    Temperate peatland wildfires are of significant environmental concern but information on their environmental effects is lacking. We assessed variation in burn severity and fuel consumption within and between wildfires that burnt British moorlands in 2011 and 2012. We adapted the Composite Burn Index (pCBI) to provide semi-quantitative estimates of burn severity. Pre- and post-fire surface (shrubs and graminoids) and ground (litter, moss, duff) fuel loads associated with large wildfires were assessed using destructive sampling and analysed using a Generalised Linear Mixed Model (GLMM). Consumption during wildfires was compared with published estimates of consumption during prescribed burns. Burn severity and fuel consumption were related to fire weather, assessed using the Canadian Fire Weather Index System (FWI System), and pre-fire fuel structure. pCBI varied 1.6 fold between, and up to 1.7 fold within, wildfires. pCBI was higher where moisture codes of the FWI System indicated drier fuels. Spatial variation in pre- and post-fire fuel load accounted for a substantial proportion of the variance in fuel loads. Average surface fuel consumption was a linear function of pre-fire fuel load. Average ground fuel combustion completeness could be predicted by the Buildup Index. Carbon release ranged between 0.36 and 1.00 kg C m-2. The flammability of ground fuel layers may explain the higher C release-rates seen for wildfires in comparison to prescribed burns. Drier moorland community types appear to be at greater risk of severe burns than blanket-bog communities.

  10. Vegetation structure and fire weather influence variation in burn severity and fuel consumption during peatland wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, G. M.; Domènech, R.; Gray, A.; Johnson, P. C. D.

    2016-01-01

    Temperate peatland wildfires are of significant environmental concern but information on their environmental effects is lacking. We assessed variation in burn severity and fuel consumption within and between wildfires that burnt British moorlands in 2011 and 2012. We adapted the composite burn index (pCBI) to provide semi-quantitative estimates of burn severity. Pre- and post-fire surface (shrubs and graminoids) and ground (litter, moss, duff) fuel loads associated with large wildfires were assessed using destructive sampling and analysed using a generalised linear mixed model (GLMM). Consumption during wildfires was compared with published estimates of consumption during prescribed burns. Burn severity and fuel consumption were related to fire weather, assessed using the Canadian Fire Weather Index System (FWI System), and pre-fire vegetation type. pCBI varied 1.6 fold between, and up to 1.7 fold within, wildfires. pCBI was higher where moisture codes of the FWI System indicated drier fuels. Spatial variation in pre- and post-fire fuel load accounted for a substantial proportion of the variance in fuel loads. Average surface fuel consumption was a linear function of pre-fire fuel load. Average ground fuel combustion completeness could be predicted by the Buildup Index. Carbon release ranged between 0.36 and 1.00 kg C m-2. The flammability of ground fuel layers may explain the higher C release-rates seen for wildfires in comparison to prescribed burns. Drier moorland community types appear to be at greater risk of severe burns than blanket-bog communities.

  11. Wildfire seasonality and land use: when do wildfires prefer to burn?

    PubMed

    Bajocco, Sofia; Pezzatti, Gianni Boris; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Ricotta, Carlo

    2010-05-01

    Because of the increasing anthropogenic fire activity, understanding the role of land-use in shaping wildfire regimes has become a major concern. In the last decade, an increasing number of studies have been carried out on the relationship between land-use and wildfire patterns, in order to identify land-use types where fire behaves selectively, showing a marked preference (or avoidance) in terms of fire incidence. By contrast, the temporal aspects of the relationship between landuse types and wildfire occurrence have received far less attention. The aim of this paper is, thus, to analyze the temporal patterns of fire occurrence in Sardinia (Italy) during the period 2000-2006 to identify land-use types where wildfires occur earlier or later than expected from a random null model. The study highlighted a close relationship between the timing of fire occurrence and land-cover that is primarily governed by two complementary processes: climatic factors that act indirectly on the timing of wildfires determining the spatial distribution of land-use types, and human population and human pressure that directly influence fire ignition. From a practical viewpoint, understanding the temporal trends of wildfires within the different land-use classes can be an effective decision-support tool for fire agencies in managing fire risk and for producing provisional models of fire behavior under changing climatic scenarios and evolving landscapes.

  12. Wildfire susceptibility mapping: comparing deterministic and stochastic approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Mário; Leuenberger, Michael; Parente, Joana; Tonini, Marj

    2016-04-01

    Estimating the probability of wildfire-occurrence in a certain area under particular environmental conditions represents a modern tool to support forest protection plans and to reduce fires consequences. This can be performed by the implementation of wildfire susceptibility mapping, normally achieved employing more or less sophisticated models which combine the predisposing variables (as raster datasets) into a geographic information systems (GIS). The selection of the appropriate variables includes the evaluation of success and the implementation of prediction curves, as well as independent probabilistic validations for different scenarios. These methods allow to define the spatial pattern of wildfire-occurrences, characterize the susceptibility of the territory, namely for specific fire causes/types, and can also account for other factors such as human behavior and social aspects. We selected Portugal as the study region which, due to its favorable climatic, topographic and vegetation conditions, is by far the European country most affected by wildfires. In addition, Verde and Zêzere (2010) performed a first assessment and validation of wildfire susceptibility and hazard in Portugal which can be used as benchmarking. The objectives of the present study comprise: (1) assessing the structural forest fire risk in Portugal using updated datasets, namely, with higher spatial resolution (80 m to 25 m), most recent vegetation cover (Corine Land Cover), longer fire history (1975-2013); and, (2) comparing linear vs non-linear approaches for wildfire susceptibility mapping. The data we used includes: (i) a DEM derived from the Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission in a resolution of 1 arc-seconds (DEM-SRTM 25 m) to assess elevation and slope; (ii) the Corine Land Cover inventory provided by the European Environment Agency (http://www.eea.europa.eu/pt) to produce the land use land cover map; (iii) the National Mapping Burnt Areas (NMBA) provided by the Institute for the

  13. Characteristics of atmospheric ice nucleating particles associated with biomass burning in the US: Prescribed burns and wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCluskey, Christina S.

    Insufficient knowledge regarding the sources and number concentrations of atmospheric ice nucleating particles (INP) leads to large uncertainties in understanding the interaction of aerosols with cloud processes, such as cloud life time and precipitation rates. This study utilizes measurements of INP from a diverse set of biomass burning events to better understand INP associated with biomass burning in the U.S. Prescribed burns in Georgia and Colorado, two Colorado wildfires and two laboratory burns were monitored for INP number concentrations. The relationship between nINP and total particle number concentrations, evident within prescribed burning plumes, was degraded within aged smoke plumes from the wildfires, limiting the utility of this relationship for comparing laboratory and field data. Larger particles, represented by n500nm, are less vulnerable to plume processing and have previously been evaluated for their relation to nINP. Our measurements indicated that for a given n500nm, nINP associated with the wildfires were nearly an order of magnitude higher than nINP found in prescribed fire emissions. Reasons for the differences between INP characteristics in these emissions were explored, including variations in combustion efficiency, fuel type, transport time and environmental conditions. Combustion efficiency and fuel type were eliminated as controlling factors by comparing samples with contrasting combustion efficiencies and fuel types. Transport time was eliminated because the expected impact would be to reduce n500nm, thus resulting in the opposite effect from the observed change. Bulk aerosol chemical composition analyses support the potential role of elevated soil dust particle concentrations during the fires, contributing to the population of INP, but the bulk analyses do not target INP composition directly. It is hypothesized that both hardwood burning and soil lofting are responsible for the elevated production of INP in the Colorado wildfires in

  14. Data Mining and the Twitter Platform for Prescribed Burn and Wildfire Incident Reporting with Geospatial Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endsley, K.; McCarty, J. L.

    2012-12-01

    Data mining techniques have been applied to social media in a variety of contexts, from mapping the evolution of the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt to predicting influenza outbreaks. The Twitter platform is a particular favorite due to its robust application programming interface (API) and high throughput. Twitter, Inc. estimated in 2011 that over 2,200 messages or "tweets" are generated every second. Also helpful is Twitter's semblance in operation to the short message service (SMS), better known as "texting," available on cellular phones and the most popular means of wide telecommunications in many developing countries. In the United States, Twitter has been used by a number of federal, state and local officials as well as motivated individuals to report prescribed burns in advance (sometimes as part of a reporting obligation) or to communicate the emergence, response to, and containment of wildfires. These reports are unstructured and, like all Twitter messages, limited to 140 UTF-8 characters. Through internal research and development at the Michigan Tech Research Institute, the authors have developed a data mining routine that gathers potential tweets of interest using the Twitter API, eliminates duplicates ("retweets"), and extracts relevant information such as the approximate size and condition of the fire. Most importantly, the message is geocoded and/or contains approximate locational information, allowing for prescribed and wildland fires to be mapped. Natural language processing techniques, adapted to improve computational performance, are used to tokenize and tag these elements for each tweet. The entire routine is implemented in the Python programming language, using open-source libraries. As such, it is demonstrated in a web-based framework where prescribed burns and/or wildfires are mapped in real time, visualized through a JavaScript-based mapping client in any web browser. The practices demonstrated here generalize to an SMS platform (or any short

  15. Air quality impact and physicochemical aging of biomass burning aerosols during the 2007 San Diego wildfires.

    PubMed

    Zauscher, Melanie D; Wang, Ying; Moore, Meagan J K; Gaston, Cassandra J; Prather, Kimberly A

    2013-07-16

    Intense wildfires burning >360000 acres in San Diego during October, 2007 provided a unique opportunity to study the impact of wildfires on local air quality and biomass burning aerosol (BBA) aging. The size-resolved mixing state of individual particles was measured in real-time with an aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS) for 10 days after the fires commenced. Particle concentrations were high county-wide due to the wildfires; 84% of 120-400 nm particles by number were identified as BBA, with particles <400 nm contributing to mass concentrations dangerous to public health, up to 148 μg/m(3). Evidence of potassium salts heterogeneously reacting with inorganic acids was observed with continuous high temporal resolution for the first time. Ten distinct chemical types shown as BBA factors were identified through positive matrix factorization coupled to single particle analysis, including particles comprised of potassium chloride and organic nitrogen during the beginning of the wildfires, ammonium nitrate and amines after an increase of relative humidity, and sulfate dominated when the air mass back trajectories passed through the Los Angeles port region. Understanding BBA aging processes and quantifying the size-resolved mass and number concentrations are important in determining the overall impact of wildfires on air quality, health, and climate.

  16. Postfire soil burn severity mapping with hyperspectral image unmixing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robichaud, P.R.; Lewis, S.A.; Laes, D.Y.M.; Hudak, A.T.; Kokaly, R.F.; Zamudio, J.A.

    2007-01-01

    Burn severity is mapped after wildfires to evaluate immediate and long-term fire effects on the landscape. Remotely sensed hyperspectral imagery has the potential to provide important information about fine-scale ground cover components that are indicative of burn severity after large wildland fires. Airborne hyperspectral imagery and ground data were collected after the 2002 Hayman Fire in Colorado to assess the application of high resolution imagery for burn severity mapping and to compare it to standard burn severity mapping methods. Mixture Tuned Matched Filtering (MTMF), a partial spectral unmixing algorithm, was used to identify the spectral abundance of ash, soil, and scorched and green vegetation in the burned area. The overall performance of the MTMF for predicting the ground cover components was satisfactory (r2 = 0.21 to 0.48) based on a comparison to fractional ash, soil, and vegetation cover measured on ground validation plots. The relationship between Landsat-derived differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) values and the ground data was also evaluated (r2 = 0.20 to 0.58) and found to be comparable to the MTMF. However, the quantitative information provided by the fine-scale hyperspectral imagery makes it possible to more accurately assess the effects of the fire on the soil surface by identifying discrete ground cover characteristics. These surface effects, especially soil and ash cover and the lack of any remaining vegetative cover, directly relate to potential postfire watershed response processes. ?? 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Burned and unburned peat water repellency: Implications for peatland evaporation following wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, N.; Humphrey, R. E.; Smith, J. E.; Lukenbach, M. C.; Devito, K. J.; Petrone, R. M.; Waddington, J. M.

    2014-05-01

    Water repellency alters soil hydrology after periods of wildfire, potentially modifying the ecosystem recovery to such disturbance. Despite this potential importance, the extent and severity of water repellency within burned peatlands and its importance in regulating peatland recovery to wildfire disturbance remains poorly understood. We characterised the water repellency of peat in a burned (one year post-fire) and unburned peatland in the Western Boreal Plain utilising the water drop penetration time and ethanol droplet molarity tests. Burned Sphagnum moss and feather moss sites had a more severe degree of water repellency than unburned sites, with differences being more pronounced between burned and unburned feather moss sites. Burned feather moss exhibited the most extreme water repellency, followed by unburned feather moss, and burned Sphagnum. The severity of water repellency varied with depth through the near surface of the moss/peat profile. This was most evident within the burned feathermoss where more extreme water repellency was observed at the near-surface compared to the surface, with the most extreme water repellency found at 1 and 5 cm depths. Unburned Sphagnum was completely hydrophilic at all depths. We suggest that the extreme water repellency in near-surface feather moss peat acts as a barrier that impedes the supply of water to the surface that replaces that lost via evaporation. This leads to drying of the near-surface vadose zone within feather moss areas and a concomitantly large decrease in peatland evaporation within feather moss dominated peatlands. This negative feedback mechanism likely enhances the resilience of such peatland to wildfire disturbance, maintaining a high water table position, thereby limiting peat decomposition. In comparison, such a feedback is not observed strongly within Sphagnum, leaving Sphagnum dominated peatlands potentially vulnerable to low water table positions post disturbance.

  18. Inclusion of biomass burning in WRF-Chem: Impact of wildfires on weather forecasts

    SciTech Connect

    Grell, G. A.; Freitas, Saulo; Stuefer, Martin; Fast, Jerome D.

    2011-06-06

    A plume rise algorithm for wildfires was included in WRF-Chem, and applied to look at the impact of intense wildfires during the 2004 Alaska wildfire season on weather forecasts using model resolutions of 10km and 2km. Biomass burning emissions were estimated using a biomass burning emissions model. In addition, a 1-D, time-dependent cloud model was used online in WRF-Chem to estimate injection heights as well as the final emission rates. It was shown that with the inclusion of the intense wildfires of the 2004 fire season in the model simulations, the interaction of the aerosols with the atmospheric radiation led to significant modifications of vertical profiles of temperature and moisture in cloud-free areas. On the other hand, when clouds were present, the high concentrations of fine aerosol (PM2.5) and the resulting large numbers of Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) had a strong impact on clouds and microphysics, with decreased precipitation coverage and precipitation amounts during the first 12 hours of the integration, but significantly stronger storms during the afternoon hours.

  19. Predicting gully rejuvenation after wildfire using remotely sensed burn severity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyde, Kevin; Woods, Scott W.; Donahue, Jack

    2007-05-01

    The loss of surface vegetation and reduced infiltration caused by wildfires can trigger gully rejuvenation, resulting in damage to downstream aquatic resources and risk to human life and property. We developed a spatially explicit metric of burn severity — the Burn Severity Distribution Index (BSDI) — and tested its ability to predict post-fire gully rejuvenation in 1st and 2nd order basins burned in the 2000 Valley Complex fires in the Sapphire Mountains of western Montana. The BSDI was derived from burn severity data interpreted from Landsat 7 satellite imagery using the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) method, and ranged from 0.0 for completely unburned basins to 4.0 for basins burned entirely at high severity. In July 2001 rainstorms with peak 30-minute intensities of up to 17 mm h - 1 triggered gully rejuvenation in 66 of the 171 basins examined. The frequency of gully rejuvenation was higher in basins with higher BSDI values, increasing from zero for basins with a BSDI less than 1.3 to 67% for basins with a BSDI greater than 3.0. Binary logistic regression indicated that BSDI was a more significant predictor of gully rejuvenation than basin morphometric variables. The absence of gully rejuvenation in several basins with a high BSDI was attributed to low gradient, dense riparian vegetation, or concentration of high burn severity at lower elevations in the basin. The presence of gully rejuvenation in several basins with a low BSDI was associated with false negative NBR classification errors in northwest aspects, and concentration of severe burn impacts in the drainage headslopes. BSDI is a useful metric for predicting gully rejuvenation after wildfire. The use of the BSDI in Burned Area Emergency Response team assessments could improve the planning, implementation, and monitoring of burned area recovery treatments.

  20. Preliminary Analytical Results for Ash and Burned Soils from the October 2007 Southern California Wildfires

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Martin, Deborah A.; Hoefen, Todd; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Hageman, Philip; Eckberg, Alison; Meeker, Gregory P.; Adams, Monique; Anthony, Michael; Lamothe, Paul J.

    2007-01-01

    Overview The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected ash and burned soils from about 28 sites in southern California wildfire areas (Harris, Witch, Ammo, Santiago, Canyon and Grass Valley) from Nov. 2 through 9, 2007 (table 1). USGS researchers are applying a wide variety of analytical methods to these samples, with the goal of helping identify characteristics of the ash and soils from wildland and suburban burned areas that may be of concern for their potential to adversely affect water quality, human health, endangered species, and debris-flow or flooding hazards. These studies are part of the Southern California Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project, and preliminary findings are presented here.

  1. Long lead statistical forecasts of area burned in western U.S. wildfires by ecosystem province

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Westerling, A.L.; Gershunov, A.; Cayan, D.R.; Barnett, T.P.

    2002-01-01

    A statistical forecast methodology exploits large-scale patterns in monthly U.S. Climatological Division Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) values over a wide region and several seasons to predict area burned in western U.S. wildfires by ecosystem province a season in advance. The forecast model, which is based on canonical correlations, indicates that a few characteristic patterns determine predicted wildfire season area burned. Strong negative associations between anomalous soil moisture (inferred from PDSI) immediately prior to the fire season and area burned dominate in most higher elevation forested provinces, while strong positive associations between anomalous soil moisture a year prior to the fire season and area burned dominate in desert and shrub and grassland provinces. In much of the western U.S., above- and below-normal fire season forecasts were successful 57% of the time or better, as compared with a 33% skill for a random guess, and with a low probability of being surprised by a fire season at the opposite extreme of that forecast.

  2. Seasonal Variability in Boreal Wildfire Activity Associated with Landscape Patterns of Burned Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, K. M.; Kasischke, E. S.

    2012-12-01

    Wildfire is the most prominent disturbance in the boreal forest, effecting changes in stand age and vegetation composition often over thousands of square kilometers. The effect of wildfire on ecosystem structure and function depends heavily on the seasonality of the burn, and periods of seasonally high fire activity are highly sporadic. The majority of area in Alaska that burns in a fire season does so during relatively short periods of high fire activity. These periods, which can be determined from active fire detections or fire management agency data records, are caused by elevated air temperatures and low precipitation which decrease fuel moisture and encourage the spread of fire. While fire fronts dominate during periods of low fire activity, more active periods have a higher proportion of residual burning which remains after a front has passed through. Residual burning is likely responsible for the extensive combustion of surface organic materials in the boreal forest, which can lead to post-fire changes in dominant vegetation type. Seasonal variations in fire activity are therefore an important factor in the mosaic of severity conditions across large burned areas and shifts in land cover over successional time scales. The purpose of this study is to characterize the temporal and spatial variability in periods of seasonal high fire activity that influence patterns of burned area. In large burns, unburned areas within a fire scar may serve as an important seed stock during post-fire recruitment. These areas may also feedback to future fire regimes through the preservation of more fire-resistant vegetation in unburned "islands".

  3. Debris-flow susceptibility of watersheds recently burned by wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.

    2004-01-01

    Evaluation of the erosional response of 95 recently burned watersheds in Colorado, New Mexico, and southern California to storm rainfall established the factors that best differentiate between debris-flow producing basins and those that produced other flow responses. These factors are drainage-basin morphology and lithology, and the presence or absence of water-repellent soils. Basins underlain by sedimentary rocks were most likely to produce debris flows that contain large material, and sand- and gravel-dominated debris flows were generated primarily from terrain underlain by decomposed granite. Basin-area and relief thresholds define the morphologic conditions under which both types of debris flows occurred. Debris flows containing large material were more likely to be produced from basins without water-repellent soils than from basins with water repellency. The occurrence of sand and gravel-dominated debris flows depended on the presence of water repellent soils. Copyright 2004 ASCE.

  4. Burn Severity Mapping in Australia 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinley, R.; Clark, J.; Lecker, J.

    2012-07-01

    In 2009, the Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment estimated approximately 430,000 hectares of Victoria Australia were burned by numerous bushfires. Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams from the United States were deployed to Victoria to assist local fire managers. The U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (USGS/EROS) and U.S. Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (USFS/RSAC) aided the support effort by providing satellite-derived "soil burn severity " maps for over 280,000 burned hectares. In the United States, BAER teams are assembled to make rapid assessments of burned lands to identify potential hazards to public health and property. An early step in the assessment process is the creation of a soil burn severity map used to identify hazard areas and prioritize treatment locations. These maps are developed primarily using Landsat satellite imagery and the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) algorithm.

  5. Black Carbon in the Arctic: Assessment of and efforts to reduce black carbon emissions from wildfires and agricultural burning in Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinder, B.; Hao, W. M.; Larkin, N. K.; McCarty, G.; O'neal, K. J.; Gonzalez, O.; Luxenberg, J.; Rosenblum, M.; Petkov, A.

    2011-12-01

    Black carbon and other short-lived climate forcers exert a warming effect on the climate but remain in the atmosphere for short time periods when compared to carbon dioxide. Black carbon is a significant contributor to increasing temperatures in the Arctic region, which has warmed at twice the global rate over the past 100 years. Black carbon warms the Arctic by absorbing incoming solar radiation while in the atmosphere and, when deposited onto Arctic ice, leading to increased atmospheric temperatures and snow and ice melt. Black carbon remains in the atmosphere for a short time period ranging from days to weeks; therefore, local atmospheric conditions at the time of burning determine the amount of black carbon transport to the Arctic. Most black carbon transport and deposition in the Arctic results from the occurrence of wildfires, prescribed forest fires, and agricultural burning at latitudes greater than 40 degrees north latitude. Wildfire affects some 10-15 million hectares of forest, forest steppe, and grasslands in Russia each year. In addition to wildfire, there is widespread cropland burning in Russia occurring in the fall following harvest and in the spring prior to tilling. Agricultural burning is common practice for crop residue removal as well as suppression of weeds, insects and residue-borne diseases. The goal of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Black Carbon Initiative is to assess black carbon emissions from agricultural burning and wildfires in Russia and explore practical options and opportunities for reducing emissions from these two sources. The emissions assessment combines satellite-derived burned area measurements of forest and agricultural fires, burn severity information, ancillary geospatial data, vegetation and land cover maps, fuels data, fire emissions data, fire/weather relationship information, and smoke transport models to estimate black carbon transport and deposition in the Arctic. The assessment addresses

  6. Exposure to bushfire smoke during prescribed burns and wildfires: firefighters' exposure risks and options.

    PubMed

    Reisen, Fabienne; Hansen, Dane; Meyer, C P Mick

    2011-02-01

    Firefighters are exposed to known health-damaging air pollutants present in bushfire smoke and poorly managed exposure can result in serious health issues. A better understanding of exposure levels and the major factors influencing exposures is crucial for the development of mitigation strategies to minimise exposure risks and adverse health impacts. This study monitored air toxics within the breathing zone of firefighters at prescribed burns and at wildfires in Australia. The results showed that exposure levels were highly variable, with higher exposures (sometimes exceeding occupational exposure standards) associated with particular work tasks (such as patrol and suppression) and with certain burn conditions. The majority of firefighter's exposures were at low and moderate levels (~60%), however considerable attention should be given to the high (~30%) and very high (6%) exposure risk situations for which acute and chronic health risks are very likely and for which control strategies should be developed and implemented to minimise health risks.

  7. Modeling the Spatial Pattern of Wildfire Ignition and Burned Area in Southern Californian Mediterranean Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faivre, N.; Jin, Y.; Goulden, M.; Randerson, J. T.

    2013-12-01

    Wildfire ignition requires a combination of an ignition source and suitable weather and fuel conditions. Models of fire occurrence and burned area provide a good understanding of the physical and climatic factors that constrain and promote fire spread and recurrence, but information on how humans influence ignition patterns and burned area is still lacking at a scale compatible with integrated fire management. We first investigated the relative importance of the physical, climatic, and human factors regulating ignition probability across Southern California. A 30-year exploratory analysis of one-way relationships indicated that distance to roads, distance to housing, and topographic slope were the major determinants of ignition occurrence and frequency. A logistic regression model explained 70% of spatial variability in ignition occurrence (presence or absence of an ignition in each 3 km grid cell) whereas a Poisson-type regression model explained 45% of the spatial variability in ignition frequency in national forests across Southern California. Predicted ignition probability was a key indicator of the spatial variability of burned area, explaining approximately 9% of the variance for Santa Ana fires and 21% of the variance for non-Santa Ana fires across Southern California. In a second step we combined the previous ignition modeling framework with other data sources to model the spatial distribution of burned area. Preliminary results showed that average wind speed alone explained approximately 30% of the spatial variation in burned area from Santa Ana fires. Further integration of the effects of fuel continuity, moisture, and accumulation and their interaction with wind speed and direction improved our spatial assessment of burned area risk in Southern California. Our results may have implications for strategic fire management in the region.

  8. Provision of a wildfire risk map: informing residents in the wildland urban interface.

    PubMed

    Mozumder, Pallab; Helton, Ryan; Berrens, Robert P

    2009-11-01

    Wildfires in the wildland urban interface (WUI) are an increasing concern throughout the western United States and elsewhere. WUI communities continue to grow and thus increase the wildfire risk to human lives and property. Information such as a wildfire risk map can inform WUI residents of potential risks and may help to efficiently sort mitigation efforts. This study uses the survey-based contingent valuation (CV) method to examine annual household willingness to pay (WTP) for the provision of a wildfire risk map. Data were collected through a mail survey of the East Mountain WUI area in the State of New Mexico (USA). The integrated empirical approach includes a system of equations that involves joint estimation of WTP values, along with measures of a respondent's risk perception and risk mitigation behavior. The median estimated WTP is around U.S. $12 for the annual wildfire risk map, which covers at least the costs of producing and distributing available risk information. Further, providing a wildfire risk map can help address policy goals emphasizing information gathering and sharing among stakeholders to mitigate the effects of wildfires.

  9. Comparing the Influence of Wildfire and Prescribed Burns on Watershed Nitrogen Biogeochemistry Using 15N Natural Abundance in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystem Components

    PubMed Central

    Stephan, Kirsten; Kavanagh, Kathleen L.; Koyama, Akihiro

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated differences in the effects of three low-severity spring prescribed burns and four wildfires on nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry in Rocky Mountain headwater watersheds. We compared paired (burned/unburned) watersheds of four wildfires and three spring prescribed burns for three growing seasons post-fire. To better understand fire effects on the entire watershed ecosystem, we measured N concentrations and δ15N in both the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems components, i.e., soil, understory plants in upland and riparian areas, streamwater, and in-stream moss. In addition, we measured nitrate reductase activity in foliage of Spiraea betulifolia, a dominant understory species. We found increases of δ15N and N concentrations in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem N pools after wildfire, but responses were limited to terrestrial N pools after prescribed burns indicating that N transfer from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystem components did not occur in low-severity prescribed burns. Foliar δ15N differed between wildfire and prescribed burn sites; the δ15N of foliage of upland plants was enriched by 2.9 ‰ (difference between burned and unburned watersheds) in the first two years after wildfire, but only 1.3 ‰ after prescribed burns. In-stream moss δ15N in wildfire-burned watersheds was enriched by 1.3 ‰, but there was no response by moss in prescription-burned watersheds, mirroring patterns of streamwater nitrate concentrations. S. betulifolia showed significantly higher nitrate reductase activity two years after wildfires relative to corresponding unburned watersheds, but no such difference was found after prescribed burns. These responses are consistent with less altered N biogeochemistry after prescribed burns relative to wildfire. We concluded that δ15N values in terrestrial and aquatic plants and streamwater nitrate concentrations after fire can be useful indicators of the magnitude and duration of fire effects and the fate of post

  10. Comparing the influence of wildfire and prescribed burns on watershed nitrogen biogeochemistry using 15N natural abundance in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem components.

    PubMed

    Stephan, Kirsten; Kavanagh, Kathleen L; Koyama, Akihiro

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated differences in the effects of three low-severity spring prescribed burns and four wildfires on nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry in Rocky Mountain headwater watersheds. We compared paired (burned/unburned) watersheds of four wildfires and three spring prescribed burns for three growing seasons post-fire. To better understand fire effects on the entire watershed ecosystem, we measured N concentrations and δ15N in both the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems components, i.e., soil, understory plants in upland and riparian areas, streamwater, and in-stream moss. In addition, we measured nitrate reductase activity in foliage of Spiraea betulifolia, a dominant understory species. We found increases of δ15N and N concentrations in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem N pools after wildfire, but responses were limited to terrestrial N pools after prescribed burns indicating that N transfer from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystem components did not occur in low-severity prescribed burns. Foliar δ15N differed between wildfire and prescribed burn sites; the δ15N of foliage of upland plants was enriched by 2.9 ‰ (difference between burned and unburned watersheds) in the first two years after wildfire, but only 1.3 ‰ after prescribed burns. In-stream moss δ15N in wildfire-burned watersheds was enriched by 1.3 ‰, but there was no response by moss in prescription-burned watersheds, mirroring patterns of streamwater nitrate concentrations. S. betulifolia showed significantly higher nitrate reductase activity two years after wildfires relative to corresponding unburned watersheds, but no such difference was found after prescribed burns. These responses are consistent with less altered N biogeochemistry after prescribed burns relative to wildfire. We concluded that δ15N values in terrestrial and aquatic plants and streamwater nitrate concentrations after fire can be useful indicators of the magnitude and duration of fire effects and the fate of post

  11. Comparing the influence of wildfire and prescribed burns on watershed nitrogen biogeochemistry using 15N natural abundance in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem components.

    PubMed

    Stephan, Kirsten; Kavanagh, Kathleen L; Koyama, Akihiro

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated differences in the effects of three low-severity spring prescribed burns and four wildfires on nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry in Rocky Mountain headwater watersheds. We compared paired (burned/unburned) watersheds of four wildfires and three spring prescribed burns for three growing seasons post-fire. To better understand fire effects on the entire watershed ecosystem, we measured N concentrations and δ15N in both the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems components, i.e., soil, understory plants in upland and riparian areas, streamwater, and in-stream moss. In addition, we measured nitrate reductase activity in foliage of Spiraea betulifolia, a dominant understory species. We found increases of δ15N and N concentrations in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem N pools after wildfire, but responses were limited to terrestrial N pools after prescribed burns indicating that N transfer from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystem components did not occur in low-severity prescribed burns. Foliar δ15N differed between wildfire and prescribed burn sites; the δ15N of foliage of upland plants was enriched by 2.9 ‰ (difference between burned and unburned watersheds) in the first two years after wildfire, but only 1.3 ‰ after prescribed burns. In-stream moss δ15N in wildfire-burned watersheds was enriched by 1.3 ‰, but there was no response by moss in prescription-burned watersheds, mirroring patterns of streamwater nitrate concentrations. S. betulifolia showed significantly higher nitrate reductase activity two years after wildfires relative to corresponding unburned watersheds, but no such difference was found after prescribed burns. These responses are consistent with less altered N biogeochemistry after prescribed burns relative to wildfire. We concluded that δ15N values in terrestrial and aquatic plants and streamwater nitrate concentrations after fire can be useful indicators of the magnitude and duration of fire effects and the fate of post

  12. Sample Collection of Ash and Burned Soils from the October 2007 Southern California Wildfires

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoefen, Todd M.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Martin, Deborah A.; Rochester, Carlton; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Mendez, Greg; Reichard, Eric G.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2009-01-01

    Between November 2 through 9, 2007 scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected samples of ash and burned soils from 28 sites in six areas burned as a result of the Southern California wildfires of October 2007, including the Harris, Witch, Santiago, Ammo, Canyon, and Grass Valley Fires. The primary goal of this sampling and analysis effort was to understand how differences in ash and burned soil composition relate to vegetation type, underlying bedrock geology, burn intensity, and residential versus wildland. Sampling sites were chosen with the input of local experts from the USGS Water Resources and Biological Resources Disciplines to help understand possible effects of the fires on water supplies, ecosystems, and endangered species. The sampling was also carried out in conjunction with detailed field analysis of the spectral reflectance characteristics of the ash, so that chemical and mineralogical characteristics of the field samples could be used to help interpret data collected as part of an airborne, hyperspectral remote-sensing survey of several of the burned areas in mid-late November, 2007. This report presents an overview of the field sampling methodologies used to collect the samples, includes representative photos of the sites sampled, and summarizes important characteristics of each of the collection sites. In this report we use the term 'ash' to refer collectively to white mineral ash, which results from full combustion of vegetation and black charred organic matter from partial combustion of vegetation or other materials. These materials were found to be intermingled as a deposited residue on the soil surface following the Southern California fires of 2007.

  13. Vegetation burn severity mapping using Landsat-8 and WorldView-2

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wu, Zhuoting; Middleton, Barry R.; Hetzler, Robert; Vogel, John M.; Dye, Dennis G.

    2015-01-01

    We used remotely sensed data from the Landsat-8 and WorldView-2 satellites to estimate vegetation burn severity of the Creek Fire on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, where wildfire occurrences affect the Tribe's crucial livestock and logging industries. Accurate pre- and post-fire canopy maps at high (0.5-meter) resolution were created from World- View-2 data to generate canopy loss maps, and multiple indices from pre- and post-fire Landsat-8 images were used to evaluate vegetation burn severity. Normalized difference vegetation index based vegetation burn severity map had the highest correlation coefficients with canopy loss map from WorldView-2. Two distinct approaches - canopy loss mapping from WorldView-2 and spectral index differencing from Landsat-8 - agreed well with the field-based burn severity estimates and are both effective for vegetation burn severity mapping. Canopy loss maps created with WorldView-2 imagery add to a short list of accurate vegetation burn severity mapping techniques that can help guide effective management of forest resources on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, and the broader fire-prone regions of the Southwest.

  14. Trying not to get burned: understanding homeowners' wildfire risk-mitigation behaviors.

    PubMed

    Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Champ, Patricia A; Flores, Nicholas

    2012-12-01

    Three causes have been identified for the spiraling cost of wildfire suppression in the United States: climate change, fuel accumulation from past wildfire suppression, and development in fire-prone areas. Because little is likely to be performed to halt the effects of climate on wildfire risk, and because fuel-management budgets cannot keep pace with fuel accumulation let alone reverse it, changing the behaviors of existing and potential homeowners in fire-prone areas is the most promising approach to decreasing the cost of suppressing wildfires in the wildland-urban interface and increasing the odds of homes surviving wildfire events. Wildfire education efforts encourage homeowners to manage their property to decrease wildfire risk. Such programs may be more effective with a better understanding of the factors related to homeowners' decisions to undertake wildfire risk-reduction actions. In this study, we measured whether homeowners had implemented 12 wildfire risk-mitigation measures in 2 Colorado Front Range counties. We found that wildfire information received from local volunteer fire departments and county wildfire specialists, as well as talking with neighbors about wildfire, were positively associated with higher levels of mitigation. Firsthand experience in the form of preparing for or undertaking an evacuation was also associated with a higher level of mitigation. Finally, homeowners who perceived higher levels of wildfire risk on their property had undertaken higher levels of wildfire-risk mitigation on their property.

  15. Trying Not to Get Burned: Understanding Homeowners' Wildfire Risk-Mitigation Behaviors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Champ, Patricia A.; Flores, Nicholas

    2012-12-01

    Three causes have been identified for the spiraling cost of wildfire suppression in the United States: climate change, fuel accumulation from past wildfire suppression, and development in fire-prone areas. Because little is likely to be performed to halt the effects of climate on wildfire risk, and because fuel-management budgets cannot keep pace with fuel accumulation let alone reverse it, changing the behaviors of existing and potential homeowners in fire-prone areas is the most promising approach to decreasing the cost of suppressing wildfires in the wildland-urban interface and increasing the odds of homes surviving wildfire events. Wildfire education efforts encourage homeowners to manage their property to decrease wildfire risk. Such programs may be more effective with a better understanding of the factors related to homeowners' decisions to undertake wildfire risk-reduction actions. In this study, we measured whether homeowners had implemented 12 wildfire risk-mitigation measures in 2 Colorado Front Range counties. We found that wildfire information received from local volunteer fire departments and county wildfire specialists, as well as talking with neighbors about wildfire, were positively associated with higher levels of mitigation. Firsthand experience in the form of preparing for or undertaking an evacuation was also associated with a higher level of mitigation. Finally, homeowners who perceived higher levels of wildfire risk on their property had undertaken higher levels of wildfire-risk mitigation on their property.

  16. Evaluating the accuracy of a MODIS direct broadcast algorithm for mapping burned areas over Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petkov, A.; Hao, W. M.; Nordgren, B.; Corley, R.; Urbanski, S. P.; Ponomarev, E. I.

    2012-12-01

    Emission inventories for open area biomass burning rely on burned area estimates as a key component. We have developed an automated algorithm based on MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite instrument data for estimating burned area from biomass fires. The algorithm is based on active fire detections, burn scars from MODIS calibrated radiances (MOD02HKM), and MODIS land cover classification (MOD12Q1). Our burned area product combines active fires and burn scar detections using spatio-temporal criteria, and has a resolution of 500 x 500 meters. The algorithm has been used for smoke emission estimates over the western United States. We will present the assessed accuracy of our algorithm in different regions of Russia with intense wildfire activity by comparing our results with the burned area product from the Sukachev Institute of Forest (SIF) of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, as well as burn scars extracted from Landsat imagery. Landsat burned area extraction was based on threshold classification using the Jenks Natural Breaks algorithm to the histogram for each singe scene Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) image. The final evaluation consisted of a grid-based approach, where the burned area in each 3 km x 3 km grid cell was calculated and compared with the other two sources. A comparison between our burned area estimates and those from SIF showed strong correlation (R2=0.978), although our estimate is approximately 40% lower than the SIF burned areas. The linear fit between the burned area from Landsat scenes and our MODIS algorithm over 18,754 grid cells resulted with a slope of 0.998 and R2=0.7, indicating that our algorithm is suitable for mapping burned areas for fires in boreal forests and other ecosystems. The results of our burned area algorithm will be used for estimating emissions of trace gasses and aerosol particles (including black carbon) from biomass burning in Northern Eurasia for the period of 2002-2011.

  17. Leachate Geochemical Results for Ash and Burned Soil Samples from the October 2007 Southern California Wildfires

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hageman, Philip L.; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Martin, Deborah A.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Adams, Monique; Lamothe, Paul J.; Anthony, Michael W.

    2008-01-01

    This report is the second release of leachate geochemical data included as part of a multidisciplinary study of ash and burned soil samples from the October 2007 wildfires in southern California. Geochemical data for the first set of samples were released in an Open-File Report (Plumlee and others, 2007). This study is a continuation of that work. The objectives of this leaching study are to aid in understanding the interactions of ash and burned soil with rainfall. For this study, 12 samples collected in early November 2007 were leached using the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Field Leach Test (FLT). Following leaching, sub-samples of the leachate were analyzed for pH and specific conductance. The leachate was then filtered, and aliquots were preserved for geochemical analysis. This report presents leachate geochemical data for pH, specific conductance, alkalinity, anions using ion chromatography (I.C.), cations using inductively coupled plasma?atomic mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and mercury by continuous flow injection?cold vapor?atomic fluorescence (CVAFS).

  18. Mixing State and Aging of Biomass Burning Aerosols During the 2007 San Diego Wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zauscher, M. D.; Wang, Y.; Moore, M. J.; Gaston, C. J.; Prather, K. A.

    2011-12-01

    Biomass burning aerosols (BBA) significantly affect regional and global air quality, health and climate, yet their mixing state is not fully characterized. Specifically, aerosols from burning land dominated by chaparral shrubs, such as in Southern California, are less characterized than other BBA, although fires in this area have been increasing in frequency since 1980s. During the 2007 San Diego Wildfires the size-resolved chemistry of 100-400 nm single particles was determined in real-time with an ultra-fine aerosol time of flight mass spectrometer (UF-ATOFMS). BBA, identified by having a strong potassium peak and smaller carbonaceous markers present in the mass spectra, made up 84% of all particles measured between 10/22/07 and 11/1/07. Even though levoglucosan is known as a good biomass burning tracer, only 36% of all BBA in this study had this tracer present. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) analysis was utilized to group different BBA chemical markers, such as potassium salts, sulfate, ammonium, oxalate and levoglucosan. A spike in ammonium was observed with the increase in relative humidity on 10/25/07 and correlated with nitric acid and nitrate, indicating that the majority of ammonium was present as NH4NO3. The presence of different potassium salts were used to identify the age of BBA. K2Cl+, indicative of fresh BBA, was only seen at the beginning of the wildfires when the size mode of particles was ~<120 nm. K2NO3+ and K3SO4+ spiked at different times, with K2NO3+ peaking before K3SO4+. Particles with K3SO4+ had larger sizes than those with K2NO3+, thus K2NO3+ represents slightly aged whereas K3SO4+ represents moderately aged BBA. The largest BBA observed, and hence the most aged, were those characterized by the lack of potassium salts and the presence of secondary markers, such as sulfate and oxalate. In summary, we observed the evolution of BBA undergoing four distinct aging steps based on particle size and composition: slightly fresh, slightly aged

  19. Wildfire impacts on the processes that generate debris flows in burned watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parise, M.; Cannon, S.H.

    2012-01-01

    Every year, and in many countries worldwide, wildfires cause significant damage and economic losses due to both the direct effects of the fires and the subsequent accelerated runoff, erosion, and debris flow. Wildfires can have profound effects on the hydrologic response of watersheds by changing the infiltration characteristics and erodibility of the soil, which leads to decreased rainfall infiltration, significantly increased overland flow and runoff in channels, and movement of soil. Debris-flow activity is among the most destructive consequences of these changes, often causing extensive damage to human infrastructure. Data from the Mediterranean area and Western United States of America help identify the primary processes that result in debris flows in recently burned areas. Two primary processes for the initiation of fire-related debris flows have been so far identified: (1) runoff-dominated erosion by surface overland flow; and (2) infiltration-triggered failure and mobilization of a discrete landslide mass. The first process is frequently documented immediately post-fire and leads to the generation of debris flows through progressive bulking of storm runoff with sediment eroded from the hillslopes and channels. As sediment is incorporated into water, runoff can convert to debris flow. The conversion to debris flow may be observed at a position within a drainage network that appears to be controlled by threshold values of upslope contributing area and its gradient. At these locations, sufficient eroded material has been incorporated, relative to the volume of contributing surface runoff, to generate debris flows. Debris flows have also been generated from burned basins in response to increased runoff by water cascading over a steep, bedrock cliff, and incorporating material from readily erodible colluvium or channel bed. Post-fire debris flows have also been generated by infiltration-triggered landslide failures which then mobilize into debris flows. However

  20. Accuracy of fuzzy burned area mapping as a function of the aerosol parameterization of atmospheric correction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azar, Ramin; Stroppiana, Daniela; Bresciani, Mariano; Giardino, Claudia; Boschetti, Mirco; Brivio, Pietro A.

    2013-10-01

    Mediterranean forests are every year affected by wildfires which have a significant effect on the ecosystem. Mapping burned areas is an important field of application for optical remote sensing techniques and several methodologies have been developed in order to improve mapping accuracy. We developed an automated procedure based on spectral indices and fuzzy theory for mapping burned areas from atmospherically corrected Landsat TM images. The algorithm proved to provide consistent accuracy over Mediterranean areas. We further tested algorithm's performance to assess the influence of the atmospheric correction on the accuracy of burned areas. In particular, we ran the Second Simulation of a Satellite Signal in the Solar Spectrum (6S) code with different Atmospheric Optical Thickness (AOT) levels and two aerosol models (continental and maritime) on one TM image acquired over Portugal (12/08/2003). Burned area maps derived from atmospherically corrected images and from the non corrected image (Top Of Atmosphere, TOA) have been analyzed. In the output burned areas maps the omission error varies in the range 4.6-6.5% and the commission error fluctuates between 11.9 and 22.2%; the highest omission (commission) errors occur with the continental (maritime) model. The accuracy of burned area maps derived from non corrected image is very low, with omission error greater than 90%. These results show that, although atmospheric correction is needed for the application of the algorithm, the AOT value does not significantly affect the performance.

  1. Size and mass distributions of ground-level sub-micrometer biomass burning aerosol from small wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okoshi, Rintaro; Rasheed, Abdur; Chen Reddy, Greeshma; McCrowey, Clinton J.; Curtis, Daniel B.

    2014-06-01

    Biomass burning emits large amounts of aerosol particles globally, influencing human health and climate, but the number and size of the particles is highly variable depending on fuel type, burning and meteorological conditions, and secondary reactions in the atmosphere. Ambient measurements of aerosol during wildfire events can therefore improve our understanding of particulate matter produced from biomass burning. In this study, time-resolved sub-micrometer ambient aerosol size and mass distributions of freshly emitted aerosol were measured for three biomass burning wildfire events near Northridge, California, located in the highly populated San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. One fire (Marek) was observed during the dry Santa Ana conditions that are typically present during large Southern California wildfires, but two smaller fires (Getty and Camarillo) were observed during the more predominant non-Santa Ana weather conditions. Although the fires were generally small and extinguished quickly, they produced particle number concentrations as high as 50,000 cm-3 and mass concentrations as large as 150 μg cm-3, well above background measurements and among the highest values observed for fires in Southern California. Therefore, small wildfires can have a large impact on air quality if they occur near urban areas. Particle number distributions were lognormal, with peak diameters in the accumulation mode at approximately 100 nm. However, significant Aitken mode and nucleation mode particles were observed in bimodal distributions for one fire. Significant variations in the median diameter were observed over time, as particles generally became smaller as the fires were contained. The results indicate that it is likely that performing mass measurements alone could systematically miss detection of the smaller particles and size measurements may be better suited for studies of ambient biomass burning events. Parameters of representative unimodal and bimodal lognormal

  2. Does wildfire ash block soil pores? A micromorphological analysis of burned soils.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balfour, V.; Woods, S. W.

    2007-12-01

    Increases in runoff and erosion after forest wildfires are often attributed to the removal of surface cover, the formation of water repellent soils, and sealing of the soil surface by ash. The latter process involves clogging of pores by ash as well as rainsplash induced compaction of the ash layer. However, few studies have directly addressed the hydrologic role of ash and no studies have documented ash sealing in a forest fire environment. In an attempt to determine whether ash contributes to reduced infiltration after fire we conducted a micromorphological analysis of soils collected before and after three controlled pile burns at the Lubrecht Experimental Forest in western Montana. The burns were conducted with a fuel load of 90 Mg ha-1 on sites dominated by Lodgepole pine ( Pinus contorta) with scattered Douglas fir ( Pseudotoga menziesii), sandy loam soils and a mean of 99% ground cover (litter, duff and live vegetation). Soil cores were collected before burning, immediately after burning and after the burned areas had been subjected to simulated rainfall at an intensity of 80 mm hr-1 for 1 hour. The cores were impregnated with resin from which thin sections were made and microscopically analyzed to determine the vertical distribution of organic material, ash, mineral soil and porosity. Burning consumed all of the surface litter and duff and formed a <1cm layer of black and gray ash above the mineral soil, indicating a moderate severity burn. The mean soil temperature in the upper 1 cm of the mineral soil was 70° C, and there was no detectable increase in water repellency. Rainfall simulations conducted before and after the fires indicated that burning reduced the infiltration capacity from a pre-fire mean of 87 mm hr-1 to a post-fire mean of 35 mm hr-1. Prior to burning the upper 1 cm of the soil was comprised of 41% non- ash organic material, 4% clastic material and 55% pore space. After burning the porosity in the upper 1 cm decreased to 36% and the solid

  3. Soil moisture variation and dynamics across a wildfire burn boundary in a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardenas, M. Bayani; Kanarek, Michael R.

    2014-11-01

    A year after the most destructive wildfire in Texas (USA) history which occurred in and around Bastrop State Park, we established a 165 m-long study transect, bridging burned and unburned areas, to study post-wildfire soil moisture dynamics. Soil moisture content (θ) was monitored indirectly approximately monthly for half a year using a variety of methods with different measurement scales including: 2D electrical resistivity (ER) imaging and surface and vertical profiles using probes which measure soil dielectric properties. The burned section, where the majority of loblolly pine trees were killed, had higher θ and lower ER whereas the unburned end which is still populated by live pine trees had lower θ and higher ER. This pattern persisted from the ground surface and down to ∼2 m and through the study period even after a rainfall event which made the whole transect generally wetter but with the burned end showing a much stronger wetting response to the storm. The differences in θ cannot be explained by differences in soil texture with the burned end with sand soil and the unburned end with less permeable loamy sand. The differing results may be explained by loss of canopy cover and by reduced transpiration at the burned end where the dead roots may also potentially serve as macropores. Thus, after fires and until new vegetation cover has grown, the burned areas will store and transmit more water which could lead to increased groundwater recharge and promote the recovery or invasion of certain types of vegetation.

  4. Wildfire Impacts on Stream Sedimentation and Channel Morphology: Revisiting the Boulder Creek Burn in Little Granite Creek

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, S. E.; Dwire, K. A.; Air, Water,; Aquatic Ecosystems Program

    2011-12-01

    The magnitude of hydrologic and sedimentologic changes observed in watersheds following wildfire depend largely on the severity of the burn, landscape susceptibility to erosion, and the timing and magnitude of storms following the fire. In this study of a burned watershed in NW Wyoming (Boulder Creek burn in Little Granite Creek watershed), sedimentation impacts following a moderately sized fire (burned in 2000) were evaluated against known sediment loads measured prior to burning and against a comparable control watershed. Pre-burn data on rates of sediment transport provide useful information on the inherent variability of stream processes and were used to assess degree of departure due to disturbance from wildfire. Early observations of sediment yield showed substantially elevated rates (5x) the first year post-fire (2001), followed by less elevated rates in 2002 and 2003, signaling a return to baseline values by 3 years post-fire. More recent work, 8 years post-fire, has shown elevated suspended sediment concentrations relative to pre-burn values. We tentatively attribute this increase to destabilization of channels in the burned area due to the introduction of large wood (LW). Surveys indicated that the number of pieces of instream LW were doubled and tripled in some reaches as burned trees began to decay and fall in to the channel. Observed channel changes associated with the introduction of new wood include: 1) increase in the size and number of LW jams; 2) deposition of sediment within LW jams; 3) channel avulsions; 4) erosion of banks and terraces where wood re-directed flow into the bank; and 5) new sources of sediment due to channel instability. These results provide insight into longer-term geomorphic impacts of wildland fire that are associated with LW dynamics and changes to channel and bank stability in the burned riparian environment.

  5. Mapping burned areas and burn severity patterns across the Mediterranean region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalogeropoulos, Christos; Amatulli, Giuseppe; Kempeneers, Pieter; Sedano, Fernando; San Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus; Camia, Andrea

    2010-05-01

    The Mediterranean region is highly susceptible to wildfires. On average, about 60,000 fires take place in this region every year, burning on average half a million hectares of forests and natural vegetation. Wildfires cause environmental degradation and affect the lives of thousands of people in the region. In order to minimize the consequences of these catastrophic events, fire managers and national authorities need to have in their disposal accurate and updated spatial information concerning the size of the burned area as well as the burn severity patterns. Mapping burned areas and burn severity patterns is necessary to effectively support the decision-making process in what concerns strategic (long-term) planning with the definition of post-fire actions at European and national scales. Although a comprehensive archive of burnt areas exists at the European Forest Fire Information System, the analysis of the severity of the areas affected by forest fires in the region is not yet available. Fire severity is influenced by many variables, including fuel type, topography and meteorological conditions before and during the fire. The analysis of fire severity is essential to determine the socio-economic impact of forest fires, to assess fire impacts, and to determine the need of post-fire rehabilitation measures. Moreover, fire severity is linked to forest fire emissions and determines the rate of recovery of the vegetation after the fire. Satellite imagery can give important insights about the conditions of the live fuel moisture content and can be used to assess changes on vegetation structure and vitality after forest fires. Fire events occurred in Greece, Portugal and Spain during the fire season of 2009 were recorded and analyzed in a GIS environment. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) were calculated from 8-days composites MODIS/TERRA imagery from March to October 2009. In

  6. Signatures of Biomass Burning Aerosols in the Plume of a Saltmarsh Wildfire in South Texas.

    PubMed

    Myers-Pigg, Allison N; Griffin, Robert J; Louchouarn, Patrick; Norwood, Matthew J; Sterne, Amanda; Cevik, Basak Karakurt

    2016-09-01

    The most conventional and abundant tracers of biomass combustion in aerosol particles include potassium and biomarkers derived from thermally altered cellulose/hemicellulose (anhydrosugars) and lignin (methoxyphenols). However, little is known of the role biomass combustion plays as a particulate source of major plant polymers to the atmosphere. Here, concentrations of solvent-extractable anhydrosugars and methoxyphenols are compared to the yields of polymeric lignin oxidation products (LOPs) during a smoke plume event in Houston, Texas. Downwind aerosol samples (PM2.5) were collected surrounding a two-day wildfire in the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, 125 km southeast of Houston, which was 12-16 h directly downwind during the peak of the burn. Concentrations of all organic markers, potassium, and calcium increased by a factor of 2-13 within 1-2 days of the start of the fire and dropped to prefire levels 3 days after the peak event. Source signatures of anhydrosugars and methoxyphenols during the peak of the plume were identical to those of grass charcoals collected from the site, confirming the use of charcoals as end-members for source input reconstruction during atmospheric transport. An enrichment factor of 20 in the anhydrosugar to methoxyphenol ratio of aerosols versus charcoals can be explained partially by differences in degradation rate constants between the biomarker groups. LOPs comprised 73-91% of all lignin material in the aerosols, pointing to fires as major sources of primary biogenic aerosol particles in which lignin phenols occur predominantly in polymeric form. PMID:27462728

  7. Effects of ignition location models on the burn patterns of simulated wildfires

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bar-Massada, A.; Syphard, A.D.; Hawbaker, T.J.; Stewart, S.I.; Radeloff, V.C.

    2011-01-01

    Fire simulation studies that use models such as FARSITE often assume that ignition locations are distributed randomly, because spatially explicit information about actual ignition locations are difficult to obtain. However, many studies show that the spatial distribution of ignition locations, whether human-caused or natural, is non-random. Thus, predictions from fire simulations based on random ignitions may be unrealistic. However, the extent to which the assumption of ignition location affects the predictions of fire simulation models has never been systematically explored. Our goal was to assess the difference in fire simulations that are based on random versus non-random ignition location patterns. We conducted four sets of 6000 FARSITE simulations for the Santa Monica Mountains in California to quantify the influence of random and non-random ignition locations and normal and extreme weather conditions on fire size distributions and spatial patterns of burn probability. Under extreme weather conditions, fires were significantly larger for non-random ignitions compared to random ignitions (mean area of 344.5 ha and 230.1 ha, respectively), but burn probability maps were highly correlated (r = 0.83). Under normal weather, random ignitions produced significantly larger fires than non-random ignitions (17.5 ha and 13.3 ha, respectively), and the spatial correlations between burn probability maps were not high (r = 0.54), though the difference in the average burn probability was small. The results of the study suggest that the location of ignitions used in fire simulation models may substantially influence the spatial predictions of fire spread patterns. However, the spatial bias introduced by using a random ignition location model may be minimized if the fire simulations are conducted under extreme weather conditions when fire spread is greatest. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Black Carbon from Biomass Burning Emissions: New Mexico Wildfires and Controlled Laboratory Burns of Fuels Found in the Southwestern US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aiken, A. C.; Dubey, M.; Liu, S.; McMeeking, G. R.; Gorkowski, K.; Arata, C.; Mazzoleni, C.; China, S.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; DeMott, P. J.; Yokelson, R. J.; Robinson, A. L.

    2013-12-01

    Black carbon (BC) is currently considered the second most important global warming factor behind CO2 and is thought to be underestimated by a factor of two in most global models (Bond et al., 2013). Approximately half of BC comes from biomass burning (BB) sources, which are estimated to contribute up to ~0.6 W/m2 warming of the atmosphere. Organic carbon (OC) from fires condenses on and/or mixes with the BC, lowering the overall forcing from BB to 0.03 × 0.12 Wm-2. This reduction depends strongly on the composition and mixing state of OC and BC, which is dependent on fire conditions, e.g. modified combustion efficiency. Models and laboratory measurements indicate that a BC core coated with a non-absorbing layer can enhance absorption by 2, although it has yet to be observed in ambient data to this degree (Cappa et al., 2012). Direct on-line measurements of BC are made with the single particle soot photometer (SP2) from "fresh" and "aged" BB. We investigate BC in concentrated BB plumes from the two largest wildfires in New Mexico's history with different ages and compare them to BC from indoor generation from single-source fuels, e.g. ponderosa pine, juniper, sawgrass, sampled during Fire Lab At Missoula Experiments IV (FLAME-IV). FLAME-IV includes direct emissions, well-mixed samples, and aging studies. Aerosol optical properties were measured using photoacoustic spectrometry for absorption and nephelometry for scattering with the 3-wavelength and single-wavelength Photoacoustic Soot Spectrometers (PASS-3: 405 nm, 532 nm, 781 nm; PASS: 375 nm) and for the first time are compared with the new Photoacoustic Extinctiometer (PAX; 870 nm) during FLAME-IV. Las Conchas Fire (July-August, 2011) BC was sampled after only a few hours of aging and exhibits mostly core-shell structure. Whitewater Baldy Fire (May-June, 2012) BC was sampled after an aging period of 10-20 hours and includes partially coated BC in addition to thickly coated core-shell BC. Partially coated BC is

  9. Signatures of Biomass Burning Aerosols during a Smoke Plume Event from a Saltmarsh Wildfire in South Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louchouarn, P.; Griffin, R. J.; Norwood, M. J.; Sterne, A. M. E.; Karakurt Cevik, B.

    2014-12-01

    The most conventional and abundant tracers of biomass combustion in aerosol particles include potassium and biomarkers derived from thermally altered cellulose/hemicellulose (anhydrosugars) and lignin (methoxyphenols). However, little is known of the role of biomass combustion as a particulate source of major plant polymers to the atmosphere. Here, concentrations of "free" (solvent-extractable) anhydrosugars and methoxyphenols are compared to the yields of polymeric lignin oxidation products (LOPs) during a smoke plume event in Houston, Texas. Downwind aerosol samples (PM2.5) were collected prior to, during, and following a two-day wildfire event that burned ~5,000 acres of a spartina saltmarsh ecosystem in the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, 125 km southeast of Houston. In addition, charcoals of the burned plants were collected within a week of the fire at the wildfire site. HYSPLIT modeling shows that Houston was directly downwind of this wildfire during the peak of the burn, with an approximate travel time from source to aerosol sampling site of 12-16 hrs. Concentrations of all organic markers, K+, and Ca2+ jumped by a factor of 2-13 within 1-2 days of the start of the fire and dropped to pre-fire levels three days after the peak event. Source signatures of anhydrosugars and free methoxyphenols during the peak of the plume were identical to those of grass charcoals collected from the site, confirming the potential use of charcoals as endmembers for source input reconstruction during atmospheric transport. An enrichment factor of 20 in the anhydrosugar to methoxyphenol ratio of aerosols vs. charcoals can partially be explained by differences in degradation rate constants between the two biomarker groups. Polymeric LOP comprised 73-91% of all lignin material in the aerosols, pointing to fires as major sources of primary biogenic aerosol particles and confirming an earlier study that lignin phenols in atmospheric particles occur predominantly in polymeric form.

  10. Mapping wildfire effects on Ca2+ and Mg2+ released from ash. A microplot analisis.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Úbeda, Xavier; Martin, Deborah

    2010-05-01

    Wildland fires have important implications in ecosystems dynamic. Their effects depends on many biophysical components, mainly burned specie, ecosystem affected, amount and spatial distribution of the fuel, relative humidity, slope, aspect and time of residence. These parameters are heterogenic across the landscape, producing a complex mosaic of severities. Wildland fires have a heterogenic impact on ecosystems due their diverse biophysical features. It is widely known that fire impacts can change rapidly even in short distances, producing at microplot scale highly spatial variation. Also after a fire, the most visible thing is ash and his physical and chemical properties are of main importance because here reside the majority of the available nutrients available to the plants. Considering this idea, is of major importance, study their characteristics in order to observe the type and amount of elements available to plants. This study is focused on the study of the spatial variability of two nutrients essential to plant growth, Ca2+ and Mg2+, released from ash after a wildfire at microplot scale. The impacts of fire are highly variable even small distances. This creates many problems at the hour of map the effects of fire in the release of the studied elements. Hence is of major priority identify the less biased interpolation method in order to predict with great accuracy the variable in study. The aim of this study is map the effects of wildfire on the referred elements released from ash at microplot scale, testing several interpolation methods. 16 interpolation techniques were tested, Inverse Distance to a Weight (IDW), with the with the weights of 1,2, 3, 4 and 5, Local Polynomial, with the power of 1 (LP1) and 2 (LP2), Polynomial Regression (PR), Radial Basis Functions, especially, Spline With Tension (SPT), Completely Regularized Spline (CRS), Multiquadratic (MTQ), Inverse Multiquadratic (MTQ), and Thin Plate Spline (TPS). Also geostatistical methods were

  11. Operational Experience with Long Duration Wildfire Mapping: UAS Missions Over the Western United States

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Philip; Cobleigh, Brent; Buoni, Greg; Howell, Kathleen

    2008-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, United States Forest Service, and National Interagency Fire Center have developed a partnership to develop and demonstrate technology to improve airborne wildfire imaging and data dissemination. In the summer of 2007, a multi-spectral infrared scanner was integrated into NASA's Ikhana Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) (a General Atomics Predator-B) and launched on four long duration wildfire mapping demonstration missions covering eight western states. Extensive safety analysis, contingency planning, and mission coordination were key to securing an FAA certificate of authorization (COA) to operate in the national airspace. Infrared images were autonomously geo-rectified, transmitted to the ground station by satellite communications, and networked to fire incident commanders within 15 minutes of acquisition. Close coordination with air traffic control ensured a safe operation, and allowed real-time redirection around inclement weather and other minor changes to the flight plan. All objectives of the mission demonstrations were achieved. In late October, wind-driven wildfires erupted in five southern California counties. State and national emergency operations agencies requested Ikhana to help assess and manage the wildfires. Four additional missions were launched over a 5-day period, with near realtime images delivered to multiple emergency operations centers and fire incident commands managing 10 fires.

  12. Mapping burn severity in a disease-impacted forest landscape using Landsat and MASTER imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Gang; Metz, Margaret R.; Rizzo, David M.; Meentemeyer, Ross K.

    2015-08-01

    Global environmental change has increased forest vulnerability to the occurrence of interacting disturbances, including wildfires and invasive diseases. Mapping post-fire burn severity in a disease-affected forest often faces challenges because burned and infested trees may exhibit a high similarity in spectral reflectance. In this study, we combined (pre- and post-fire) Landsat imagery and (post-fire) high-spectral resolution airborne MASTER data [MODIS (moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer)/ASTER (advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer)] to map burn severity in a California coastal forest environment, where a non-native forest disease sudden oak death (SOD) was causing substantial tree mortality. Results showed that the use of Landsat plus MASTER bundle performed better than using the individual sensors in most of the evaluated forest strata from ground to canopy layers (i.e., substrate, shrubs, intermediate-sized trees, dominant trees and average), with the best model performance achieved at the dominant tree layer. The mid to thermal infrared spectral bands (3.0-12.5 μm) from MASTER were found to augment Landsat's visible to shortwave infrared bands in burn severity assessment. We also found that infested and uninfested forests similarly experienced moderate to high degrees of burns where CBI (composite burn index) values were higher than 1. However, differences occurred in the regions with low burn severity (CBI values lower than 1), where uninfested stands revealed a much lower burn effect than that in infested stands, possibly due to their higher resilience to small fire disturbances as a result of higher leaf water content.

  13. Comparison of traditional burn wound mapping with a computerized program.

    PubMed

    Williams, James F; King, Booker T; Aden, James K; Serio-Melvin, Maria; Chung, Kevin K; Fenrich, Craig A; Salinas, José; Renz, Evan M; Wolf, Steven E; Blackbourne, Lorne H; Cancio, Leopoldo C

    2013-01-01

    Accurate burn estimation affects the use of burn resuscitation formulas and treatment strategies, and thus can affect patient outcomes. The objective of this process-improvement project was to compare the accuracy of a computer-based burn mapping program, WoundFlow (WF), with the widely used hand-mapped Lund-Browder (LB) diagram. Manikins with various burn representations (from 1% to more than 60% TBSA) were used for comparison of the WF system and LB diagrams. Burns were depicted on the manikins using red vinyl adhesive. Healthcare providers responsible for mapping of burn patients were asked to perform burn mapping of the manikins. Providers were randomized to either an LB or a WF group. Differences in the total map area between groups were analyzed. Also, direct measurements of the burn representations were taken and compared with LB and WF results. The results of 100 samples, compared using Bland-Altman analysis, showed no difference between the two methods. WF was as accurate as LB mapping for all burn surface areas. WF may be additionally beneficial in that it can track daily progress until complete wound closure, and can automatically calculate burn size, thus decreasing the chances of mathematical errors.

  14. Satellite data driven modeling system for predicting air quality and visibility during wildfire and prescribed burn events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nair, U. S.; Keiser, K.; Wu, Y.; Maskey, M.; Berendes, D.; Glass, P.; Dhakal, A.; Christopher, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) is responsible for wildfire control and also prescribed burn management in the state of Alabama. Visibility and air quality degradation resulting from smoke are two pieces of information that are crucial for this activity. Currently the tools available to AFC are the dispersion index available from the National Weather Service and also surface smoke concentrations. The former provides broad guidance for prescribed burning activities but does not provide specific information regarding smoke transport, areas affected and quantification of air quality and visibility degradation. While the NOAA operational air quality guidance includes surface smoke concentrations from existing fire events, it does not account for contributions from background aerosols, which are important for the southeastern region including Alabama. Also lacking is the quantification of visibility. The University of Alabama in Huntsville has developed a state-of-the-art integrated modeling system to address these concerns. This system based on the Community Air Quality Modeling System (CMAQ) that ingests satellite derived smoke emissions and also assimilates NASA MODIS derived aerosol optical thickness. In addition, this operational modeling system also simulates the impact of potential prescribed burn events based on location information derived from the AFC prescribed burn permit database. A lagrangian model is used to simulate smoke plumes for the prescribed burns requests. The combined air quality and visibility degradation resulting from these smoke plumes and background aerosols is computed and the information is made available through a web based decision support system utilizing open source GIS components. This system provides information regarding intersections between highways and other critical facilities such as old age homes, hospitals and schools. The system also includes satellite detected fire locations and other satellite derived datasets

  15. Mapping burn severity, pine beetle infestation, and their interaction at the High Park Fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Brandon

    North America's western forests are experiencing wildfire and mountain pine beetle (MPB) disturbances that are unprecedented in the historic record, but it remains unclear whether and how MPB infestation influences post-infestation fire behavior. The 2012 High Park Fire burned in an area that's estimated to have begun a MPB outbreak cycle within five years before the wildfire, resulting in a landscape in which disturbance interactions can be studied. A first step in studying these interactions is mapping regions of beetle infestation and post-fire disturbance. We implemented an approach for mapping beetle infestation and burn severity using as source data three 5 m resolution RapidEye satellite images (two pre-fire, one post-fire). A two-tiered methodology was developed to overcome the spatial limitations of many classification approaches through explicit analyses at both pixel and plot level. Major land cover classes were photo-interpreted at the plot-level and their spectral signature used to classify 5 m images. A new image was generated at 25 m resolution by tabulating the fraction of coincident 5 m pixels in each cover class. The original photo interpretation was then used to train a second classification using as its source image the new 25 m image. Maps were validated using k-fold analysis of the original photo interpretation, field data collected immediately post-fire, and publicly available classifications. To investigate the influence of pre-fire beetle infestation on burn severity within the High Park Fire, we fit a log-linear model of conditional independence to our thematic maps after controlling for forest cover class and slope aspect. Our analysis revealed a high co-occurrence of severe burning and beetle infestation within high elevation lodgepole pine stands, but did not find statistically significant evidence that infected stands were more likely to burn severely than similar uninfected stands. Through an inspection of the year-to-year changes in

  16. Mapping the Distribution of Wildfire Fuels Using AVIRIS in the Santa Monica Mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Dar; Gardner, M.; Regelbrugge, J.; Pedreros, D.; Ustin, S.

    1998-01-01

    Catastrophic wildfires, such as the 1990 Painted Cave Fire in Santa Barbara or Oakland fire of 1991, attest to the destructive potential of fire in the wildland/urban interface. For example, during the Painted Cave Fire, 673 structures were consumed over a period of only six hours at an estimated cost of 250 million dollars (Gomes et al., 1993). One of the primary sources of fuels is chaparral, which consists of plant species that are adapted to frequent fires and may actually promote its ignition and spread of through volatile organic compounds in foliage. As one of the most widely distributed plant communities in Southern California, and one of the most common vegetation types along the wildland urban interface, chaparral represents one of the greatest sources of wildfire hazard in the region. An ongoing NASA funded research project was initiated in 1994 to study the potential of AVIRIS for mapping wildfire fuel properties in Southern California chaparral. The project was initiated in the Santa Monica Mountains, an east-west trending range in western Los Angeles County that has experienced extremely high fire frequencies over the past 70 years. The Santa Monica Mountains were selected because they exemplify many of the problems facing the southwest, forming a complex mosaic of land ownership intermixed with a diversity of chaparral age classes and fuel loads. Furthermore, the area has a wide diversity of chaparral community types and a rich background in supporting geographic information including fire history, soils and topography. Recent fires in the Santa Monica Mountains, including several in 1993 and the Calabasas fire of 1996 attest to the active fire regime present in the area. The long term objectives of this project are to improve existing maps of wildland fuel properties in the area, link AVIRIS derived products to fuel models under development for the region, then predict fire hazard through models that simulate fire spread. In this paper, we describe

  17. Charring temperatures are driven by the fuel types burned in a peatland wildfire

    PubMed Central

    Hudspith, Victoria A.; Belcher, Claire M.; Yearsley, Jonathan M.

    2014-01-01

    Peatlands represent a globally important carbon store; however, the human exploitation of this ecosystem is increasing both the frequency and severity of fires on drained peatlands. Yet, the interactions between the hydrological conditions (ecotopes), the fuel types being burned, the burn severity, and the charring temperatures (pyrolysis intensity) remain poorly understood. Here we present a post-burn assessment of a fire on a lowland raised bog in Co. Offaly, Ireland (All Saints Bog). Three burn severities were identified in the field (light, moderate, and deeply burned), and surface charcoals were taken from 17 sites across all burn severities. Charcoals were classified into two fuel type categories (either ground or aboveground fuel) and the reflectance of each charcoal particle was measured under oil using reflectance microscopy. Charcoal reflectance shows a positive relationship with charring temperature and as such can be used as a temperature proxy to reconstruct minimum charring temperatures after a fire event. Resulting median reflectance values for ground fuels are 1.09 ± 0.32%Romedian, corresponding to estimated minimum charring temperatures of 447°C ± 49°C. In contrast, the median charring temperatures of aboveground fuels were found to be considerably higher, 646°C ± 73°C (3.58 ± 0.77%Romedian). A mixed-effects modeling approach was used to demonstrate that the interaction effects of burn severity, as well as ecotope classes, on the charcoal reflectance is small compared to the main effect of fuel type. Our findings reveal that the different fuel types on raised bogs are capable of charring at different temperatures within the same fire, and that the pyrolysis intensity of the fire on All Saints Bog was primarily driven by the fuel types burning, with only a weak association to the burn severity or ecotope classes. PMID:25566288

  18. Future climate and wildfire: ecosystem projections of area burned in the western US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Littell, J. S.; Duffy, P.; Battisti, D. S.; McKenzie, D.; Peterson, D. L.

    2010-12-01

    The area burned by fire in ecosystems of the western United States has been closely linked to climate in the paleoecological record and in the modern record. Statistical models of area burned show that the climatic controls on area burned vary with vegetation type (Littell et al. 2009). In more arid or systems (grasslands, shrublands, woodlands), antecedent climatic controls on fire were associated first with the production of fuels and secondarily with drought in the year of fire. These relationships typically manifested as wetter and sometimes cooler conditions in the seasons prior to the fire season. Area burned in forest ecosystems and some woodlands was primarily associated with drought conditions, specifically increased temperature and decreased precipitation in the year of fire and the seasons leading up to the fire season. These climatic controls indicate the role of climate in drying existing fuels. Statistical fire models trained on the late 20th century for ecoprovinces in the West would be useful for projecting area burned, at least until vegetation type conversion driven by climate and disturbance occurs. To that end, we used ~ 2.5 degree gridded future climate fields derived for a multi-GCM ensemble of 1C and 2C temperature increase forcing to develop future ecoprovince monthly and seasonal average temperature and associated precipitation and used these as predictors in statistical fire models of future projected area burned. We also conducted modeling scenarios with the ensemble temperature increase paired with historical precipitation. Most ecoprovinces had increases in area burned, with a range of ~ 67% to over 600% . Ecoprovinces that are primarily sensitive to precipitation changes exhibit smaller increases than those most sensitive to temperature (forest systems). We also developed exceedance probabilities. Some ecoprovinces show large increases in area burned but low exceedance probabilities, suggest that the area burned is concentrated more

  19. Mapping and monitoring cropland burning in European Russia: a multi-sensor approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, J.; Loboda, T. V.; Mccarty, G.; McConnell, L.; Woldemariam, T.

    2013-12-01

    Short lived aerosols and pollutants transported from high northern latitudes have amplified the short term warming in the Arctic region. Specifically, black carbon (BC) is recognized as the second most important human emission in regards to climate forcing, behind carbon dioxide with a total climate forcing of +1.1Wm-2. Early studies have suggested that cropland burning may be a high contributor to the BC emissions which are directly deposited above the Arctic Circle. However, accurate monitoring of cropland burning from existing active fire and burned area products is limited. Most existing algorithms are focused on mapping hotter and larger wildfire events. The timing of cropland burning differs from wildfire events and their transient nature adds a further challenge to the product development. In addition, the analysis of multi-year cloud cover over Russian croplands, using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) daily surface reflectance data showed that on average early afternoon observations from MODIS/ Aqua provided 68 clear views per growing period (defined 1st March 2003 - 30th November 2012) with a range from 30 to 101 clear views; whereas MODIS/Terra provided 75 clear views per growing period (defined 1st March 2001 - 30th November 2012) with a range from 37 to 113 clear views. Here we present a new approach to burned area mapping in croplands from satellite imagery. Our algorithm is designed to detect burned area only within croplands and does not have the requirements to perform well outside those. The algorithm focuses on tracking the natural intra-annual development curve specific for crops rather than natural vegetation and works by identifying the subtle spectral nuances between varieties of cropland field categories. Using a combination of the high visual accuracy from very high resolution (VHR, defined as spatial resolution < 5m) imagery and the temporal trend of MODIS data, we are able to differentiate between burned and plowed

  20. National Scale Operational Mapping of Burnt Areas as a Tool for the Better Understanding of Contemporary Wildfire Patterns and Regimes

    PubMed Central

    Kontoes, Charalampos; Keramitsoglou, Iphigenia; Papoutsis, Ioannis; Sifakis, Nicolas I.; Xofis, Panteleimon

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an operational nationwide burnt area mapping service realized over Greece for the years 2007–2011, through the implementation of the so-called BSM_NOA dedicated method developed at the National Observatory of Athens for post-fire recovery management. The method exploits multispectral satellite imagery, such as Landsat-TM, SPOT, FORMOSAT-2, WorldView and IKONOS. The analysis of fire size distribution reveals that a high number of fire events evolve to large and extremely large wildfires under favorable wildfire conditions, confirming the reported trend of an increasing fire-severity in recent years. Furthermore, under such conditions wildfires affect to a higher degree areas at high altitudes, threatening the existence of ecologically significant ecosystems. Finally, recent socioeconomic changes and land abandonment has resulted in the encroachment of former agricultural areas of limited productivity by shrubs and trees, resulting both in increased fuel availability and continuity, and subsequently increased burnability. PMID:23966201

  1. National scale operational mapping of burnt areas as a tool for the better understanding of contemporary wildfire patterns and regimes.

    PubMed

    Kontoes, Charalampos; Keramitsoglou, Iphigenia; Papoutsis, Ioannis; Sifakis, Nicolas I; Xofis, Panteleimon

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an operational nationwide burnt area mapping service realized over Greece for the years 2007-2011, through the implementation of the so-called BSM_NOA dedicated method developed at the National Observatory of Athens for post-fire recovery management. The method exploits multispectral satellite imagery, such as Landsat-TM, SPOT, FORMOSAT-2, WorldView and IKONOS. The analysis of fire size distribution reveals that a high number of fire events evolve to large and extremely large wildfires under favorable wildfire conditions, confirming the reported trend of an increasing fire-severity in recent years. Furthermore, under such conditions wildfires affect to a higher degree areas at high altitudes, threatening the existence of ecologically significant ecosystems. Finally, recent socioeconomic changes and land abandonment has resulted in the encroachment of former agricultural areas of limited productivity by shrubs and trees, resulting both in increased fuel availability and continuity, and subsequently increased burnability. PMID:23966201

  2. Spectral Characterization of Agricultural Burned Areas for Satellite Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boren, Erik J.

    Burned area detection with remotely sensed satellite data in agricultural landscapes is not only necessary for the estimation of global biomass burning emissions, but also has gained attention from managers interested in improved methods for the quantification of local scale emissions which affect air quality and human health. Mapping agricultural burned areas accurately, precisely and reliably, with methods that can be applied globally, is difficult because of the spectral and temporal characteristics of agricultural regions and prescribed cropland fires. These challenges have not been fully addressed by the scientific literature. Chapter 1 of this thesis presents an extensive literature review on the methods currently used for agricultural burned area mapping. Chapter 2 presents original research on the spectral characterization of agricultural burned areas, using field data and mixture models to analyze the response of spectral indices to the changes induced by fire and agricultural practices. The conclusions summarize the significance of the presented research for understanding the potential and limits of satellite data for agricultural burned area monitoring, and outline the directions for future work.

  3. Using MODIS imagery to assign dates to maps of burn scars in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DaCamara, C. C.; Libonati, R.; Barros, A.; Gaspar, G.; Calado, T. J.

    2012-04-01

    In the European context, Portugal presents the highest number of fire occurrences and has the largest area affected by wildfires. Like other southern regions of Europe, Portugal has experienced a dramatic increase in fire incidence during the last few decades that has been attributed to modifications in land-use as well as to climatic changes and associated occurrence of weather extremes. Wildfire activity also presents a large inter-annual variability that has been related to changes in the frequency of occurrence of atmospheric conditions favorable to the onset and spreading of large-fires. Since 1990, the Portuguese Authority for Forests (AFN) has been producing yearly maps of fire perimeters under a protocol with the Department of Forest Engineering of the Institute of Agronomy (DEF/ISA). The AFN fire atlas uses end of fire season Landsat TM/ETM imagery to map all fire perimeters with area larger than 5ha. Because it relies on end-of-season imagery, the atlas provides a spatial snapshot of the yearly area burned, and dates of burn for individual events cannot be estimated. Such information is nevertheless crucial to understand the fire regime and fire seasonality and to disentangle the complex interactions among fire, land cover and meteorology. The aim of the present work is to develop an automated procedure that allows using time series of moderate resolution imagery, such as the one provided by the MODIS instrument on-board TERRA and AQUA, to assign dates of burning to scars larger than 500 ha in the Landsat based fire atlas. The procedure relies on the so-called (V,W) burned index that uses daily reflectance obtained from the 1km MODIS Level 1B calibrated radiance from bands 2 (NIR) and 20 (MIR). The algorithm detects persistent changes in the (V,W) burned index time series, within each Landsat burned scar. The day of maximum change is then identified by means of a discrimination index, together with thresholds from the (V,W) time series. A spatial filter

  4. Comparing fuel reduction treatments for reducing wildfire size and intensity in a boreal forest landscape of northeastern China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhiwei; He, Hong S; Liu, Zhihua; Liang, Yu

    2013-06-01

    Fuel load is often used to prioritize stands for fuel reduction treatments. However, wildfire size and intensity are not only related to fuel loads but also to a wide range of other spatially related factors such as topography, weather and human activity. In prioritizing fuel reduction treatments, we propose using burn probability to account for the effects of spatially related factors that can affect wildfire size and intensity. Our burn probability incorporated fuel load, ignition probability, and spread probability (spatial controls to wildfire) at a particular location across a landscape. Our goal was to assess differences in reducing wildfire size and intensity using fuel-load and burn-probability based treatment prioritization approaches. Our study was conducted in a boreal forest in northeastern China. We derived a fuel load map from a stand map and a burn probability map based on historical fire records and potential wildfire spread pattern. The burn probability map was validated using historical records of burned patches. We then simulated 100 ignitions and six fuel reduction treatments to compare fire size and intensity under two approaches of fuel treatment prioritization. We calibrated and validated simulated wildfires against historical wildfire data. Our results showed that fuel reduction treatments based on burn probability were more effective at reducing simulated wildfire size, mean and maximum rate of spread, and mean fire intensity, but less effective at reducing maximum fire intensity across the burned landscape than treatments based on fuel load. Thus, contributions from both fuels and spatially related factors should be considered for each fuel reduction treatment.

  5. An Evaluation of Image Based Techniques for Early Wildfire Detection and Fuel Mapping

    SciTech Connect

    Gabbert, Dustin W.

    2015-05-01

    Few events can cause the catastrophic impact to ecology, infrastructure, and human safety of a wildland fire along the wildland urban interface. The suppression of natural wildland fires over the past decade has caused a buildup of dry, dead surface fuels: a condition that, coupled with the right weather conditions, can cause large destructive wildfires that are capable of threatening both ancient tree stands and manmade infrastructure. Firefighters use fire danger models to determine staffing needs on high fire risk days; however models are only as effective as the spatial and temporal density of their observations. OKFIRE, an Oklahoma initiative created by a partnership between Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma, has proven that fire danger assessments close to the fire – both geographically and temporally – can give firefighters a significant increase in their situational awareness while fighting a wildland fire. This paper investigates several possible solutions for a small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) which could gather information useful for detecting ground fires and constructing fire danger maps. Multiple fire detection and fuel mapping programs utilize satellites, manned aircraft, and large UAS equipped with hyperspectral sensors to gather useful information. Their success provides convincing proof of the utility that could be gained from low-altitude UAS gathering information at the exact time and place firefighters and land managers are interested in. Close proximity, both geographically and operationally, to the end can reduce latency times below what could ever be possible with satellite observation. This paper expands on recent advances in computer vision, photogrammetry, and infrared and color imagery to develop a framework for a next-generation UAS which can assess fire danger and aid firefighters in real time as they observe, contain, or extinguish wildland fires. It also investigates the impact information gained by this

  6. Analysis and mapping of post-fire hydrologic hazards for the 2002 Hayman, Coal Seam, and Missionary Ridge wildfires, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elliott, J.G.; Smith, M.E.; Friedel, M.J.; Stevens, M.R.; Bossong, C.R.; Litke, D.W.; Parker, R.S.; Costello, C.; Wagner, J.; Char, S.J.; Bauer, M.A.; Wilds, S.R.

    2005-01-01

    Wildfires caused extreme changes in the hydrologic, hydraulic, and geomorphologic characteristics of many Colorado drainage basins in the summer of 2002. Detailed assessments were made of the short-term effects of three wildfires on burned and adjacent unburned parts of drainage basins. These were the Hayman, Coal Seam, and Missionary Ridge wildfires. Longer term runoff characteristics that reflect post-fire drainage basin recovery expected to develop over a period of several years also were analyzed for two affected stream reaches: the South Platte River between Deckers and Trumbull, and Mitchell Creek in Glenwood Springs. The 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year flood-plain boundaries and water-surface profiles were computed in a detailed hydraulic study of the Deckers-to-Trumbull reach. The Hayman wildfire burned approximately 138,000 acres (216 square miles) in granitic terrain near Denver, and the predominant potential hazard in this area is flooding by sediment-laden water along the large tributaries to and the main stem of the South Platte River. The Coal Seam wildfire burned approximately 12,200 acres (19.1 square miles) near Glenwood Springs, and the Missionary Ridge wildfire burned approximately 70,500 acres (110 square miles) near Durango, both in areas underlain by marine shales where the predominant potential hazard is debris-flow inundation of low-lying areas. Hydrographs and peak discharges for pre-burn and post-burn scenarios were computed for each drainage basin and tributary subbasin by using rainfall-runoff models because streamflow data for most tributary subbasins were not available. An objective rainfall-runoff model calibration method based on nonlinear regression and referred to as the ?objective calibration method? was developed and applied to rainfall-runoff models for three burned areas. The HEC-1 rainfall-runoff model was used to simulate the pre-burn rainfall-runoff processes in response to the 100-year storm, and HEC-HMS was used for runoff

  7. Health impacts of wildfires.

    PubMed

    Finlay, Sarah Elise; Moffat, Andrew; Gazzard, Rob; Baker, David; Murray, Virginia

    2012-11-02

    Introduction Wildfires are common globally. Although there has been considerable work done on the health effects of wildfires in countries such as the USA where they occur frequently there has been relatively little work to investigate health effects in the United Kingdom. Climate change may increase the risk of increasing wildfire frequency, therefore there is an urgent need to further understand the health effects and public awareness of wildfires. This study was designed to review current evidence about the health effects of wildfires from the UK standpoint. Methods A comprehensive literature review of international evidence regarding wildfire related health effects was conducted in January 2012. Further information was gathered from authors' focus groups. Results A review of the published evidence shows that human health can be severely affected by wildfires. Certain populations are particularly vulnerable. Wood smoke has high levels of particulate matter and toxins. Respiratory morbidity predominates, but cardiovascular, ophthalmic and psychiatric problems can also result. In addition severe burns resulting from direct contact with the fire require care in special units and carry a risk of multi - organ complications. The wider health implications from spreading air, water and land pollution are of concern. Access to affected areas and communication with populations living within them is crucial in mitigating risk. Conclusion This study has identified factors that may reduce public health risk from wildfires. However more research is needed to evaluate longer term health effects from wildfires. An understanding of such factors is vital to ensure preparedness within health care services for such events.

  8. Compounding nonlinearities in the climate and wildfire system contribute to high uncertainty in estimates of future burned area in the western United State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, P.

    2015-12-01

    Ecological studies are increasingly recognizing the importance of atmospheric vapor-pressure deficit (VPD) as a driver of forest drought stress and disturbance processes such as wildfire. Because of the nonlinear Clausius-Clapeyron relationship between temperature and saturation vapor pressure, small variations in temperature can have large impacts on VPD, and therefore drought, particularly in warm, dry areas and particularly during the warm season. It is also clear that VPD and drought affect forest fire nonlinearly, as incremental drying leads to increasingly large burned areas. Forest fire is also affected by fuel amount and connectivity, which are promoted by vegetation growth in previous years, which is in turn promoted by lack of drought, highlighting the importance of nuances in the sequencing of natural interannual climate variations in modulating the impacts of drought on wildfire. The many factors affecting forest fire, and the nonlinearities embedded within the climate and wildfire systems, cause interannual variability in forest-fire area and frequency to be wildly variable and strongly affected by internal climate variability. In addition, warming over the past century has produced a background increase in forest fire frequency and area in many regions. In this talk I focus on the western United States and will explore whether the relationships between internal climate variability on forest fire area have been amplified by the effects of warming as a result of the compounding nonlinearities described above. I will then explore what this means for future burned area in the western United States and make the case that uncertainties in the future global greenhouse gas emissions trajectory, model projections of mean temperatures, model projections of precipitation, and model projections of natural climate variability translate to very large uncertainties in the effects of future climate variability on forest fire area in the United States and globally.

  9. Investigating the Impacts of Wildfires on Air Quality in the Western US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yates, E. L.; Iraci, L. T.; Singh, H. B.; Ambrosia, V. G.; Clements, C. B.; Gore, W.; Lareau, N.; Quayle, B.; Ryoo, J. M.; Schroeder, W.; Tanaka, T.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire emissions are an important source of a wide range of trace gases and particles that can impact local, regional and global air quality, climate forcing, biogeochemical cycles and human health. In the western US, wildfires dominate over prescribed fires. However, limited sampling of wildfire emissions means western US emission estimates rely largely on data from prescribed fires, which may not be a suitable proxy for wildfire emissions. Further, interactions of wildfire emissions with urban pollution, commonly the case with California wildfires, are complex and poorly understood. The Alpha Jet Atmospheric eXperiment (AJAX) sampled a variety of Californian wildfire plumes during 2013 and 2014. In addition to wildfire plumes, flights sample upwind, background conditions allowing for an assessment of enhancement ratios of trace gas species (carbon dioxide, methane and ozone). This paper presents airborne measurements of multiple trace constituents downwind of a variety of Californian wildfires, with a focus on the exceptionally large Yosemite Rim wildfire during summer 2013. During its intense burning phases, the Rim wildfire was sampled by AJAX on 29 August as well as by the NASA DC-8, as part of its SEAC4RS mission, on 26 and 27 August. AJAX revisited the wildfire on 10 September when it had reached its smoldering phase. The more extensive payload of the DC-8 helped to bridge key measurements that were not available as part of the AJAX payload (e. g. carbon monoxide). The emission ratios (ER), emission factors (EF) and combustion efficiency are compared with previous wildfire studies. Integration of AJAX data with other available datasets, such as SEAC4RS, Lidar data from the California State University Mobile Atmospheric Profiling System (CSU-MAPS), MODIS/VIIRS Fire Radiative Power (FRP) and surface ozone and meteorology measurements is explored to assess the impacts of wildfires on downwind air quality including the densely populated California central

  10. Mapping erosion-sensitive areas after wildfires using fieldwork, remote sensing, and geographic information systems techniques on a regional scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    PéRez-Cabello, F.; de La Riva FernáNdez, J.; Montorio LloveríA, R.; GarcíA-MartíN, A.

    2006-12-01

    Alterations in the hydrological cycle following wildfire due to the loss of ground cover vegetation and changes in soil properties have been documented in many studies. Nevertheless, the rapid process of vegetation recovery reduces such negative effects. Vegetation cover before fire, fire severity, and geophysical properties are important factors that control spatial discontinuities involved in the vegetation-covering process. The objective of this study was to estimate the probability of high erosion in order to map erosion-sensitive areas after fire. The analysis was carried out in different plant communities burnt by summer wildfires in the pre-Pyrenean area (Spain). Three-year Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images have been used for mapping wildfire areas and severity levels. Conversion to spectral reflectance has been applied for radiometric correction by normalizing topographic and atmospheric effects. Likewise, other physical variables have also been incorporated into the geographic information system (GIS): vegetation types, parent material, illumination, slope, aspect, and precipitation. The dependent variable has been characterized by means of fieldwork and a photointerpretation process based on high-resolution digital aerial orthophotographs taken 11-12 years after the fire. Different logistic regression models have been used for mapping the probability of erosion. Results indicate that prefire normalized difference vegetation index values and aspect are the most important variables for estimating erosion-sensitive areas after fire (Nagelkerke r2 = 0.66; Kappa values = 0.65). Finally, the use of nonparametric models with environmental digital information based on GIS can facilitate the management of burnt areas.

  11. Health Impacts of Wildfires

    PubMed Central

    Finlay, Sarah Elise; Moffat, Andrew; Gazzard, Rob; Baker, David; Murray, Virginia

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Wildfires are common globally. Although there has been considerable work done on the health effects of wildfires in countries such as the USA where they occur frequently there has been relatively little work to investigate health effects in the United Kingdom. Climate change may increase the risk of increasing wildfire frequency, therefore there is an urgent need to further understand the health effects and public awareness of wildfires. This study was designed to review current evidence about the health effects of wildfires from the UK standpoint. Methods A comprehensive literature review of international evidence regarding wildfire related health effects was conducted in January 2012. Further information was gathered from authors’ focus groups. Results A review of the published evidence shows that human health can be severely affected by wildfires. Certain populations are particularly vulnerable. Wood smoke has high levels of particulate matter and toxins. Respiratory morbidity predominates, but cardiovascular, ophthalmic and psychiatric problems can also result. In addition severe burns resulting from direct contact with the fire require care in special units and carry a risk of multi – organ complications. The wider health implications from spreading air, water and land pollution are of concern. Access to affected areas and communication with populations living within them is crucial in mitigating risk. Conclusion This study has identified factors that may reduce public health risk from wildfires. However more research is needed to evaluate longer term health effects from wildfires. An understanding of such factors is vital to ensure preparedness within health care services for such events. PMID:23145351

  12. Health impacts of wildfires.

    PubMed

    Finlay, Sarah Elise; Moffat, Andrew; Gazzard, Rob; Baker, David; Murray, Virginia

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Wildfires are common globally. Although there has been considerable work done on the health effects of wildfires in countries such as the USA where they occur frequently there has been relatively little work to investigate health effects in the United Kingdom. Climate change may increase the risk of increasing wildfire frequency, therefore there is an urgent need to further understand the health effects and public awareness of wildfires. This study was designed to review current evidence about the health effects of wildfires from the UK standpoint. Methods A comprehensive literature review of international evidence regarding wildfire related health effects was conducted in January 2012. Further information was gathered from authors' focus groups. Results A review of the published evidence shows that human health can be severely affected by wildfires. Certain populations are particularly vulnerable. Wood smoke has high levels of particulate matter and toxins. Respiratory morbidity predominates, but cardiovascular, ophthalmic and psychiatric problems can also result. In addition severe burns resulting from direct contact with the fire require care in special units and carry a risk of multi - organ complications. The wider health implications from spreading air, water and land pollution are of concern. Access to affected areas and communication with populations living within them is crucial in mitigating risk. Conclusion This study has identified factors that may reduce public health risk from wildfires. However more research is needed to evaluate longer term health effects from wildfires. An understanding of such factors is vital to ensure preparedness within health care services for such events. PMID:23145351

  13. EVOLUTIONARY COMPUTATION AND POST-WILDFIRE LAND-COVER MAPPING WITH MULTISPECTRAL IMAGERY.

    SciTech Connect

    Brumby, Steven P.; Koch, S. W.; Hansen, L. A.

    2001-01-01

    The Cerro Grande Los Alamos wildfire devastated approximately 43,000 acres (17,500 ha) of forested land, and destroyed over 200 structures in the town of Los Alamos. The need to monitor the continuing impact of the fire on the local environment has led to the application of a number of advanced remote sensing technologies. During and after the fire, remote-sensing data was acquired fiorn a variety of aircraft- and satellite-based sensors, including Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+). We now report on the application of a machine learning technique io the automated classification of land cover using multispectral imagery. We apply a hybrid gertelic programminghupervised classification technique to evolve automatic feature extraction algorithms. We use a software package we have developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, called GENIE, to carry out this evolution. We use multispectral imagery fiom the Landsat 7 ETM+ instrument fiom before and after the wildfire. Using an existing land cover classification based on a Landsat 5 TM scene for our training data, we evolve algorithms that distinguish a range of land cover categories, along with clouds and cloud shadows. The details of our evolved classification are compared to the manually produced land-cover classification. Keywords: Feature Extraction, Genetic programming, Supervised classification, Multi-spectral imagery, Land cover, Wildfire.

  14. Arizona Wildfire

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-23

    article title:  Wildfire in Arizona     View larger image ... plume on June 3, 2011 from the wildfires currently raging in Arizona. It is overlaid on an image captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging ...

  15. Evaluation of wildfire patterns at the wildland-urban fringe across the continental U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinoshita, A. M.; Hogue, T. S.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires threaten ecosystems and urban development across the United States, posing significant implications for land management and natural processes such as watershed hydrology. This study investigates the spatial association between large wildfires and urbanization. Several geospatial dataset are combined to map wildfires (Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity for 1984 to 2012) and housing density (SILVIS Lab Spatial Analysis for Conservation and Sustainability decadal housing density for 1940 to 2030) relative to natural wildlands across the contiguous U.S. Several buffers (i.e. 25 km) are developed around wildlands (Protected Areas Database of the United States) to quantify the change and relationship in spatial fire and housing density patterns. Since 1984, wildfire behavior is cyclical and follows general climatology, where warmer years have more and larger fires. Ignition locations also follow transportation corridors and development which provide easy accessibility to wildlands. In California, both fire frequency and total acres burned exhibit increasing trends (statistically significant at 95%). The 1980s average wildfire frequency and total acres burned was 3100 fires and approximately 1200 km2, respectively. These numbers have increased to 2200 fires and over 1500 km2 in the 2010 to 2012 period alone. Initial observations also show that decennial population and area burned for four major Californian counties (Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Shasta) show strong correlation between the last decade of burned area, urban-fringe proximity, and urbanization trends. Improving our understanding of human induced wildfire regimes provides key information on urban fringe communities most vulnerable to the wildfire risks and can help inform regional development planning.

  16. Burns

    MedlinePlus

    ... doing so puts you in danger as well. Chemical and Electrical Burns For chemical and electrical burns, call 911 or your local ... the power source has been turned off. For chemical burns: Dry chemicals should be brushed off the ...

  17. Wildfire Decision Making Under Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, M.

    2013-12-01

    Decisions relating to wildfire management are subject to multiple sources of uncertainty, and are made by a broad range of individuals, across a multitude of environmental and socioeconomic contexts. In this presentation I will review progress towards identification and characterization of uncertainties and how this information can support wildfire decision-making. First, I will review a typology of uncertainties common to wildfire management, highlighting some of the more salient sources of uncertainty and how they present challenges to assessing wildfire risk. This discussion will cover the expanding role of burn probability modeling, approaches for characterizing fire effects, and the role of multi-criteria decision analysis, and will provide illustrative examples of integrated wildfire risk assessment across a variety of planning scales. Second, I will describe a related uncertainty typology that focuses on the human dimensions of wildfire management, specifically addressing how social, psychological, and institutional factors may impair cost-effective risk mitigation. This discussion will encompass decision processes before, during, and after fire events, with a specific focus on active management of complex wildfire incidents. An improved ability to characterize uncertainties faced in wildfire management could lead to improved delivery of decision support, targeted communication strategies, and ultimately to improved wildfire management outcomes.

  18. Comparison between satellite wildfire databases in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amraoui, Malik; Pereira, Mário; DaCamara, Carlos

    2013-04-01

    For Europe, several databases of wildfires based on the satellite imagery are currently available and being used to conduct various studies and produce official reports. The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) burned area perimeters database comprises fires with burnt area greater than 1.0 ha occurred in the Europe countries during the 2000 - 2011 period. The MODIS Burned Area Product (MCD45A1) is a monthly global Level 3 gridded 500m product containing per-pixel burning, quality information, and tile-level metadata. The Burned Area Product was developed by the MODIS Fire Team at the University of Maryland and is available April 2000 onwards. Finally, for Portugal the National Forest Authority (AFN) discloses the national mapping of burned areas of the years 1990 to 2011, based on Landsat imagery which accounts for fires larger than 5.0 ha. This study main objectives are: (i) provide a comprehensive description of the datasets, its limitations and potential; (ii) do preliminary statistics on the data; and, (iii) to compare the MODIS and EFFIS satellite wildfires databases throughout/across the entire European territory, based on indicators such as the spatial location of the burned areas and the extent of area burned annually and complement the analysis for Portugal will the inclusion of database AFN. This work is supported by European Union Funds (FEDER/COMPETE - Operational Competitiveness Programme) and by national funds (FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) under the project FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-022692, the project FLAIR (PTDC/AAC-AMB/104702/2008) and the EU 7th Framework Program through FUME (contract number 243888).

  19. Wildfire Risk Mapping over the State of Mississippi: Land Surface Modeling Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Cooke, William H.; Mostovoy, Georgy; Anantharaj, Valentine G; Jolly, W. Matt

    2012-01-01

    Three fire risk indexes based on soil moisture estimates were applied to simulate wildfire probability over the southern part of Mississippi using the logistic regression approach. The fire indexes were retrieved from: (1) accumulated difference between daily precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (P-E); (2) top 10 cm soil moisture content simulated by the Mosaic land surface model; and (3) the Keetch-Byram drought index (KBDI). The P-E, KBDI, and soil moisture based indexes were estimated from gridded atmospheric and Mosaic-simulated soil moisture data available from the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS-2). Normalized deviations of these indexes from the 31-year mean (1980-2010) were fitted into the logistic regression model describing probability of wildfires occurrence as a function of the fire index. It was assumed that such normalization provides more robust and adequate description of temporal dynamics of soil moisture anomalies than the original (not normalized) set of indexes. The logistic model parameters were evaluated for 0.25 x0.25 latitude/longitude cells and for probability representing at least one fire event occurred during 5 consecutive days. A 23-year (1986-2008) forest fires record was used. Two periods were selected and examined (January mid June and mid September December). The application of the logistic model provides an overall good agreement between empirical/observed and model-fitted fire probabilities over the study area during both seasons. The fire risk indexes based on the top 10 cm soil moisture and KBDI have the largest impact on the wildfire odds (increasing it by almost 2 times in response to each unit change of the corresponding fire risk index during January mid June period and by nearly 1.5 times during mid September-December) observed over 0.25 x0.25 cells located along the state of Mississippi Coast line. This result suggests a rather strong control of fire risk indexes on fire occurrence probability

  20. Desertification and other ecological impacts produced by the historic Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire of 2000, Arizona, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neary, D.; Ffolliott, P.; Stropki, C.

    2009-04-01

    The Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire - the largest in Arizona's history - damaged or destroyed ecosystem resources and disrupted ecosystem functioning in a largely mosaic pattern throughout the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests exposed to the burn. Impacts of this wildfire on tree overstories were studied on two watersheds in the area burned; one watershed burned by a high severity (stand-replacing) fire, while the other watershed burned by a low severity (stand-modifying) fire. The Rodeo-Chediski wildfire damaged or destroyed ecosystem resources and disrupted the ecological functioning on much of the 189,015 ha impacted by the burning. Intermingling chaparral shrub communities and pinyon-juniper woodlands at lower elevations and ponderosa pine forests at high elevations were located within the burned area. The wildfire was caused by two human ignitions that merged into one inferno. The Rodeo Fire was started by an arsonist on June 18, 2002, while the Chediski Fire was ignited as a signal fire by a stranded motorist on June 20th. The two fires merged on June 26, 2002, to become the Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire. The combined wildfires were contained on July 7th at a suppression (firefighting) cost of about €37.9 million (USA 50 million). However, the estimated costs associated with property losses; losses of ecosystem, anthropological, and cultural resources; and post-fire rehabilitation efforts increased the costs of the wildfire to over €114 million (USA 150 million). About one-half of the total area that was burned by the Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire experienced a high-severity fire, other areas burned at a low- to medium-severity fire, and still other areas were largely unburned according to a Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) report and fire severity map prepared shortly after containment of the wildfire. A mosaic of areas burned at varying fire severities within intermingling unburned areas resulted. Post-fire rehabilitation efforts, including establishment

  1. Wind erosion from a sagebrush steppe burned by wildfire: measurements of PM10 and total horizontal sediment flux

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wagenbrenner, Natalie S.; Germino, Matthew J.; Lamb, Brian K.; Robichaud, Peter R.; Foltz, Randy B.

    2013-01-01

    above the soil surface, had a maximum PM10 vertical flux of 100 mg m-2 s-1, and generated a large dust plume that was visible in satellite imagery. The peak PM10 concentration measured on-site at a height of 2 m in the downwind portion of the burned area was 690 mg m-3. Our results indicate that wildfire can convert a relatively stable landscape into one that is a major dust source.

  2. Is proportion burned severely related to daily area burned?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birch, Donovan S.; Morgan, Penelope; Kolden, Crystal A.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Smith, Alistair M. S.

    2014-05-01

    The ecological effects of forest fires burning with high severity are long-lived and have the greatest impact on vegetation successional trajectories, as compared to low-to-moderate severity fires. The primary drivers of high severity fire are unclear, but it has been hypothesized that wind-driven, large fire-growth days play a significant role, particularly on large fires in forested ecosystems. Here, we examined the relative proportion of classified burn severity for individual daily areas burned that occurred during 42 large forest fires in central Idaho and western Montana from 2005 to 2007 and 2011. Using infrared perimeter data for wildfires with five or more consecutive days of mapped perimeters, we delineated 2697 individual daily areas burned from which we calculated the proportions of each of three burn severity classes (high, moderate, and low) using the differenced normalized burn ratio as mapped for large fires by the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project. We found that the proportion of high burn severity was weakly correlated (Kendall τ = 0.299) with size of daily area burned (DAB). Burn severity was highly variable, even for the largest (95th percentile) in DAB, suggesting that other variables than fire extent influence the ecological effects of fires. We suggest that these results do not support the prioritization of large runs during fire rehabilitation efforts, since the underlying assumption in this prioritization is a positive relationship between severity and area burned in a day.

  3. Biomass burning aerosols observed in Eastern Finland during the Russian wildfires in summer 2010 - Part 1: In-situ aerosol characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portin, H.; Mielonen, T.; Leskinen, A.; Arola, A.; Pärjälä, E.; Romakkaniemi, S.; Laaksonen, A.; Lehtinen, K. E. J.; Komppula, M.

    2012-02-01

    Biomass burning smoke and associated aerosol particles from wildfires near Moscow, Russia during summer 2010 had a significant impact on air quality both in the close vicinity of the burning area and to a lesser extent in other parts of Eastern Europe. Smoke was also observed in Eastern Finland, about 1000 km northwest of the fire area, in city of Kuopio, at Puijo tower atmospheric measurement station and at the city of Kuopio air quality monitoring sites. The origin of air masses was confirmed by remote sensing observations and trajectory analyses. Despite the distance between Kuopio and the fire area and a travel time of 1-2 days, exceptional physical and optical properties of aerosol particles were evident. During smoke events, aerosol particles twice as large (geometric mean diameter 158 nm) as in background conditions (geometric mean diameter 76.3 nm) were observed and they contained record-breaking amounts of black carbon, up to 1.23 μg m -3, which exceeds typical values by a factor of 12. Thus, absorption coefficient was significantly different when compared to background summer conditions (8.12 Mm -1 vs. 0.651 Mm -1). Also scattering coefficients experienced a remarkable increase, on average from 12.0 Mm -1, 7.2 Mm -1 and 4.2 Mm -1 to 245 Mm -1, 169 Mm -1 and 111 Mm -1 for blue, green and red light, respectively. The amount of particulate mass also experienced a multifold increase. Depending on the measurement site, PM 2.5 grew from 3 to 6 μg m -3 to 34-48 μg m -3 and PM 10 from 4 to 17 μg m -3 to 40-76 μg m -3. Trace gas concentrations were also affected by the smoke presence, especially carbon monoxide, which is commonly used as a tracer for biomass burning smoke. The concentration of nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and sulfur dioxide was affected only moderately and partly masked by the emissions from local pollutant sources.

  4. Burns

    MedlinePlus

    ... occur by direct or indirect contact with heat, electric current, radiation, or chemical agents. Burns can lead to ... is. The burn is caused by chemicals or electricity. The person shows signs of shock . The person ...

  5. Integrating satellite imagery with simulation modeling to improve burn severity mapping.

    PubMed

    Karau, Eva C; Sikkink, Pamela G; Keane, Robert E; Dillon, Gregory K

    2014-07-01

    Both satellite imagery and spatial fire effects models are valuable tools for generating burn severity maps that are useful to fire scientists and resource managers. The purpose of this study was to test a new mapping approach that integrates imagery and modeling to create more accurate burn severity maps. We developed and assessed a statistical model that combines the Relative differenced Normalized Burn Ratio, a satellite image-based change detection procedure commonly used to map burn severity, with output from the Fire Hazard and Risk Model, a simulation model that estimates fire effects at a landscape scale. Using 285 Composite Burn Index (CBI) plots in Washington and Montana as ground reference, we found that an integrated model explained more variability in CBI (R (2) = 0.47) and had lower mean squared error (MSE = 0.28) than image (R (2) = 0.42 and MSE = 0.30) or simulation-based models (R (2) = 0.07 and MSE = 0.49) alone. Overall map accuracy was also highest for maps created with the Integrated Model (63 %). We suspect that Simulation Model performance would greatly improve with higher quality and more accurate spatial input data. Results of this study indicate the potential benefit of combining satellite image-based methods with a fire effects simulation model to create improved burn severity maps. PMID:24817334

  6. Integrating Satellite Imagery with Simulation Modeling to Improve Burn Severity Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karau, Eva C.; Sikkink, Pamela G.; Keane, Robert E.; Dillon, Gregory K.

    2014-07-01

    Both satellite imagery and spatial fire effects models are valuable tools for generating burn severity maps that are useful to fire scientists and resource managers. The purpose of this study was to test a new mapping approach that integrates imagery and modeling to create more accurate burn severity maps. We developed and assessed a statistical model that combines the Relative differenced Normalized Burn Ratio, a satellite image-based change detection procedure commonly used to map burn severity, with output from the Fire Hazard and Risk Model, a simulation model that estimates fire effects at a landscape scale. Using 285 Composite Burn Index (CBI) plots in Washington and Montana as ground reference, we found that an integrated model explained more variability in CBI ( R 2 = 0.47) and had lower mean squared error (MSE = 0.28) than image ( R 2 = 0.42 and MSE = 0.30) or simulation-based models ( R 2 = 0.07 and MSE = 0.49) alone. Overall map accuracy was also highest for maps created with the Integrated Model (63 %). We suspect that Simulation Model performance would greatly improve with higher quality and more accurate spatial input data. Results of this study indicate the potential benefit of combining satellite image-based methods with a fire effects simulation model to create improved burn severity maps.

  7. Wildfire Awareness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Glenda

    2002-01-01

    Provides information about the Firewise Program whose goal is to assist people to become more fire-aware and better prepared for the effects of wildfire on property. Discusses why there are so many wildfires and what can be done. Includes the Wildland Fire Risk and Hazard Severity Assessment Form. (KHR)

  8. Wildfire risk assessment in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface of Greece.

    PubMed

    Mitsopoulos, Ioannis; Mallinis, Giorgos; Arianoutsou, Margarita

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess spatial wildfire risk in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface (WUI) in Greece and the potential effect of three different burning condition scenarios on the following four major wildfire risk components: burn probability, conditional flame length, fire size, and source-sink ratio. We applied the Minimum Travel Time fire simulation algorithm using the FlamMap and ArcFuels tools to characterize the potential response of the wildfire risk to a range of different burning scenarios. We created site-specific fuel models of the study area by measuring the field fuel parameters in representative natural fuel complexes, and we determined the spatial extent of the different fuel types and residential structures in the study area using photointerpretation procedures of large scale natural color orthophotographs. The results included simulated spatially explicit fire risk components along with wildfire risk exposure analysis and the expected net value change. Statistical significance differences in simulation outputs between the scenarios were obtained using Tukey's significance test. The results of this study provide valuable information for decision support systems for short-term predictions of wildfire risk potential and inform wildland fire management of typical WUI areas in Greece.

  9. Wildfire risk assessment in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface of Greece.

    PubMed

    Mitsopoulos, Ioannis; Mallinis, Giorgos; Arianoutsou, Margarita

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess spatial wildfire risk in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface (WUI) in Greece and the potential effect of three different burning condition scenarios on the following four major wildfire risk components: burn probability, conditional flame length, fire size, and source-sink ratio. We applied the Minimum Travel Time fire simulation algorithm using the FlamMap and ArcFuels tools to characterize the potential response of the wildfire risk to a range of different burning scenarios. We created site-specific fuel models of the study area by measuring the field fuel parameters in representative natural fuel complexes, and we determined the spatial extent of the different fuel types and residential structures in the study area using photointerpretation procedures of large scale natural color orthophotographs. The results included simulated spatially explicit fire risk components along with wildfire risk exposure analysis and the expected net value change. Statistical significance differences in simulation outputs between the scenarios were obtained using Tukey's significance test. The results of this study provide valuable information for decision support systems for short-term predictions of wildfire risk potential and inform wildland fire management of typical WUI areas in Greece. PMID:25537157

  10. Wildfire Risk Assessment in a Typical Mediterranean Wildland-Urban Interface of Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitsopoulos, Ioannis; Mallinis, Giorgos; Arianoutsou, Margarita

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess spatial wildfire risk in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface (WUI) in Greece and the potential effect of three different burning condition scenarios on the following four major wildfire risk components: burn probability, conditional flame length, fire size, and source-sink ratio. We applied the Minimum Travel Time fire simulation algorithm using the FlamMap and ArcFuels tools to characterize the potential response of the wildfire risk to a range of different burning scenarios. We created site-specific fuel models of the study area by measuring the field fuel parameters in representative natural fuel complexes, and we determined the spatial extent of the different fuel types and residential structures in the study area using photointerpretation procedures of large scale natural color orthophotographs. The results included simulated spatially explicit fire risk components along with wildfire risk exposure analysis and the expected net value change. Statistical significance differences in simulation outputs between the scenarios were obtained using Tukey's significance test. The results of this study provide valuable information for decision support systems for short-term predictions of wildfire risk potential and inform wildland fire management of typical WUI areas in Greece.

  11. AEGIS: a wildfire prevention and management information system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalabokidis, Kostas; Ager, Alan; Finney, Mark; Athanasis, Nikos; Palaiologou, Palaiologos; Vasilakos, Christos

    2016-03-01

    We describe a Web-GIS wildfire prevention and management platform (AEGIS) developed as an integrated and easy-to-use decision support tool to manage wildland fire hazards in Greece (http://aegis.aegean.gr). The AEGIS platform assists with early fire warning, fire planning, fire control and coordination of firefighting forces by providing online access to information that is essential for wildfire management. The system uses a number of spatial and non-spatial data sources to support key system functionalities. Land use/land cover maps were produced by combining field inventory data with high-resolution multispectral satellite images (RapidEye). These data support wildfire simulation tools that allow the users to examine potential fire behavior and hazard with the Minimum Travel Time fire spread algorithm. End-users provide a minimum number of inputs such as fire duration, ignition point and weather information to conduct a fire simulation. AEGIS offers three types of simulations, i.e., single-fire propagation, point-scale calculation of potential fire behavior, and burn probability analysis, similar to the FlamMap fire behavior modeling software. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) were utilized for wildfire ignition risk assessment based on various parameters, training methods, activation functions, pre-processing methods and network structures. The combination of ANNs and expected burned area maps are used to generate integrated output map of fire hazard prediction. The system also incorporates weather information obtained from remote automatic weather stations and weather forecast maps. The system and associated computation algorithms leverage parallel processing techniques (i.e., High Performance Computing and Cloud Computing) that ensure computational power required for real-time application. All AEGIS functionalities are accessible to authorized end-users through a web-based graphical user interface. An

  12. Wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface: A simulation study in northwestern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bar-Massada, A.; Radeloff, V.C.; Stewart, S.I.; Hawbaker, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    The rapid growth of housing in and near the wildland-urban interface (WUI) increases wildfire risk to lives and structures. To reduce fire risk, it is necessary to identify WUI housing areas that are more susceptible to wildfire. This is challenging, because wildfire patterns depend on fire behavior and spread, which in turn depend on ignition locations, weather conditions, the spatial arrangement of fuels, and topography. The goal of our study was to assess wildfire risk to a 60,000 ha WUI area in northwestern Wisconsin while accounting for all of these factors. We conducted 6000 simulations with two dynamic fire models: Fire Area Simulator (FARSITE) and Minimum Travel Time (MTT) in order to map the spatial pattern of burn probabilities. Simulations were run under normal and extreme weather conditions to assess the effect of weather on fire spread, burn probability, and risk to structures. The resulting burn probability maps were intersected with maps of structure locations and land cover types. The simulations revealed clear hotspots of wildfire activity and a large range of wildfire risk to structures in the study area. As expected, the extreme weather conditions yielded higher burn probabilities over the entire landscape, as well as to different land cover classes and individual structures. Moreover, the spatial pattern of risk was significantly different between extreme and normal weather conditions. The results highlight the fact that extreme weather conditions not only produce higher fire risk than normal weather conditions, but also change the fine-scale locations of high risk areas in the landscape, which is of great importance for fire management in WUI areas. In addition, the choice of weather data may limit the potential for comparisons of risk maps for different areas and for extrapolating risk maps to future scenarios where weather conditions are unknown. Our approach to modeling wildfire risk to structures can aid fire risk reduction management

  13. Assessing landscape scale wildfire exposure for highly valued resources in a Mediterranean area.

    PubMed

    Alcasena, Fermín J; Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A; Arca, Bachisio; Molina, Domingo; Spano, Donatella

    2015-05-01

    We used a fire simulation modeling approach to assess landscape scale wildfire exposure for highly valued resources and assets (HVR) on a fire-prone area of 680 km(2) located in central Sardinia, Italy. The study area was affected by several wildfires in the last half century: some large and intense fire events threatened wildland urban interfaces as well as other socioeconomic and cultural values. Historical wildfire and weather data were used to inform wildfire simulations, which were based on the minimum travel time algorithm as implemented in FlamMap. We simulated 90,000 fires that replicated recent large fire events in the area spreading under severe weather conditions to generate detailed maps of wildfire likelihood and intensity. Then, we linked fire modeling outputs to a geospatial risk assessment framework focusing on buffer areas around HVR. The results highlighted a large variation in burn probability and fire intensity in the vicinity of HVRs, and allowed us to identify the areas most exposed to wildfires and thus to a higher potential damage. Fire intensity in the HVR buffers was mainly related to fuel types, while wind direction, topographic features, and historically based ignition pattern were the key factors affecting fire likelihood. The methodology presented in this work can have numerous applications, in the study area and elsewhere, particularly to address and inform fire risk management, landscape planning and people safety on the vicinity of HVRs.

  14. Assessing Landscape Scale Wildfire Exposure for Highly Valued Resources in a Mediterranean Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcasena, Fermín J.; Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A.; Arca, Bachisio; Molina, Domingo; Spano, Donatella

    2015-05-01

    We used a fire simulation modeling approach to assess landscape scale wildfire exposure for highly valued resources and assets (HVR) on a fire-prone area of 680 km2 located in central Sardinia, Italy. The study area was affected by several wildfires in the last half century: some large and intense fire events threatened wildland urban interfaces as well as other socioeconomic and cultural values. Historical wildfire and weather data were used to inform wildfire simulations, which were based on the minimum travel time algorithm as implemented in FlamMap. We simulated 90,000 fires that replicated recent large fire events in the area spreading under severe weather conditions to generate detailed maps of wildfire likelihood and intensity. Then, we linked fire modeling outputs to a geospatial risk assessment framework focusing on buffer areas around HVR. The results highlighted a large variation in burn probability and fire intensity in the vicinity of HVRs, and allowed us to identify the areas most exposed to wildfires and thus to a higher potential damage. Fire intensity in the HVR buffers was mainly related to fuel types, while wind direction, topographic features, and historically based ignition pattern were the key factors affecting fire likelihood. The methodology presented in this work can have numerous applications, in the study area and elsewhere, particularly to address and inform fire risk management, landscape planning and people safety on the vicinity of HVRs.

  15. Combining Lidar and Stereo Imagery for Mapping Forest Structure Prior to Wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filippelli, S.; Lefsky, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Lidar has become an established tool for estimating forest structure attributes from observations of forest canopy height and variability. These attributes include ones relevant to fire behavior and effects, but due to the sparse availability of lidar data, it is unlikely to be available to document pre-fire conditions. In contrast, aerial photography is regularly collected in many countries and advances in stereo image matching have improved the accuracy of photogrammetric point clouds. As part of a study of the physical and ecological impacts of the 2012 High Park Fire, we generated a photogrammetric point cloud from pre-fire aerial imagery collected in 2008 and combined it with a digital terrain model generated from a 2013 post-fire lidar collection. We then generated a suite of canopy height and density indices from the pre-fire photogrammetry and post-fire lidar point clouds and compared them to each other and to forest structure attributes measured in the field immediately post-fire. For unburned areas, indices from the photogrammetric point cloud tended to be higher for height percentiles, lower for height variability, and higher for canopy density when compared to the corresponding lidar indices. However, in regression analyses combining canopy height and density indices derived from photo and lidar sources, a single equation could estimate field measured forest structure attributes without significant bias from the source of the indices. Models of attributes such as aboveground biomass on unburned plots had similar root mean square errors for lidar (27.5%), photogrammetry (28.2%), and both data sources (RMSE = 29.4% and source bias = -0.69). Similar results were obtained for Lorey's height, basal area, and canopy bulk density. In the context of wildfire, pre-fire forest structure information could aid assessments of contributing factors such as canopy fuels and fire effects such as loss of biomass. The wide spatial and temporal coverage of aerial photos

  16. Assessing the Potential Impact of the 2015-2016 El Niño on the California Rim Fire Burn Scar Through Debris Flow Hazard Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larcom, S.; Grigsby, S.; Ustin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfires are a perennial issue for California, and the current record-breaking drought is exacerbating the potential problems for the state. Fires leave behind burn scars characterized by diminished vegetative cover and abundant bare soil, and these areas are especially susceptible to storm events that pose an elevated risk of debris flows and sediment-rich sheet wash. This study focused on the 2013 Rim Fire that devastated significant portions of Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, and utilized readily available NASA JPL SRTM elevation data and AVIRIS spectral imaging data to construct a debris flow hazard map that assesses mass wasting risk for the Rim Fire burn scar. This study consisted entirely of remotely sensed data, which was processed in software programs such as ENVI, GRASS GIS, ArcMap, and Google Earth. Parameters that were taken into consideration when constructing this map include hill slope (greater than 30 percent rise), burn severity (assessed by calculating NDVI), and erodibility of the soil (by comparing spectral reflectance of AVIRIS images with the reference spectra of illite). By calculating percent of total burn area, 6% was classified as low risk, 55% as medium risk, and 39% as high risk. In addition, this study assessed the importance of the 2015-2016 El Niño, which is projected to be one of the strongest on record, by studying historic rainfall records and storm events of past El Niño's. Hydrological and infrastructural problems that could be caused by short-term convective or long-term synoptic storms and subsequent debris flows were explored as well.

  17. Automated mapping of burned areas in Landsat imagery; tracking spatial and temporal patterns of burned areas and greenhouse gas emissions in the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawbaker, Todd; Vanderhoof, Melanie; French, Nancy; Billmire, Michael; Beal, Yen-Ju Grace; Takacs, Josh; Bosshart, Robbert; Caldwell, Megan

    2016-04-01

    Accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions depend on precise mapping of burned area extent and timing. Consequently, fire disturbance has been identified by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) program as one of the 14 Terrestrial Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). Landsat's temporal resolution and sensor characteristics make it more suitable for mapping burned area than existing burned area products from coarse resolution sensors. We have developed an automated algorithm to identify burned areas in temporally rich stacks of Landsat surface reflectance data using boosted regression trees and spatial filters. For this analysis, we quantified trends in burned area and fire emissions using the USGS Burned Area ECV data and the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity data, the latter of which is known to be incomplete. Both datasets were combined with the LANDFIRE Fuel Characteristic Classification System to assign pre-fire biomass loads, and the CONSUME model was used to estimate biomass consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Both data sets show a dramatic increase in burned area between 1984-1999 and 2000-2015, but the Burned Area ECV included more small fires and fires in non-forest ecosystems. Emission estimates were similar between the two burned area datasets, but were generally greater for the Burned Area ECV. Our results suggest that national and regional scale emission estimates could be improved by incorporating the more complete Burned Area ECV dataset.

  18. Burns

    MedlinePlus

    ... are burns treated? In many cases, topical antibiotics (skin creams or ointments) are used to prevent infection. For third-degree burns and some second-degree ones, immediate blood transfusion and/or extra fluids ... is skin grafting? There are two types of skin grafts. ...

  19. Wildfire: A Family Activity Book.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    WGBH-TV, Boston, MA.

    This family activity book provides information for discovering and demonstrating the science of fire--how firefighters decide which fires to let burn and which to put out, how fires start and spread, and what to do when they flare up. Chapters include: (1) "A Game about Wildfire"; (2) "Create a Fire Safety Commercial"; (3) "Make a Fire Escape…

  20. Remote sensing and hydrological modeling of burn scars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Mary Ellen

    This study examined the potential usefulness of combining remote sensing data with hydrologic models and mapping tools available from Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to evaluate the effects of wildfire. Four subprojects addressed this issue: (1) validation of burn scar maps derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) with the National Fire Occurrence Database; (2) testing the potential of thermal MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data for near-real time burn scar and fire severity mapping; (3) evaluation of Landsat derived burn severity maps within WEPP through the Geo-spatial interface for the Water Erosion Prediction Project (GeoWEPP), and (4) predicting potential post-fire erosion for western U.S. forests utilizing existing datasets and models. Wildfire poses incredibly complex management problems in all of its stages. Today's land managers have the option of trying to mitigate the effects of a severe fire before it occurs by fuel management practices. This process is expensive especially considering the uncertainty of when and where the next fire in a given region will occur. When a wildfire does occur, deciding when to let it burn and when to suppress it may lead to controversial decisions. In addition to the threat to life and property from the fire itself, smoke emissions from large fires can cause air quality problems in distant airsheds. Even after the fire is extinguished, erosion and water quality problems may pose difficult management questions. Contributions stemming from these studies include improved burn scar maps for studying historical fire extent and demonstration of the feasibility of using thermal satellite data to predict burn scar extent when clouds and smoke obscure visible bands. The incorporation of Landsat derived burn severity maps was shown to improve post-fire erosion modeling results. Finally the potential post-fire burn severity and erosion risk maps generated for western US forests

  1. Monitoring a boreal wildfire using multi-temporal Radarsat-1 intensity and coherence images

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rykhus, Russ; Lu, Zhiming

    2011-01-01

    Twenty-five C-band Radarsat-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images acquired from the summer of 2002 to the summer of 2005 are used to map a 2003 boreal wildfire (B346) in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska under conditions of near-persistent cloud cover. Our analysis is primarily based on the 15 SAR scenes acquired during arctic growing seasons. The Radarsat-1 intensity data are used to map the onset and progression of the fire, and interferometric coherence images are used to qualify burn severity and monitor post-fire recovery. We base our analysis of the fire on three test sites, two from within the fire and one unburned site. The B346 fire increased backscattered intensity values for the two burn study sites by approximately 5-6 dB and substantially reduced coherence from background levels of approximately 0.8 in unburned background forested areas to approximately 0.2 in the burned area. Using ancillary vegetation information from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) and information on burn severity from Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) data, we conclude that burn site 2 was more severely burned than burn site 1 and that C-band interferometric coherence data are useful for mapping landscape changes due to fire. Differences in burn severity and topography are determined to be the likely reasons for the observed differences in post-fire intensity and coherence trends between burn sites.

  2. Characterizing wildfire regimes in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Malamud, Bruce D.; Millington, James D. A.; Perry, George L. W.

    2005-01-01

    Wildfires statistics for the conterminous United States (U.S.) are examined in a spatially and temporally explicit manner. We use a high-resolution data set consisting of 88,916 U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service wildfires over the time period 1970-2000 and consider wildfire occurrence as a function of ecoregion (land units classified by climate, vegetation, and topography), ignition source (anthropogenic vs. lightning), and decade. For the conterminous U.S., we (i) find that wildfires exhibit robust frequency-area power-law behavior in 18 different ecoregions; (ii) use normalized power-law exponents to compare the scaling of wildfire-burned areas between ecoregions, finding a systematic change from east to west; (iii) find that wildfires in the eastern third of the U.S. have higher power-law exponents for anthropogenic vs. lightning ignition sources; and (iv) calculate recurrence intervals for wildfires of a given burned area or larger for each ecoregion, allowing for the classification of wildfire regimes for probabilistic hazard estimation in the same vein as is now used for earthquakes. PMID:15781868

  3. Status of vegetation cover after 25 years since the last wildfire (Río Verde, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Murillo, Juan F.; Remond, Ricardo; Ruiz-Sinoga, José D.

    2016-04-01

    Climatic conditions play an important role in the post-fire vegetation recovery as well as other factors like topography, soil, and pre and post-fire land use (Shakesby, 2011; Robichaud et al., 2013). This study deals with the characterization of the vegetation cover status in an area affected by a wildfire 25 years ago. Namely, the objectives are to: i) compare the current and previous vegetation cover to wildfire; and ii) evaluate whether the current vegetation has recovered the previous cover to wildfire. The study area is mainly located in the Rio Verde watershed (Sierra de las Nieves, South of Spain). It corresponds to an area affected by a wildfire in August 8th, 1991. The burned area was equal to 8,156 ha. The burn severity was spatially very high. The main geographic features of the burned area are: mountainous topography (altitudes ranging from 250 m to 1700 m; slope gradient >25%; exposure mainly southfacing); igneous (peridotites), metamorphic (gneiss) and calcareous rocks (limestones); and predominant forest land use (Pinus pinaster sp. woodlands, 10%; pinus opened forest + shrubland, 40%; shrubland, 35%; and bare soil + grassland, 15%). Remote sensing techniques and GIS analysis has been applied to achieve the objectives. Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 images were used: July 13th, 1991 and July 1st, 2013, for the previous wildfire situation and 22-years after, respectively. The 1990 CORINE land cover was also considered to map 1991 land uses prior the wildfire. The Andalucía Regional Government wildfire historic records were used to select the burned area and its geographical limit. 1991 and 2013 land cover maps were obtained by means of object-oriented classifications. Also, NDVI index were calculated and mapped for both years in order to compare the status of vegetation cover. According to the results, the combination of remote sensing and GIS analysis let map the most recovered areas affected by the wildfire in 1991. The vegetation indexes indicated that

  4. A fully automatic processing chain to produce Burn Scar Mapping products, using the full Landsat archive over Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kontoes, Charalampos; Papoutsis, Ioannis; Herekakis, Themistoklis; Michail, Dimitrios; Ieronymidi, Emmanuela

    2013-04-01

    Remote sensing tools for the accurate, robust and timely assessment of the damages inflicted by forest wildfires provide information that is of paramount importance to public environmental agencies and related stakeholders before, during and after the crisis. The Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens (IAASARS/NOA) has developed a fully automatic single and/or multi date processing chain that takes as input archived Landsat 4, 5 or 7 raw images and produces precise diachronic burnt area polygons and damage assessments over the Greek territory. The methodology consists of three fully automatic stages: 1) the pre-processing stage where the metadata of the raw images are extracted, followed by the application of the LEDAPS software platform for calibration and mask production and the Automated Precise Orthorectification Package, developed by NASA, for image geo-registration and orthorectification, 2) the core-BSM (Burn Scar Mapping) processing stage which incorporates a published classification algorithm based on a series of physical indexes, the application of two filters for noise removal using graph-based techniques and the grouping of pixels classified as burnt to form the appropriate pixels clusters before proceeding to conversion from raster to vector, and 3) the post-processing stage where the products are thematically refined and enriched using auxiliary GIS layers (underlying land cover/use, administrative boundaries, etc.) and human logic/evidence to suppress false alarms and omission errors. The established processing chain has been successfully applied to the entire archive of Landsat imagery over Greece spanning from 1984 to 2012, which has been collected and managed in IAASARS/NOA. The number of full Landsat frames that were subject of process in the framework of the study was 415. These burn scar mapping products are generated for the first time to such a temporal and spatial

  5. AEGIS: a wildfire prevention and management information system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalabokidis, K.; Ager, A.; Finney, M.; Athanasis, N.; Palaiologou, P.; Vasilakos, C.

    2015-10-01

    A Web-GIS wildfire prevention and management platform (AEGIS) was developed as an integrated and easy-to-use decision support tool (http://aegis.aegean.gr). The AEGIS platform assists with early fire warning, fire planning, fire control and coordination of firefighting forces by providing access to information that is essential for wildfire management. Databases were created with spatial and non-spatial data to support key system functionalities. Updated land use/land cover maps were produced by combining field inventory data with high resolution multispectral satellite images (RapidEye) to be used as inputs in fire propagation modeling with the Minimum Travel Time algorithm. End users provide a minimum number of inputs such as fire duration, ignition point and weather information to conduct a fire simulation. AEGIS offers three types of simulations; i.e. single-fire propagations, conditional burn probabilities and at the landscape-level, similar to the FlamMap fire behavior modeling software. Artificial neural networks (ANN) were utilized for wildfire ignition risk assessment based on various parameters, training methods, activation functions, pre-processing methods and network structures. The combination of ANNs and expected burned area maps produced an integrated output map for fire danger prediction. The system also incorporates weather measurements from remote automatic weather stations and weather forecast maps. The structure of the algorithms relies on parallel processing techniques (i.e. High Performance Computing and Cloud Computing) that ensure computational power and speed. All AEGIS functionalities are accessible to authorized end users through a web-based graphical user interface. An innovative mobile application, AEGIS App, acts as a complementary tool to the web-based version of the system.

  6. High-resolution mapping of biomass burning emissions in tropical regions across three continents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yusheng; Matsunaga, Tsuneo; Saito, Makoto

    2015-04-01

    Biomass burning emissions from open vegetation fires (forest fires, savanna fires, agricultural waste burning), human waste and biofuel combustion contain large amounts of trace gases (e.g., CO2, CH4, and N2O) and aerosols (BC and OC), which significantly impact ecosystem productivity, global atmospheric chemistry, and climate . With the help of recently released satellite products, biomass density based on satellite and ground-based observation data, and spatial variable combustion factors, this study developed a new high-resolution emissions inventory for biomass burning in tropical regions across three continents in 2010. Emissions of trace gases and aerosols from open vegetation burning are estimated from burned areas, fuel loads, combustion factors, and emission factors. Burned areas were derived from MODIS MCD64A1 burned area product, fuel loads were mapped from biomass density data sets for herbaceous and tree-covered land based on satellite and ground-based observation data. To account for spatial heterogeneity in combustion factors, global fractional tree cover (MOD44B) and vegetation cover maps (MCD12Q1) were introduced to estimate the combustion factors in different regions by using their relationship with tree cover under less than 40%, between 40-60% and above 60% conditions. For emission factors, the average values for each fuel type from field measurements are used. In addition to biomass burning from open vegetation fires, the emissions from human waste (residential and dump) burning and biofuel burning in 2010 were also estimated for 76 countries in tropical regions across the three continents and then allocated into each pixel with 1 km grid based on the population density (Gridded Population of the World v3). Our total estimates for the tropical regions across the three continents in 2010 were 17744.5 Tg CO2, 730.3 Tg CO, 32.0 Tg CH4, 31.6 Tg NOx, 119.2 Tg NMOC, 6.3 Tg SO2, 9.8 NH3 Tg, 81.8 Tg PM2.5, 48.0 Tg OC, and 5.7 Tg BC, respectively. Open

  7. A method for smoke marker measurements and its potential application for determining the contribution of biomass burning from wildfires and prescribed fires to ambient PM2.5 organic carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, A. P.; Holden, A. S.; Patterson, L. A.; McMeeking, G. R.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Malm, W. C.; Hao, W. M.; Wold, C. E.; Collett, J. L.

    2008-11-01

    Biomass burning is an important source of particulate organic carbon (OC) in the atmosphere. Quantifying this contribution in time and space requires a means of routinely apportioning contributions of smoke from biomass burning to OC. Smoke marker (for example, levoglucosan) measurements provide the most common approach for making this determination. A lack of source profiles for wildfires and prescribed fires and the expense and complexity of traditional smoke marker measurement methods have thus far limited routine estimates of these contributions to ambient aerosol concentrations and regional haze. We report here on the collection of source profiles for combustion of numerous wildland fuels and on the development of an inexpensive and robust technique for routine smoke marker measurements. Hi-Volume filter source samples were collected during two studies at the Fire Science Laboratory in Missoula, MT in 2006 and 2007. Levoglucosan (and other carbohydrates) were measured in these samples using high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection. Results of this analysis along with water-soluble potassium, OC, and elemental carbon are presented. The results show that emissions of levoglucosan are fairly correlated with OC with an average ratio of 0.031 μg C/μg C. Further, there was a definite pattern that emerged based on fuel component burned with the typical levoglucosan/OC ratio of branches > straw > needles > leaves. Additionally, this carbohydrate measurement method appears to provide fingerprint information about the type of fuel burned that could help constrain profiles chosen for aerosol source apportionment and lead to a better determination of source contributions from biomass burning.

  8. Application of wildfire spread and behavior models to assess fire probability and severity in the Mediterranean region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salis, Michele; Arca, Bachisio; Bacciu, Valentina; Spano, Donatella; Duce, Pierpaolo; Santoni, Paul; Ager, Alan; Finney, Mark

    2010-05-01

    Characterizing the spatial pattern of large fire occurrence and severity is an important feature of the fire management planning in the Mediterranean region. The spatial characterization of fire probabilities, fire behavior distributions and value changes are key components for quantitative risk assessment and for prioritizing fire suppression resources, fuel treatments and law enforcement. Because of the growing wildfire severity and frequency in recent years (e.g.: Portugal, 2003 and 2005; Italy and Greece, 2007 and 2009), there is an increasing demand for models and tools that can aid in wildfire prediction and prevention. Newer wildfire simulation systems offer promise in this regard, and allow for fine scale modeling of wildfire severity and probability. Several new applications has resulted from the development of a minimum travel time (MTT) fire spread algorithm (Finney, 2002), that models the fire growth searching for the minimum time for fire to travel among nodes in a 2D network. The MTT approach makes computationally feasible to simulate thousands of fires and generate burn probability and fire severity maps over large areas. The MTT algorithm is imbedded in a number of research and fire modeling applications. High performance computers are typically used for MTT simulations, although the algorithm is also implemented in the FlamMap program (www.fire.org). In this work, we described the application of the MTT algorithm to estimate spatial patterns of burn probability and to analyze wildfire severity in three fire prone areas of the Mediterranean Basin, specifically Sardinia (Italy), Sicily (Italy) and Corsica (France) islands. We assembled fuels and topographic data for the simulations in 500 x 500 m grids for the study areas. The simulations were run using 100,000 ignitions under weather conditions that replicated severe and moderate weather conditions (97th and 70th percentile, July and August weather, 1995-2007). We used both random ignition locations

  9. Automated mapping of burned areas in semi-arid ecosystems using modis time-series imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardtke, L. A.; Blanco, P. D.; del Valle, H. F.; Metternicht, G. I.; Sione, W. F.

    2015-04-01

    Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of burned areas at regional scales, provides a long-term perspective of fire processes and its effects on ecosystems and vegetation recovery patterns, and it is a key factor to design prevention and post-fire restoration plans and strategies. Standard satellite burned area and active fire products derived from the 500-m MODIS and SPOT are avail - able to this end. However, prior research caution on the use of these global-scale products for regional and sub-regional applica - tions. Consequently, we propose a novel algorithm for automated identification and mapping of burned areas at regional scale in semi-arid shrublands. The algorithm uses a set of the Normalized Burned Ratio Index products derived from MODIS time series; using a two-phased cycle, it firstly detects potentially burned pixels while keeping a low commission error (false detection of burned areas), and subsequently labels them as seed patches. Region growing image segmentation algorithms are applied to the seed patches in the second-phase, to define the perimeter of fire affected areas while decreasing omission errors (missing real burned areas). Independently-derived Landsat ETM+ burned-area reference data was used for validation purposes. The correlation between the size of burnt areas detected by the global fire products and independently-derived Landsat reference data ranged from R2 = 0.01 - 0.28, while our algorithm performed showed a stronger correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.96). Our findings confirm prior research calling for caution when using the global fire products locally or regionally.

  10. Distribution, Transport, and Accumulation of Pyrogenic Black Carbon in Post-Wildfire Watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galanter, A.; Cadol, D. D.; Frey, B.; Lohse, K. A.

    2014-12-01

    Large, high severity wildfires greatly alter forest structure, water quality, and soil development/erosion. With increased frequency of such wildfires also follows heavy post-wildfire debris flows and flooding which deliver high loads of sediment and pyrogenic black carbon (PyC) to downstream waterways. The accumulation of PyC is a multi-faceted and dynamic issue in the critical zone. Generated by incomplete combustion of organic matter, PyC (in the form of soot and char) impacts turbidity, biological and chemical oxygen demand, and pH. In addition, PyC has the potential to sequester contaminants and can store carbon over short and long timescales. The impacts of two recent wildfires in Northern New Mexico are studied with the goal of understanding the fluxes and residence times of PyC in post-wildfire, mountainous watersheds. Employing burn severity maps and geospatial data, we selected three sites to collect soil and water samples to characterize PyC: a control, an area impacted by a large, severe burn (2011), and an area impacted by a smaller, less severe burn (2013). By collaborating with researchers at the Jemez Critical Zone Observatory, soil samples are being analyzed and will provide pre-wildfire PyC concentrations for the 2013 burn area. In this study, PyC is treated as both a particulate and a solute that is transported throughout the watershed as well as degraded in soils, surface water and groundwater. We used two black carbon quantification methods: the chemo-thermal oxidation (CTO-375) method to distinguish between soil soot and char, and the benzene polycarboxylic acids (BPCA) method to quantify the total concentrations of PyC in soil and water samples. Preliminary soil data from the CTO-375 method show comparable soot concentrations in the control, 2011, and 2013 burn indicating that the soot is more recalcitrant than char and remains in the watershed long after a wildfire. This data also suggests that the fluxes of black carbon over short time

  11. FIRESTORM: Modelling the water quality risk of wildfire.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, C. I.; Sheridan, G. J.; Smith, H. G.; Jones, O.; Chong, D.; Tolhurst, K.

    2012-04-01

    ,000 pre-processed spatially distributed fire intensity and flame height maps, generated by a fire behaviour simulator. This part of the model predicts the annual risk of the water supply catchment burning and the spatial extent and severity of the burn. These spatial fire severity maps may be combined with vegetation maps and information on soils to determine initial conditions for modelling of sediment and associated contaminant loads delivered to reservoirs. Erosion and water quality models that form part of the overall model framework include a catchment-scale constituent load model to represent widespread rainfall events and a semi-distributed runoff and erosion connectivity model applied at the small catchment scale for convective storm events. Recent work has shown that localised, intense convective storms may also generate debris flows after fire in south-eastern Australia. Therefore, for the application of the model framework to reservoirs supplying Melbourne, an empirical debris flow erosion model is included. For the localised event models, sediment is routed from sub-catchments through the main channel network to the reservoir boundary. These erosion models are modular so that FIRESTORM may be adapted for use in a region of the world that experiences different dominant erosion processes. FIRESTORM will enable water supply managers to estimate the current water quality risk of wildfire and allow scenario testing to explore the effect of mitigation strategies (e.g. planned burning, post-fire erosion control measures) designed to reduce fire impacts and the magnitude of loads entering reservoirs. This model will be a valuable new tool for better decision making to protect future water supplies.

  12. Advancing effects analysis for integrated, large-scale wildfire risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Matthew P; Calkin, David E; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W; Ager, Alan A

    2011-08-01

    In this article, we describe the design and development of a quantitative, geospatial risk assessment tool intended to facilitate monitoring trends in wildfire risk over time and to provide information useful in prioritizing fuels treatments and mitigation measures. The research effort is designed to develop, from a strategic view, a first approximation of how both fire likelihood and intensity influence risk to social, economic, and ecological values at regional and national scales. Three main components are required to generate wildfire risk outputs: (1) burn probability maps generated from wildfire simulations, (2) spatially identified highly valued resources (HVRs), and (3) response functions that describe the effects of fire (beneficial or detrimental) on the HVR. Analyzing fire effects has to date presented a major challenge to integrated risk assessments, due to a limited understanding of the type and magnitude of changes wrought by wildfire to ecological and other nonmarket values. This work advances wildfire effects analysis, recognizing knowledge uncertainty and appropriately managing it through the use of an expert systems approach. Specifically, this work entailed consultation with 10 fire and fuels program management officials from federal agencies with fire management responsibilities in order to define quantitative resource response relationships as a function of fire intensity. Here, we demonstrate a proof-of-concept application of the wildland fire risk assessment tool, using the state of Oregon as a case study.

  13. Applying Spatial Statistics to Isolate the Effects of Fuels, Topography, and Weather on Burn Severity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wimberly, M. C.; Cochrane, M. A.; Baer, A. D.; Zhu, Z.

    2007-12-01

    Fire severity datasets derived from satellite remote sensing data are now being used extensively in wildfire research and land management. Maps of burn severity based on the differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR) are being produced and disseminated by the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) project for all major wildfires in the United States from 1984 to present. This abundance of data presents unprecedented new opportunities for understanding how weather, terrain, and fuels interact to determine fire severity patterns, and for testing the effectiveness of fuel-reduction strategies for mitigating wildfire impacts. However, these datasets present challenges for statistical analysis because of their large sizes and the non-independence of spatially autocorrelated pixels. To explore the importance of spatial autocorrelation, we analyzed the spatial patterns of burn severity in two recent wildfires - the 2004 School Fire in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington and the 2005 Warm Fire on the Kaibab Plateau in northern Arizona. Conditional autoregressive (CAR) models were fitted with dNBR as the dependent variable and topography, fuels, and locations of recent fuel treatments as the independent variables. In both fires, elevation, slope, and aspect had strong effects on burn severity. Fuels had stronger effects on burn severity for the School fire than for the Warm Fire. In both fires, fuel treatments that combined thinning and prescribed burning resulted in statistically significant reductions in fire severity. The CAR models were then decomposed to isolate the spatial signal, which reflected spatially structured variability in dNBR that was not related to the independent variables. The spatial signals were correlated with the burn progression maps, reflecting spatial and temporal variability in weather and fire behavior (e.g. wind versus plume driven) over the course of the fire. These results suggest that spatial autocorrelation in the analysis of

  14. Wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface: A simulation study in northwestern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Massada, Avi Bar; Radeloff, Volker C.; Stewart, Susan I.; Hawbaker, Todd J.

    2009-01-01

    The rapid growth of housing in and near the wildland–urban interface (WUI) increases wildfirerisk to lives and structures. To reduce fire risk, it is necessary to identify WUI housing areas that are more susceptible to wildfire. This is challenging, because wildfire patterns depend on fire behavior and spread, which in turn depend on ignition locations, weather conditions, the spatial arrangement of fuels, and topography. The goal of our study was to assess wildfirerisk to a 60,000 ha WUI area in northwesternWisconsin while accounting for all of these factors. We conducted 6000 simulations with two dynamic fire models: Fire Area Simulator (FARSITE) and Minimum Travel Time (MTT) in order to map the spatial pattern of burn probabilities. Simulations were run under normal and extreme weather conditions to assess the effect of weather on fire spread, burn probability, and risk to structures. The resulting burn probability maps were intersected with maps of structure locations and land cover types. The simulations revealed clear hotspots of wildfire activity and a large range of wildfirerisk to structures in the study area. As expected, the extreme weather conditions yielded higher burn probabilities over the entire landscape, as well as to different land cover classes and individual structures. Moreover, the spatial pattern of risk was significantly different between extreme and normal weather conditions. The results highlight the fact that extreme weather conditions not only produce higher fire risk than normal weather conditions, but also change the fine-scale locations of high risk areas in the landscape, which is of great importance for fire management in WUI areas. In addition, the choice of weather data may limit the potential for comparisons of risk maps for different areas and for extrapolating risk maps to future scenarios where weather conditions are unknown. Our approach to modeling wildfirerisk to structures can aid fire risk reduction management

  15. The FireWork air quality forecast system with near-real-time biomass burning emissions: Recent developments and evaluation of performance for the 2015 North American wildfire season

    PubMed Central

    Pavlovic, Radenko; Chen, Jack; Anderson, Kerry; Moran, Michael D.; Beaulieu, Paul-André; Davignon, Didier; Cousineau, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Environment and Climate Change Canada’s FireWork air quality (AQ) forecast system for North America with near-real-time biomass burning emissions has been running experimentally during the Canadian wildfire season since 2013. The system runs twice per day with model initializations at 00 UTC and 12 UTC, and produces numerical AQ forecast guidance with 48-hr lead time. In this work we describe the FireWork system, which incorporates near-real-time biomass burning emissions based on the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System (CWFIS) as an input to the operational Regional Air Quality Deterministic Prediction System (RAQDPS). To demonstrate the capability of the system we analyzed two forecast periods in 2015 (June 2–July 15, and August 15–31) when fire activity was high, and observed fire-smoke-impacted areas in western Canada and the western United States. Modeled PM2.5 surface concentrations were compared with surface measurements and benchmarked with results from the operational RAQDPS, which did not consider near-real-time biomass burning emissions. Model performance statistics showed that FireWork outperformed RAQDPS with improvements in forecast hourly PM2.5 across the region; the results were especially significant for stations near the path of fire plume trajectories. Although the hourly PM2.5 concentrations predicted by FireWork still displayed bias for areas with active fires for these two periods (mean bias [MB] of –7.3 µg m−3 and 3.1 µg m−3), it showed better forecast skill than the RAQDPS (MB of –11.7 µg m−3 and –5.8 µg m−3) and demonstrated a greater ability to capture temporal variability of episodic PM2.5 events (correlation coefficient values of 0.50 and 0.69 for FireWork compared to 0.03 and 0.11 for RAQDPS). A categorical forecast comparison based on an hourly PM2.5 threshold of 30 µg m−3 also showed improved scores for probability of detection (POD), critical success index (CSI), and false alarm rate (FAR

  16. Viejas Wildfire

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    More than 2,000 firefighters continue to battle the 'Viejas Wildfire' which has consumed more than 11,000 acres in the dry, mountainous region just east of San Diego, California. Authorities there believe the blaze may have been started on Wednesday, January 3, by a cigarette thrown from a car on Interstate 8. Shifty winds with gusts of up to 65 miles per hour helped fan and quickly spread the flames. Late Wednesday, eyewitnesses reported seeing thick smoke and dime-sized bits of ash blowing toward downtown San Diego, prompting health officials there to warn residents with respiratory conditions to take necessary precautions. Parts of other communities, such as Alpine, have been evacuated to avoid the rapidly spreading flames. Firefighters estimate that the Viejas Fire, named after a nearby Native American reservation, will be contained by late Saturday, January 6. This image of the wildfire was acquired on January 4, 2001, by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. The scene shows the wildfire and smoke plume from the Alpine region, east of San Diego. This false-color image was generated using a combination of MODIS' thermal infrared data, at 1-kilometer resolution, along with two of the sensor's 500-meter resolution visible channels. These data were acquired via direct broadcast by the SeaSpace TeraScan SX-EOS receiving station at SeaSpace Corporation in Poway, California. The image was processed, Earth-located and enhanced using TeraScan software. Image courtesy Dave Brooks, SeaSpace Corporation

  17. Application of wildfire simulation models for risk analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ager, A.; Finney, M.

    2009-04-01

    Wildfire simulation models are being widely used by fire and fuels specialists in the U.S. to support tactical and strategic decisions related to the mitigation of wildfire risk. Much of this application has resulted from the development of a minimum travel time (MTT) fire spread algorithm (M. Finney) that makes it computationally feasible to simulate thousands of fires and generate burn probability and intensity maps over large areas (10,000 - 2,000,000 ha). The MTT algorithm is parallelized for multi-threaded processing and is imbedded in a number of research and applied fire modeling applications. High performance computers (e.g., 32-way 64 bit SMP) are typically used for MTT simulations, although the algorithm is also implemented in the 32 bit desktop FlamMap3 program (www.fire.org). Extensive testing has shown that this algorithm can replicate large fire boundaries in the heterogeneous landscapes that typify much of the wildlands in the western U.S. In this paper, we describe the application of the MTT algorithm to understand spatial patterns of burn probability (BP), and to analyze wildfire risk to key human and ecological values. The work is focused on a federally-managed 2,000,000 ha landscape in the central interior region of Oregon State, USA. The fire-prone study area encompasses a wide array of topography and fuel types and a number of highly valued resources that are susceptible to fire. We quantitatively defined risk as the product of the probability of a fire and the resulting consequence. Burn probabilities at specific intensity classes were estimated for each 100 x 100 m pixel by simulating 100,000 wildfires under burn conditions that replicated recent severe wildfire events that occurred under conditions where fire suppression was generally ineffective (97th percentile, August weather). We repeated the simulation under milder weather (70th percentile, August weather) to replicate a "wildland fire use scenario" where suppression is minimized to

  18. The estimation of territiry predeposition to wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panchenko, Ekaterina; Dukarev, Anatoly

    2010-05-01

    Wildfires have significant environmental effects. The indirect damages because of fires are an emission of various combustion products such as aerosols, greenhouse gases and carcinogen. Analysis of smoke emission show that from 1 ha burning area emitted aerosols from 0.2 to 1 ton. The aim of our research is to estimate biomass burning emission: Biomass Burning Emission=BA x FL x CE x EF, where BA is Burned Area (ha); FL is forest litter cover (cm); CE is Combustion Efficiency (0-1), depends on a class of fire danger; EF is Emission Factor (kg emitted / kg dry-mass burnt). Consequently for estimation of biomass burning emission it is necessary to analyze of territory predisposition to wildfires and give characteristic of combustion material types for detection fire hazard, for prognosis fire origin and extension. Prognosis of occurrence of wildfires and definition of emissions is possible by means of data of depth forest litter, types of vegetation and type of landscapes including concrete weather conditions (seasons, length of arid period, current temperature, wind speed and its direction). The investigated object is the territory Tomskii district near to the city of Tomsk (56° 31 N-85°08 E) - with the population more than 500 thousand people. The conducted analysis of investigated territory and the calculation will be basic prognostic model for researching wildfires.

  19. Analyzing wildfire exposure on Sardinia, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A.; Arca, Bachisio; Finney, Mark A.; Alcasena, Fermin; Bacciu, Valentina; Duce, Pierpaolo; Munoz Lozano, Olga; Spano, Donatella

    2014-05-01

    We used simulation modeling based on the minimum travel time algorithm (MTT) to analyze wildfire exposure of key ecological, social and economic features on Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia is the second largest island of the Mediterranean Basin, and in the last fifty years experienced large and dramatic wildfires, which caused losses and threatened urban interfaces, forests and natural areas, and agricultural productions. Historical fires and environmental data for the period 1995-2009 were used as input to estimate fine scale burn probability, conditional flame length, and potential fire size in the study area. With this purpose, we simulated 100,000 wildfire events within the study area, randomly drawing from the observed frequency distribution of burn periods and wind directions for each fire. Estimates of burn probability, excluding non-burnable fuels, ranged from 0 to 1.92x10-3, with a mean value of 6.48x10-5. Overall, the outputs provided a quantitative assessment of wildfire exposure at the landscape scale and captured landscape properties of wildfire exposure. We then examined how the exposure profiles varied among and within selected features and assets located on the island. Spatial variation in modeled outputs resulted in a strong effect of fuel models, coupled with slope and weather. In particular, the combined effect of Mediterranean maquis, woodland areas and complex topography on flame length was relevant, mainly in north-east Sardinia, whereas areas with herbaceous fuels and flat areas were in general characterized by lower fire intensity but higher burn probability. The simulation modeling proposed in this work provides a quantitative approach to inform wildfire risk management activities, and represents one of the first applications of burn probability modeling to capture fire risk and exposure profiles in the Mediterranean basin.

  20. The impact of antecedent fire area on burned area in southern California coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Price, Owen F; Bradstock, Ross A; Keeley, Jon E; Syphard, Alexandra D

    2012-12-30

    Frequent wildfire disasters in southern California highlight the need for risk reduction strategies for the region, of which fuel reduction via prescribed burning is one option. However, there is no consensus about the effectiveness of prescribed fire in reducing the area of wildfire. Here, we use 29 years of historical fire mapping to quantify the relationship between annual wildfire area and antecedent fire area in predominantly shrub and grassland fuels in seven southern California counties, controlling for annual variation in weather patterns. This method has been used elsewhere to measure leverage: the reduction in wildfire area resulting from one unit of prescribed fire treatment. We found little evidence for a leverage effect (leverage = zero). Specifically our results showed no evidence that wildfire area was negatively influenced by previous fires, and only weak relationships with weather variables rainfall and Santa Ana wind occurrences, which were variables included to control for inter-annual variation. We conclude that this is because only 2% of the vegetation burns each year and so wildfires rarely encounter burned patches and chaparral shrublands can carry a fire within 1 or 2 years after previous fire. Prescribed burning is unlikely to have much influence on fire regimes in this area, though targeted treatment at the urban interface may be effective at providing defensible space for protecting assets. These results fit an emerging global model of fire leverage which position California at the bottom end of a continuum, with tropical savannas at the top (leverage = 1: direct replacement of wildfire by prescribed fire) and Australian eucalypt forests in the middle (leverage ~ 0.25).

  1. The impact of antecedent fire area on burned area in southern California coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Price, Owen F; Bradstock, Ross A; Keeley, Jon E; Syphard, Alexandra D

    2012-12-30

    Frequent wildfire disasters in southern California highlight the need for risk reduction strategies for the region, of which fuel reduction via prescribed burning is one option. However, there is no consensus about the effectiveness of prescribed fire in reducing the area of wildfire. Here, we use 29 years of historical fire mapping to quantify the relationship between annual wildfire area and antecedent fire area in predominantly shrub and grassland fuels in seven southern California counties, controlling for annual variation in weather patterns. This method has been used elsewhere to measure leverage: the reduction in wildfire area resulting from one unit of prescribed fire treatment. We found little evidence for a leverage effect (leverage = zero). Specifically our results showed no evidence that wildfire area was negatively influenced by previous fires, and only weak relationships with weather variables rainfall and Santa Ana wind occurrences, which were variables included to control for inter-annual variation. We conclude that this is because only 2% of the vegetation burns each year and so wildfires rarely encounter burned patches and chaparral shrublands can carry a fire within 1 or 2 years after previous fire. Prescribed burning is unlikely to have much influence on fire regimes in this area, though targeted treatment at the urban interface may be effective at providing defensible space for protecting assets. These results fit an emerging global model of fire leverage which position California at the bottom end of a continuum, with tropical savannas at the top (leverage = 1: direct replacement of wildfire by prescribed fire) and Australian eucalypt forests in the middle (leverage ~ 0.25). PMID:23064248

  2. Wildfire and the future of water supply.

    PubMed

    Bladon, Kevin D; Emelko, Monica B; Silins, Uldis; Stone, Micheal

    2014-08-19

    In many parts of the world, forests provide high quality water for domestic, agricultural, industrial, and ecological needs, with water supplies in those regions inextricably linked to forest health. Wildfires have the potential to have devastating effects on aquatic ecosystems and community drinking water supply through impacts on water quantity and quality. In recent decades, a combination of fuel load accumulation, climate change, extensive droughts, and increased human presence in forests have resulted in increases in area burned and wildfire severity-a trend predicted to continue. Thus, the implications of wildfire for many downstream water uses are increasingly concerning, particularly the provision of safe drinking water, which may require additional treatment infrastructure and increased operations and maintenance costs in communities downstream of impacted landscapes. A better understanding of the effects of wildfire on water is needed to develop effective adaptation and mitigation strategies to protect globally critical water supplies originating in forested environments.

  3. Wildfire and the future of water supply.

    PubMed

    Bladon, Kevin D; Emelko, Monica B; Silins, Uldis; Stone, Micheal

    2014-08-19

    In many parts of the world, forests provide high quality water for domestic, agricultural, industrial, and ecological needs, with water supplies in those regions inextricably linked to forest health. Wildfires have the potential to have devastating effects on aquatic ecosystems and community drinking water supply through impacts on water quantity and quality. In recent decades, a combination of fuel load accumulation, climate change, extensive droughts, and increased human presence in forests have resulted in increases in area burned and wildfire severity-a trend predicted to continue. Thus, the implications of wildfire for many downstream water uses are increasingly concerning, particularly the provision of safe drinking water, which may require additional treatment infrastructure and increased operations and maintenance costs in communities downstream of impacted landscapes. A better understanding of the effects of wildfire on water is needed to develop effective adaptation and mitigation strategies to protect globally critical water supplies originating in forested environments. PMID:25007310

  4. The impact of biomass burning on the tropospheric distribution of CO during the 1984 maps experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Saylor, R.D.; Easter, R.C.; Chapman, E.G.

    1996-12-31

    The purpose of the work reported here was to use a global, three-dimensional tropospheric chemistry model to analyze and evaluate carbon monoxide (CO) experimental data. The data was obtained from the Measurement of Air Pollution by Satellites (MAPS) program. The model was used to investigate the role of biomass burning on the global distribution of CO during early October 1984. Global simulations of CO emissions, transport, and chemistry were made using archived meteorological data. To allow direct comparison with the MAPS data, the model results were column-weighted. The model CO distribution had several similarities with the MAPS data. Major maxima of CO mixing ratios occur over southern Africa and South America in the model and in MAPS measurements. Modeled and MAPS CO values compare favorably over Europe and eastern Asia. A major difference between the modeled distribution and the MAPS data was the location of the maximum over South America. This difference may be the result of differences in actual emissions or may be due to differences in the location of modeled and actual convective activity. Another significant difference was that the model showed a distinct plume of CO emanating from eastern North America while the MAPS data does not. To further test the accuracy of the model simulation, the results were compared to three other measurements of CO data that were taken during the same time period or that should be representative of conditions in remote areas. 9 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. Processing Optical and SAR Data for Burned Forests Mapping: An Integrated Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroppiana, Daniela; Azar, Ramin; Calo, Fabiana; Pepe, Antonio; Imperatore, Pasquale; Boschetti, Mirco; Silva, Joao M. N.; Brivio, Pietro A.; Lanari, Riccardo

    2015-05-01

    The application of an integrated monitoring tool to assess and understand the effects of annually occurring forest fires is presented, with special emphasis to Mediterranean and Temperate Continental zones of Europe. The distinctive features of the information conveyed by optical and microwave remote sensing data have been firstly investigated, and pertinent information have been subsequently combined to identify burned areas at the regional scale. We therefore propose a fuzzy-based multisource framework for burned area mapping, in order to overcome the limitations inherent to the use of only optical data (which can be severely affected by cloud cover or include low albedo surface targets). The relevant experimental validation has been carried out on an extensive area, thus quantitatively demonstrating how our approach successes in identifying areas affected by fires. Furthermore, the proposed methodological framework can also be profitably applied to ESA Sentinel (optical and SAR) data.

  6. Global Burned Area Mapping from European Satellites: the ESA FIRE_CCI Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chuvieco, E.; Sandow, C.; Guenther, K. P.; González-Alonso, F.; Pereira, J. M.; Pérez, O.; Bradley, A. V.; Schultz, M.; Mouillot, F.; Ciais, P.

    2012-07-01

    The European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative (CCI) is part of the European contribution to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) program. Fire disturbance is one of the Essential Climate Variables (ECV) included in the ESA CCI program. It focus on mapping burned area (BA) using European sensors (ATSR, VEGETATION and MERIS data), and in comparing the performance of the results with other existing datasets. The project aims at developing and validating algorithms to produce consistent, stable, error-characterized global BA information. The project includes as well developing algorithms to generate georeferenced and calibrated reflectances of (A)ATSR, VEGETATION and MERIS data, identifying potential sources of confusion with burned areas (clouds, smoke, cloud shadows, water, snow, topographic shadows). The final product will be a merging of BA information derived from three different sensors . The outputs will be adapted to the needs of the atmospheric and vegetation modelling communities.

  7. Montana Wildfires

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-05-15

    ... miles (70 kilometers), reaching a maximum altitude of 4,920 feet (1,500 meters) above the ground. The burn scar from the Ash Creek Complex ... to the south, reaching a maximum height of about 11,500 feet (3,500 meters) near the source. The winds carrying this smoke reach speeds ...

  8. Water repellency diminishes peatland evaporation after wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, Nick; Lukenbach, Max; Hokanson, Kelly; Devito, Kevin; Hopkinson, Chris; Petrone, Rich; Mendoza, Carl; Waddington, Mike

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands are a critically important global carbon reserve. There is increasing concern that such ecosystems are vulnerable to projected increases in wildfire severity under a changing climate. Severe fires may exceed peatland ecological resilience resulting in the long term degradation of this carbon store. Evaporation provides the primary mechanisms of water loss from such environments and can regulate the ecological stress in the initial years after wildfire. We examine variations in evaporation within burned peatlands after wildfire through small scale chamber and large scale remote sensing measurements. We show that near-surface water repellency limits peatland evaporation in these initial years post fire. Water repellent peat produced by the fire restricts the supply of water to the surface, reducing evaporation and providing a strong negative feedback to disturbance. This previously unidentified feedback operates at the landscape scale. High surface temperatures that result from large reductions in evaporation within water repellent peat are observed across the 60,000 ha burn scar three months after the wildfire. This promotes high water table positions at a landscape scale which limit the rate of peat decomposition and supports the post fire ecohydrological recovery of the peatlands. However, severe burns are shown to exceed this negative feedback response. Deep burns at the peatland margins remove the hydrophobic layer, increasing post fire evaporation and leaving the peatland vulnerable to drying and associated ecological shifts.

  9. Water repellency diminishes peatland evaporation after wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, N.; Lukenbach, M.; Hokanson, K. J.; Devito, K. J.; Petrone, R. M.; Hopkinson, C.; Waddington, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Peatlands are a critically important global carbon reserve. There is increasing concern that such ecosystems are vulnerable to projected increases in wildfire severity under a changing climate. Severe fires may exceed peatland ecological resilience resulting in the long term degradation of this carbon store. Evaporation provides the primary mechanisms of water loss from such environments and can regulate the ecological stress in the initial years after wildfire. We examine variations in evaporation within burned peatlands after wildfire through small scale chamber and large scale remote sensing measurements. We show that near-surface water repellency limits peatland evaporation in these initial years post fire. Water repellent peat produced by the fire restricts the supply of water to the surface, reducing evaporation and providing a strong negative feedback to disturbance. This previously unidentified feedback operates at the landscape scale. High surface temperatures that result from large reductions in evaporation within water repellent peat are observed across the 60,000 ha burn scar three months after the wildfire. This large scale reduction in evaporation promotes high water table positions at a landscape scale which limits the rate of peat decomposition and supports the post fire ecohydrological recovery of the peatlands. However, severe burns are shown to exceed this negative feedback response. Deep burns at the peatland margins remove the hydrophobic layer, increasing post fire evaporation and leaving the peatland vulnerable to drying and associated ecological shifts.

  10. Unsupervised Spatio-Temporal Data Mining Framework for Burned Area Mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boriah, Shyam (Inventor); Kumar, Vipin (Inventor); Mithal, Varun (Inventor); Khandelwal, Ankush (Inventor)

    2016-01-01

    A method reduces processing time required to identify locations burned by fire by receiving a feature value for each pixel in an image, each pixel representing a sub-area of a location. Pixels are then grouped based on similarities of the feature values to form candidate burn events. For each candidate burn event, a probability that the candidate burn event is a true burn event is determined based on at least one further feature value for each pixel in the candidate burn event. Candidate burn events that have a probability below a threshold are removed from further consideration as burn events to produce a set of remaining candidate burn events.

  11. A characterization methodology for post-wildfire flood hazard assessments

    SciTech Connect

    McLin, Stephen G.; Van Eeckhout, M. E.; Springer, E. P.; Lane, Leonard J.

    2001-01-01

    A combined GIS-HEC modeling application for floodplain analysis of pre- and post-burned watersheds is described. The burned study area is located on Pajarito Plateau near Los Alamos, New Mexico (USA), where the Cerro Grande Wildfire burned 17,353 ha (42,878 ac) in May 2000. This area is dominated by rugged mountains that are dissected by numerous steep canyons having both ephemeral and perennial channel reaches. Vegetation consists of pinon-juniper woodlands located between 1,829-2,134 m (6,000-7,000 ft) above mean sea level (m MSL), and Ponderosa pine stands between 2,134-3,048 m MSL (7,000-10,000 ft). Approximately seventeen percent of the burned area is located within Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the remainder is located in upstream or adjacent watersheds. Pre-burn floodplains were previously mapped in 1991-92 using early HEC models as part of the RCRA/HSWA permitting process. Numerous recording precipitation and stream gages have also been installed. These data provide essential information characterizing rainfall-runoff relationships before and after the fire. They are also being used to monitor spatial and temporal changes as forest recovery progresses. Post-burn changes in HEC-HMS predicted rainfall-runoff patterns are related to changes in watershed vegetation cover and hydrophobic soil conditions. Stream channel cross-sectional geometries were extracted from 0.3 m (1 ft) DEM data using ArcView GIS. Then floodpool topwidths, depths, and flow velocities were remapped using the HEC-RAS model. Finally, numerous surveyed channel sections were selectively made at crucial sites for model verification. Direct comparisons are made between alternative data acquisition and mapping techniques.

  12. A 30-year chronosequence of burned areas in Arizona: effects of wildfires on vegetation in Sonoran Desert Tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shryock, Daniel F.; Esque, Todd C.; Chen, Felicia C.

    2015-01-01

    Fire is widely regarded as a key evolutionary force in fire-prone ecosystems, with effects spanning multiple levels of organization, from species and functional group composition through landscape-scale vegetation structure, biomass, and diversity (Pausas and others, 2004; Bond and Keeley 2005; Pausas and Verdu, 2008). Ecosystems subjected to novel fire regimes may experience profound changes that are difficult to predict, including persistent losses of vegetation cover and diversity (McLaughlin and Bowers, 1982; Brown and Minnich, 1986; Brooks, 2012), losses to seed banks (Esque and others, 2010a), changes in demographic processes (Esque and others, 2004; DeFalco and others, 2010), increased erosion (Soulard and others, 2013), changes in nutrient availability (Esque and others, 2010b), increased dominance of invasive species (Esque and others, 2002; Brooks and others, 2004), and transitions to alternative community states (Davies and others, 2012). In the deserts of the Southwestern United States, fire size and frequency have increased substantially over the last several decades because of an invasive grass/fire feedback cycle (Schmid and Rogers, 1988; D’Antonio and Vitousek, 1992; Swantek and others, 1999; Brooks and Matchett, 2006; Esque and others, 2010a), in which invasive annual species are able to establish fuel loads capable of sustaining large-scale wildfires following years of high rainfall (Esque and Schwalbe, 2002). Native perennial vegetation is not well-adapted to fire in these environments, and widespread, physiognomically dominant species such as creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), giant saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), and paloverde (Parkinsonia spp.) may be reduced or eliminated (Brown and Minnich, 1986; Esque and others, 2006; DeFalco and others, 2010), potentially affecting wildlife populations including the Sonoran and federally threatened Mojave Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai and Gopherus agassizii

  13. Assessment of the vegetation cover in a burned area 22-years ago using remote sensing techniques and GIS analysis (Sierra de las Nieves, South of Spain).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Murillo, Juan F.; Remond, Ricardo; Ruiz-Sinoga, José D.

    2015-04-01

    The study aim was to characterize the vegetation cover in a burned area 22-years ago considering the previous situation to wildfire in 1991 and the current one in 2013. The objectives were to: (i) compare the current and previous vegetation cover to widlfire; (ii) evaluate whether the current vegetation has recovered the previous cover to wildfire; and (iii) determine the spatial variability of vegetation recovery after 22-years since the wildfire. The study area is located in Sierra de las Nieves, South of Spain. It corresponds to an area affected by a wildfire in August 8th, 1991. The burned area was equal to 8156 ha. The burn severity was spatially very high. The main geographic features of the burned area are: mountainous topography (altitudes ranging from 250 m to 1500 m; slope gradient >25%; exposure mainly southfacing); igneous (peridotites), metamorphic (gneiss) and calcareous rocks (limestones); and predominant forest land use (Pinus pinaster sp. woodlands, 10%; pinus opened forest + shrubland, 40%; shrubland, 35%; and bare soil + grassland, 15%). Remote sensing techniques and GIS analysis has been applied to achieve the objectives. Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 images were used: July 13th, 1991 and July 1st, 2013, for the previous wildfire situation and 22-years after, respectively. The 1990 CORINE land cover was also considered to map 1991 land uses prior the wildfire. Likewise, the Andalucía Regional Government wildfire historic records were used to select the burned area and its geographical limit. 1991 and 2013 land cover map were obtained by means of object-oriented classifications. Also, NDVI and PVI1 vegetation indexes were calculated and mapped for both years. Finally, some images transformations and kernel density images were applied to determine the most recovered areas and to map the spatial concentration of bare soil and pine cover areas in 1991 and 2013, respectively. According to the results, the combination of remote sensing and GIS analysis let

  14. Drainage networks after wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinner, D.A.; Moody, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    Predicting runoff and erosion from watersheds burned by wildfires requires an understanding of the three-dimensional structure of both hillslope and channel drainage networks. We investigate the small-and large-scale structures of drainage networks using field studies and computer analysis of 30-m digital elevation model. Topologic variables were derived from a composite 30-m DEM, which included 14 order 6 watersheds within the Pikes Peak batholith. Both topologic and hydraulic variables were measured in the field in two smaller burned watersheds (3.7 and 7.0 hectares) located within one of the order 6 watersheds burned by the 1996 Buffalo Creek Fire in Central Colorado. Horton ratios of topologic variables (stream number, drainage area, stream length, and stream slope) for small-scale and large-scale watersheds are shown to scale geometrically with stream order (i.e., to be scale invariant). However, the ratios derived for the large-scale drainage networks could not be used to predict the rill and gully drainage network structure. Hydraulic variables (width, depth, cross-sectional area, and bed roughness) for small-scale drainage networks were found to be scale invariant across 3 to 4 stream orders. The relation between hydraulic radius and cross-sectional area is similar for rills and gullies, suggesting that their geometry can be treated similarly in hydraulic modeling. Additionally, the rills and gullies have relatively small width-to-depth ratios, implying sidewall friction may be important to the erosion and evolutionary process relative to main stem channels.

  15. Prototyping an artificial neural network for burned area mapping on a regional scale in Mediterranean areas using MODIS images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, Israel; Martín, M. Pilar

    2011-10-01

    Each year thousands of ha of forest land are affected by forest fires in Southern European countries such as Spain. Burned area maps are a valuable instrument for designing prevention and recovery policies. Remote sensing has increasingly become the most widely used tool for this purpose on regional and global scales, where a large variety of techniques and data has been applied. This paper proposes a semiautomatic method for burned area mapping on a regional scale in Mediterranean areas (the Iberian Peninsula has been used as a study case). A Multi-layer Perceptron Network (MLPN) has been designed and applied to MODIS/Terra Surface Reflectance Daily L2G Global 500m SIN Grid multitemporal composite monthly images. The compositing criterion was based on maximum surface temperature. The research covered a six year period (2001-2006) from June to September, when most of the forest fires occur. The resulting burned area maps have been validated using official fire perimeters and compared with MODIS Collection 5 Burned Area Product (MCD45A1). The MLPN shown as an effective method, with a commission error of 29.1%, in the classification of the burned areas, while the omission error was of 14.9%. The results were compared with the MCD45A1 product, which had a slightly higher commission error (30.2%) and a considerably higher omission error (26.2%), indicating a high underestimation of the burned area.

  16. Headwaters, Wetlands, and Wildfires: Utilizing Landsat imagery, GIS, and Statistical Models for Mapping Wetlands in Northern Colorado's Cache la Poudre Watershed in the aftermath of the June 2012 High Park Fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chignell, S.; Skach, S.; Kessenich, B.; Weimer, A.; Luizza, M.; Birtwistle, A.; Evangelista, P.; Laituri, M.; Young, N.

    2013-12-01

    The June 2012 High Park Fire burned over 87,000 acres of forest and 259 homes to the west of Fort Collins, CO. The fire has had dramatic impacts on forest ecosystems; of particular concern are its effects on the Cache la Poudre watershed, as the Poudre River is one of the most important headwaters of the Colorado Front Range, providing important ecosystem and economic services before flowing into the South Platte, which in turn flows into the Missouri River. Within a week of the fire, the area received several days of torrential rains. This precipitation--in conjunction with steep riverbanks and the loss of vegetation by fire--caused soil and ash runoff to be deposited into the Poudre's channel, resulting in a river of choking mud and black sludge. Monitoring the effects of such wildfires is critical and requires establishing immediate baseline data to assess impacts over time. Of particular concern is the region's wetlands, which not only provide habitat for a rich array of flora and fauna, but help regulate river discharge, improve water quality, and aid in carbon sequestration. However, the high expense of field work and the changing nature of wetlands have left many of the area's wetland maps incomplete and in need of updating. Utilizing Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 imagery, ancillary GIS layers, and boosted regression trees modeling, the NASA DEVELOP team based at the North Central Climate Science Center at Colorado State University developed a methodology for wetland modeling within the Cache la Poudre watershed. These efforts produced a preliminary model of predicted wetlands across the landscape that correctly classified 89% of the withheld validation points and had a kappa value of approximately 0.78. This initial model is currently being refined and validated using the USGS Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM) to run multiple models within three elevation-based 'life zones.' The ultimate goal of this ongoing project is to provide important spatial

  17. Wildfire Risk to Aboveground Terrestrial Carbon Stocks in the Western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, K. L.; Finney, M.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire is an important part of the terrestrial carbon cycle, moving carbon stored in wood, leaves, litter, and duff into the black carbon and emissions pools. Here, we utilize a national raster of burn probabilities from wildland fire, a tree list for the western United States, and a national map of fuel loading models to calculate the risk to terrestrial carbon from wildland fires in the western United States. Annual burn probabilities are estimated by the Large Fire Simulator (FSim), based on current static landscape conditions and at least 10,000 years of statistically plausible weather sequences. For fires of varying intensity, forest carbon retained onsite and carbon emissions are estimated by the Fire and Fuels Extension of the Forest Vegetation Simulator. In grasslands and shrublands, carbon retained and emitted by wildfire is estimated based on current fuel loading and estimated consumption. We summarize expected carbon stocks and expected annual carbon loss at a variety of scales, aggregating values from the 270m pixel to National Forest, ecoregion, state, and regional scales. Our results indicate that following even a high intensity wildland fire in forested areas, the majority of aboveground carbon is retained onsite in the form of tree trunks. Because of the low annual probability of burning, emissions are small relative to carbon stocks. Additional work will be needed to integrate the complex temporal dimension of the carbon cycle, with areas burned in recent years being at first a carbon source and then a carbon sink after less than a decade in most areas.

  18. Mapping wildfire susceptibility in Southern California using live and dead fractions of vegetation derived from Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis of MODIS imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, P.; Roberts, D. A.

    2008-12-01

    Wildfire is a significant natural disturbance mechanism in Southern California. Assessing spatial patterns of wildfire susceptibility requires estimates of the live and dead fractions of vegetation. The Fire Potential Index (FPI), which is currently the only operationally computed fire susceptibility index incorporating remote sensing data, estimates such fractions using a relative greenness measure based on time series of vegetation index images. This contribution assesses the potential of Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis (MESMA) for deriving such fractions from single MODIS images without the need for a long remote sensing time series, and investigates the applicability of such MESMA-derived fractions for mapping dynamic fire susceptibility in Southern California. Endmembers for MESMA were selected from a library of reference endmembers using Constrained Reference Endmember Selection (CRES), which uses field estimates of fractions to guide the selection process. Fraction images of green vegetation, non-photosynthetic vegetation, soil, and shade were then computed for all available 16-day MODIS composites between 2000 and 2006 using MESMA. Initial results indicate that MESMA of MODIS imagery is capable of providing reliable estimates of live and dead vegetation fraction. Validation against in situ observations in the Santa Ynez Mountains near Santa Barbara, California, shows that the average fraction error for two tested species was around 10%. Further validation of MODIS-derived fractions was performed against fractions from high-resolution hyperspectral data. It was shown that the fractions derived from data of both sensors correlate with R2 values greater than 0.95. MESMA-derived live and dead vegetation fractions were subsequently tested as a substitute to relative greenness in the FPI algorithm. FPI was computed for every day between 2000 and 2006 using the derived fractions. Model performance was then tested by extracting FPI values for

  19. Detecting Moorland Wildfire Scars and their Persistence in the Landscape using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in the Peak District National Park, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millin-chalabi, G. R.; McMorrow, J.; Agnew, C.

    2012-12-01

    The overall aim of this research is to assess the ability of SAR to detect moorland wildfire scars and their persistence in the landscape using the Peak District National Park (PDNP) in the UK as a case study. Spatially-robust data to monitor wildfire scar size and severity in UK moorlands is currently rare. Fires can burn deep into peat soils and contribute to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and may also affect the water quality of nearby streams. Information on fire extent would be useful for conservation organisations such as Moors For The Future who are trying to preserve the delicate peatland environment. Knowing the size and location of fire scars would help the Fire and Rescue Service to plan future response to moorland fires. Fire scar boundaries can be mapped in the field using Global Positioning Systems (GPS), however this is labour intensive. Indeed in the PDNP wildfire scar mapping is conducted by park rangers which provides essential ground truth data for assessing against the SAR data. Therefore this particular area provides a unique opportunity for testing an alternative SAR technique for monitoring wildfire scars in the moorland landscape. Previous research shows that SAR has been successfully applied for wildfire scar detection in other types of environments such as boreal (Bourgeau-Chavez et al, 1997) and the tropics (Huang and Siegert, 2004). This research presents some of the first results of the project which tests the capability of ERS 2; ASAR (C-band) and PALSAR (L-band) data to detect several wildfire scars from 2003 - 2008 of various spatial scales and fire severity. Some of the key areas of interest the paper will explore are at Bleaklow and the Kinder plateau. The Bleaklow peat fire of 18th April 2003 was larger (7km2) and more severe than at Kinder, which burned between 26-29th May 2008 and covered an area of 10 ha. All the wildfire scars were GPS, mapped just after the fire event. Archival time-series SAR imagery was

  20. Fine-resolution mapping of wildfire fuel types for Canada: Fuzzy logic modeling for an Alberta pilot area.

    PubMed

    Nadeau, L B; Englefield, P

    2006-09-01

    The Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) is used daily across Canada for evaluating forest fire danger. Fuel-type information is one of the inputs required by the models used in the CFFDRS. In this project, three fuel-type maps with a 25 m resolution were produced for a pilot study area located in Alberta using land cover only; land cover and biomass; and, land cover, biomass and leaf area index data derived from satellite imagery. The relationships between inputs and fuel types were determined mainly by the opinions of forest fire scientists and incorporated into a computer program using fuzzy set methodology. Not all the CFFDRS fuel types could be distinguished using these inputs; three of the coniferous types had to be grouped into one common fuel type. Overall accuracy was between 74 and 83% based on ground-truth comparisons. The most accurate map resulted from land cover and biomass data. Detailed accuracy assessment indicated that the overall accuracy increased up to 86% if ambiguous fuel type identification was considered. No combination of inputs was able to define a fuel type with absolute certainty, which is a reflection of differing expert opinions and the small number of inputs used to produce the maps.

  1. Factors influencing fire behaviour in shrublands of different stand ages and the implications for using prescribed burning to reduce wildfire risk.

    PubMed

    Baeza, M J; De Luís, M; Raventós, J; Escarré, A

    2002-06-01

    Fire behaviour under experimental conditions is described in nine Mediterranean gorse shrublands ranging from 3-12 years of age with different fuel loads. Significant differences in the fire-line intensity, fuel load and rate of fire spread have been found to be related to the stage of development of the communities. Fire spread is correlated with fuel moisture using multiple regression techniques. Differences in fuel moisture between mature and young communities under moderate weather conditions have been found. The lower moisture content identified in the mature shrubland is due both to the decreasing moisture content of senescent shrubland in some species, mainly in live fractions of Ulex parviflorus Pour. fuel, and to a substantial increase in dead fuel fractions with low percentages of moisture content. The result is that the older the shrubland is, the greater will be the decrease in the total moisture content of the vegetation. In these moderate weather conditions, the fire intensity of the mature community was as high as the maximum intensity recommended for prescribed fires. This fact seems to indicate that, even under moderate conditions, prescribed burning as an alternative management tool in the mature shrubland must always take into account fuel control; on the other hand, this technique could be applied more easily when the shrubland is at an intermediate growth stage (4-5 years of age). Therefore, more frequent low-intensity prescribed fires are indicated to abate the risk of catastrophic fire.

  2. Forest Recovery after Four Wildfires in Western Montana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satterberg, Kevin

    Wildfires in mixed conifer forests have increased in size and occurrence over the past decades and are expected to increase in the future because of a warming climate leading to longer fire seasons. To better understand that impacts of wildfires on forests, research focusing on the connection between severity of the fire and forest recovery is needed. Research on immediate fire effects and post-fire recovery within five years of fires have been reported, however long term effects are largely unexplored. To understand long term recovery in mixed conifer forests after wildfire, four wildfires from the 2003 fire season in western Montana were sampled in the field and via remote sensing. Analysis of field data and satellite imagery shows lower tree density in high severity burns and significant differences in recovery rates between severity classes. This research contributes to the scientific knowledge of long term effects of wildfires in mixed conifer forests.

  3. Restoring forest structure and process stabilizes forest carbon in wildfire-prone southwestern ponderosa pine forests.

    PubMed

    Hurteau, Matthew D; Liang, Shuang; Martin, Katherine L; North, Malcolm P; Koch, George W; Hungate, Bruce A

    2016-03-01

    Changing climate and a legacy of fire-exclusion have increased the probability of high-severity wildfire, leading to an increased risk of forest carbon loss in ponderosa pine forests in the southwestern USA. Efforts to reduce high-severity fire risk through forest thinning and prescribed burning require both the removal and emission of carbon from these forests, and any potential carbon benefits from treatment may depend on the occurrence of wildfire. We sought to determine how forest treatments alter the effects of stochastic wildfire events on the forest carbon balance. We modeled three treatments (control, thin-only, and thin and burn) with and without the occurrence of wildfire. We evaluated how two different probabilities of wildfire occurrence, 1% and 2% per year, might alter the carbon balance of treatments. In the absence of wildfire, we found that thinning and burning treatments initially reduced total ecosystem carbon (TEC) and increased net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB). In the presence of wildfire, the thin and burn treatment TEC surpassed that of the control in year 40 at 2%/yr wildfire probability, and in year 51 at 1%/yr wildfire probability. NECB in the presence of wildfire showed a similar response to the no-wildfire scenarios: both thin-only and thin and burn treatments increased the C sink. Treatments increased TEC by reducing both mean wildfire severity and its variability. While the carbon balance of treatments may differ in more productive forest types, the carbon balance benefits from restoring forest structure and fire in southwestern ponderosa pine forests are clear.

  4. Restoring forest structure and process stabilizes forest carbon in wildfire-prone southwestern ponderosa pine forests.

    PubMed

    Hurteau, Matthew D; Liang, Shuang; Martin, Katherine L; North, Malcolm P; Koch, George W; Hungate, Bruce A

    2016-03-01

    Changing climate and a legacy of fire-exclusion have increased the probability of high-severity wildfire, leading to an increased risk of forest carbon loss in ponderosa pine forests in the southwestern USA. Efforts to reduce high-severity fire risk through forest thinning and prescribed burning require both the removal and emission of carbon from these forests, and any potential carbon benefits from treatment may depend on the occurrence of wildfire. We sought to determine how forest treatments alter the effects of stochastic wildfire events on the forest carbon balance. We modeled three treatments (control, thin-only, and thin and burn) with and without the occurrence of wildfire. We evaluated how two different probabilities of wildfire occurrence, 1% and 2% per year, might alter the carbon balance of treatments. In the absence of wildfire, we found that thinning and burning treatments initially reduced total ecosystem carbon (TEC) and increased net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB). In the presence of wildfire, the thin and burn treatment TEC surpassed that of the control in year 40 at 2%/yr wildfire probability, and in year 51 at 1%/yr wildfire probability. NECB in the presence of wildfire showed a similar response to the no-wildfire scenarios: both thin-only and thin and burn treatments increased the C sink. Treatments increased TEC by reducing both mean wildfire severity and its variability. While the carbon balance of treatments may differ in more productive forest types, the carbon balance benefits from restoring forest structure and fire in southwestern ponderosa pine forests are clear. PMID:27209781

  5. Application of wildfire simulation methods to assess wildfire exposure in a Mediterranean fire-prone area (Sardinia, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salis, M.; Ager, A.; Arca, B.; Finney, M.; Bacciu, V. M.; Spano, D.; Duce, P.

    2012-12-01

    Spatial and temporal patterns of fire spread and behavior are dependent on interactions among climate, topography, vegetation and fire suppression efforts (Pyne et al. 1996; Viegas 2006; Falk et al. 2007). Humans also play a key role in determining frequency and spatial distribution of ignitions (Bar Massada et al, 2011), and thus influence fire regimes as well. The growing incidence of catastrophic wildfires has led to substantial losses for important ecological and human values within many areas of the Mediterranean basin (Moreno et al. 1998; Mouillot et al. 2005; Viegas et al. 2006a; Riaño et al. 2007). The growing fire risk issue has led to many new programs and policies of fuel management and risk mitigation by environmental and fire agencies. However, risk-based methodologies to help identify areas characterized by high potential losses and prioritize fuel management have been lacking for the region. Formal risk assessment requires the joint consideration of likelihood, intensity, and susceptibility, the product of which estimates the chance of a specific loss (Brillinger 2003; Society of Risk Analysis, 2006). Quantifying fire risk therefore requires estimates of a) the probability of a specific location burning at a specific intensity and location, and b) the resulting change in financial or ecological value (Finney 2005; Scott 2006). When large fires are the primary cause of damage, the application of this risk formulation requires modeling fire spread to capture landscape properties that affect burn probability. Recently, the incorporation of large fire spread into risk assessment systems has become feasible with the development of high performance fire simulation systems (Finney et al. 2011) that permit the simulation of hundreds of thousands of fires to generate fine scale maps of burn probability, flame length, and fire size, while considering the combined effects of weather, fuels, and topography (Finney 2002; Andrews et al. 2007; Ager and Finney 2009

  6. Green Science: Wildfires

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palliser, Janna

    2012-01-01

    Every summer, fires rage in different areas of the western United States. They are often massive, out of control, and extremely destructive. How do these fires begin and how are they controlled? What are the overall impacts of a wildfire? Are there any benefits of a wildfire? These questions will be addressed in this article. (Contains 3 online…

  7. Pattern and process of prescribed fires influence effectiveness at reducing wildfire severity in dry coniferous forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Welty, Justin L.

    2012-01-01

    We examined the effects of three early season (spring) prescribed fires on burn severity patterns of summer wildfires that occurred 1–3 years post-treatment in a mixed conifer forest in central Idaho. Wildfire and prescribed fire burn severities were estimated as the difference in normalized burn ratio (dNBR) using Landsat imagery. We used GIS derived vegetation, topography, and treatment variables to generate models predicting the wildfire burn severity of 1286–5500 30-m pixels within and around treated areas. We found that wildfire severity was significantly lower in treated areas than in untreated areas and significantly lower than the potential wildfire severity of the treated areas had treatments not been implemented. At the pixel level, wildfire severity was best predicted by an interaction between prescribed fire severity, topographic moisture, heat load, and pre-fire vegetation volume. Prescribed fire severity and vegetation volume were the most influential predictors. Prescribed fire severity, and its influence on wildfire severity, was highest in relatively warm and dry locations, which were able to burn under spring conditions. In contrast, wildfire severity peaked in cooler, more mesic locations that dried later in the summer and supported greater vegetation volume. We found considerable evidence that prescribed fires have landscape-level influences within treatment boundaries; most notable was an interaction between distance from the prescribed fire perimeter and distance from treated patch edges, which explained up to 66% of the variation in wildfire severity. Early season prescribed fires may not directly target the locations most at risk of high severity wildfire, but proximity of these areas to treated patches and the discontinuity of fuels following treatment may influence wildfire severity and explain how even low severity treatments can be effective management tools in fire-prone landscapes.

  8. Stormwater contaminant loading following southern California wildfires.

    PubMed

    Stein, Eric D; Brown, Jeffrey S; Hogue, Terri S; Burke, Megan P; Kinoshita, Alicia

    2012-11-01

    Contaminant loading associated with stormwater runoff from recently burned areas is poorly understood, despite the fact that it has the potential to affect downstream water quality. The goal of the present study is to assess regional patterns of runoff and contaminant loading from wildfires in urban fringe areas of southern California. Postfire stormwater runoff was sampled from five wildfires that each burned between 115 and 658 km(2) of natural open space between 2003 and 2009. Between two and five storm events were sampled per site over the first one to two years following the fires for basic constituents, metals, nutrients, total suspended solids, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Results were compared to data from 16 unburned natural areas and six developed sites. Mean copper, lead, and zinc flux (kg/km(2)) were between 112- and 736-fold higher from burned catchments and total phosphorus was up to 921-fold higher compared to unburned natural areas. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon flux was four times greater from burned areas than from adjacent urban areas. Ash fallout on nearby unburned watersheds also resulted in a threefold increase in metals and PAHs. Attenuation of elevated concentration and flux values appears to be driven mainly by rainfall magnitude. Contaminant loading from burned landscapes has the potential to be a substantial contribution to the total annual load to downstream areas in the first several years following fires.

  9. The worldwide "wildfire" problem.

    PubMed

    Gill, A Malcolm; Stephens, Scott L; Cary, Geoffrey J

    2013-03-01

    The worldwide "wildfire" problem is headlined by the loss of human lives and homes, but it applies generally to any adverse effects of unplanned fires, as events or regimes, on a wide range of environmental, social, and economic assets. The problem is complex and contingent, requiring continual attention to the changing circumstances of stakeholders, landscapes, and ecosystems; it occurs at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Minimizing adverse outcomes involves controlling fires and fire regimes, increasing the resistance of assets to fires, locating or relocating assets away from the path of fires, and, as a probability of adverse impacts often remains, assisting recovery in the short-term while promoting the adaptation of societies in the long-term. There are short- and long-term aspects to each aspect of minimization. Controlling fires and fire regimes may involve fire suppression and fuel treatments such as prescribed burning or non-fire treatments but also addresses issues associated with unwanted fire starts like arson. Increasing the resistance of assets can mean addressing the design and construction materials of a house or the use of personal protective equipment. Locating or relocating assets can mean leaving an area about to be impacted by fire or choosing a suitable place to live; it can also mean the planning of land use. Assisting recovery and promoting adaptation can involve insuring assets and sharing responsibility for preparedness for an event. There is no single, simple, solution. Perverse outcomes can occur. The number of minimizing techniques used, and the breadth and depth of their application, depends on the geographic mix of asset types. Premises for policy consideration are presented. PMID:23634593

  10. Semi-automated mapping of burned areas in semi-arid ecosystems using MODIS time-series imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardtke, Leonardo A.; Blanco, Paula D.; Valle, Héctor F. del; Metternicht, Graciela I.; Sione, Walter F.

    2015-06-01

    Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of burned areas at regional scales, provides a long-term perspective of fire processes and its effects on ecosystems and vegetation recovery patterns, and it is a key factor to design prevention and post-fire restoration plans and strategies. Remote sensing has become the most widely used tool to detect fire affected areas over large tracts of land (e.g., ecosystem, regional and global levels). Standard satellite burned area and active fire products derived from the 500-m Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) are available to this end. However, prior research caution on the use of these global-scale products for regional and sub-regional applications. Consequently, we propose a novel semi-automated algorithm for identification and mapping of burned areas at regional scale. The semi-arid Monte shrublands, a biome covering 240,000 km2 in the western part of Argentina, and exposed to seasonal bushfires was selected as the test area. The algorithm uses a set of the normalized burned ratio index products derived from MODIS time series; using a two-phased cycle, it firstly detects potentially burned pixels while keeping a low commission error (false detection of burned areas), and subsequently labels them as seed patches. Region growing image segmentation algorithms are applied to the seed patches in the second-phase, to define the perimeter of fire affected areas while decreasing omission errors (missing real burned areas). Independently-derived Landsat ETM+ burned-area reference data was used for validation purposes. Additionally, the performance of the adaptive algorithm was assessed against standard global fire products derived from MODIS Aqua and Terra satellites, total burned area (MCD45A1), the active fire algorithm (MOD14); and the L3JRC SPOT VEGETATION 1 km GLOBCARBON products. The correlation between the size of burned areas detected by the global

  11. Interplay of Topography, Vegetation, and Wildfire Intensity in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, S. H.; Finnegan, N. J.

    2011-12-01

    Wildfires can profoundly affect hillslope erosion processes and hydrology, while topography in turn can influence the pattern of burning on the landscape as well the structure of vegetation. Thus the possibility exists for feedbacks between topography, vegetation and fire. We combine topographic (LiDAR), vegetation, and burn intensity mapping for Scotts Creek, CA, USA to determine the effects of vegetation type, elevation, slope, and slope aspect on the spatial distribution of burn severity during the 2009 Lockheed fire. Scotts Creek is located along the coast of Santa Cruz County, CA, 21 km north of Santa Cruz along Highway 1. The Lockheed Fire burned ~ 40% of the 77 km2 catchment from August 12, 2009 until it was contained on August 23, 2009. The fire was spread from ridge to ridge by southeasterly winds with ridge fires subsequently burning down into valleys. Vegetation is a diverse array of mixed conifer, redwood, chaparral, coastal shrub, grassland, Monterey Pine, and oak woodland. Bedrock geology in the watershed is a patchwork of granite, mudstone and sandstone. Elevation in Scotts Creek ranges from sea level to ~ 800 m. Our analysis shows that vegetation types exhibit characteristic burn severity ranges, and acted as the primary control on the spatial distribution of burn severity. Because vegetation type is strongly correlated with topography in the Santa Cruz Mountains, this results in distinct topographic burn severity patterns. Dry ridge tops with chaparral and knobcone pines typically show high burn intensity, whereas moist valley bottoms with redwoods typically show low burn intensity. Independent of vegetation, elevation appears to have had a minor secondary effect on burn severity, with increasing elevation promoting higher severity burning. Slope appears to have had an ambiguous, minor effect on burn severity distribution. Aspect does not appear to have effected burn severity distribution. Post-fire mass-wasting processes such as a dry-ravel and

  12. Analyzing seasonal patterns of wildfire exposure factors in Sardinia, Italy.

    PubMed

    Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A; Alcasena, Fermin J; Arca, Bachisio; Finney, Mark A; Pellizzaro, Grazia; Spano, Donatella

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we applied landscape scale wildfire simulation modeling to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of wildfire likelihood and intensity in the island of Sardinia (Italy). We also performed wildfire exposure analysis for selected highly valued resources on the island to identify areas characterized by high risk. We observed substantial variation in burn probability, fire size, and flame length among time periods within the fire season, which starts in early June and ends in late September. Peak burn probability and flame length were observed in late July. We found that patterns of wildfire likelihood and intensity were mainly related to spatiotemporal variation in ignition locations, fuel moisture, and wind vectors. Our modeling approach allowed consideration of historical patterns of winds, ignition locations, and live and dead fuel moisture on fire exposure factors. The methodology proposed can be useful for analyzing potential wildfire risk and effects at landscape scale, evaluating historical changes and future trends in wildfire exposure, as well as for addressing and informing fuel management and risk mitigation issues. PMID:25471625

  13. Analyzing seasonal patterns of wildfire exposure factors in Sardinia, Italy.

    PubMed

    Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A; Alcasena, Fermin J; Arca, Bachisio; Finney, Mark A; Pellizzaro, Grazia; Spano, Donatella

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we applied landscape scale wildfire simulation modeling to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of wildfire likelihood and intensity in the island of Sardinia (Italy). We also performed wildfire exposure analysis for selected highly valued resources on the island to identify areas characterized by high risk. We observed substantial variation in burn probability, fire size, and flame length among time periods within the fire season, which starts in early June and ends in late September. Peak burn probability and flame length were observed in late July. We found that patterns of wildfire likelihood and intensity were mainly related to spatiotemporal variation in ignition locations, fuel moisture, and wind vectors. Our modeling approach allowed consideration of historical patterns of winds, ignition locations, and live and dead fuel moisture on fire exposure factors. The methodology proposed can be useful for analyzing potential wildfire risk and effects at landscape scale, evaluating historical changes and future trends in wildfire exposure, as well as for addressing and informing fuel management and risk mitigation issues.

  14. Climate change and wildfire around southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, K.

    2013-12-01

    When the climate change in southern Africa is analyzed, the effects of rainfall by Inter Tropical Convergence Zone(ITCZ) and cyclone are important. In this study, the rainfall patterns are analyzed with synoptic analysis. The southern limit of ITCZ is around the arid zone around Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This zone has some effects of both ITCZ and extratropical cyclones by season. As well as this, the eastern part of this area has heavy rainfall by the cyclone from the Indian Ocean once in several years. In the other hand, a lot of wildfire occurs in this area. The main cause of the wildfire is anthropogenic misbehavior of the fire by the slash-and-burn agriculture. Recently we can find the wildfire detected with the satellite imagery like Terra/Aqua MODIS. We can compare the weather environment and the wildfire occurrence with Geographical Information System. We have tried making the fire weather index suitable for the southern African semi-arid area.

  15. Wildfire-Migration Dynamics: Lessons from Colorado's Fourmile Canyon Fire.

    PubMed

    Nawrotzki, Raphael J; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Hunter, Lori M; Champ, Patricia A

    2014-02-01

    The number of people living in wildfire prone wildland-urban interface (WUI) communities is on the rise. Yet, no prior study has investigated wildfire-induced residential relocation from WUI areas after a major fire event. To provide insight into the association between socio-demographic and socio-psychological characteristics and wildfire related intention to move, we use data from a survey of WUI residents in Boulder and Larimer Counties, Colorado. The data were collected two months after the devastating Fourmile Canyon fire destroyed 169 homes and burned over 6,000 acres of public and private land. Although working with a small migrant sample, logistic regression models demonstrate that survey respondents intending to move in relation to wildfire incidence do not differ socio-demographically from their non-migrant counterparts. They do, however, show significantly higher levels of risk perception. Investigating destination choices shows a preference for short distance moves.

  16. Oregon: Biscuit Wildfire

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-05-15

    article title:  The Biscuit Wildfire     View Larger Image ... consumed almost 500,000 acres in outhern Oregon and northern California. This image pair from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer ...

  17. Case study: Wildfire visualization

    SciTech Connect

    Ahrens, J.; McCormick, P.; Bossert, J.; Reisner, J.; Winterkamp, J.

    1997-11-01

    The ability to forecast the progress of crisis events would significantly reduce human suffering and loss of life, the destruction of property, and expenditures for assessment and recovery. Los Alamos National Laboratory has established a scientific thrust in crisis forecasting to address this national challenge. In the initial phase of this project, scientists at Los Alamos are developing computer models to predict the spread of a wildfire. Visualization of the results of the wildfire simulation will be used by scientists to assess the quality of the simulation and eventually by fire personnel as a visual forecast of the wildfire`s evolution. The fire personnel and scientists want the visualization to look as realistic as possible without compromising scientific accuracy. This paper describes how the visualization was created, analyzes the tools and approach that was used, and suggests directions for future work and research.

  18. High-Resolution Mapping of Biomass Burning Emissions in Three Tropical Regions.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yusheng; Matsunaga, Tsuneo; Yamaguchi, Yasushi

    2015-09-15

    Biomass burning in tropical regions plays a significant role in atmospheric pollution and climate change. This study quantified a comprehensive monthly biomass burning emissions inventory with 1 km high spatial resolution, which included the burning of vegetation, human waste, and fuelwood for 2010 in three tropical regions. The estimations were based on the available burned area product MCD64A1 and statistical data. The total emissions of all gases and aerosols were 17382 Tg of CO2, 719 Tg of CO, 30 Tg of CH4, 29 Tg of NOx, 114 Tg of NMOC (nonmethane organic compounds), 7 Tg of SO2, 10 Tg of NH3, 79 Tg of PM2.5 (particulate matter), 45 Tg of OC (organic carbon), and 6 Tg of BC (black carbon). Taking CO as an example, vegetation burning accounted for 74% (530 Tg) of the total CO emissions, followed by fuelwood combustion and human waste burning. Africa was the biggest emitter (440 Tg), larger than Central and South America (113 Tg) and South and Southeast Asia (166 Tg). We also noticed that the dominant fire types in vegetation burning of these three regions were woody savanna/shrubland, savanna/grassland, and forest, respectively. Although there were some slight overestimations, our results are supported by comparisons with previously published data.

  19. Fire and Fish: Using Radiocarbon And Stratigraphy To Discern The Impact Of Wildfire On Fish Metapopulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaffrath, K. R.; Finch, C.; Belmont, P.; Budy, P.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfires have profound and variable impacts on erosion, channel morphology, and aquatic habitat. Previous research has quantified post-fire geomorphic response on event and millennial timescales. While these studies have informed our understanding of post-fire geomorphic response during the Holocene, we have yet to fully understand the variability of post-wildfire geomorphic response and how it might change in response to changing climate. Response of aquatic biota is just as variable as post-wildfire response yet we know very little about effects on metapopulations and how management decisions affect aquatic populations. Barriers to movement are installed to isolate native fish populations and prescribed fire and thinning are used to try to reduce future wildfire severity and extent. In order to improve understanding of the implications of management decisions, we evaluated geomorphic response and synchronicity of wildfires over the Holocene relative to the impact to the metapopulation of Bonneville cutthroat trout from a recent wildfire. The Twitchell Canyon fire burned 45,000 acres near Beaver, UT in July 2010. Over 30% of the area burned at high severity, which included two major headwater streams that sustained a trout population. In summer 2011, monsoonal thunderstorms caused massive debris flows and sheetflow erosion that altered channel morphology and aquatic habitat in the burned area. A previously robust, non-native trout fishery was nearly extirpated as a result of the geomorphic response to the wildfire. We used radiocarbon dating of burned material to determine how often headwater streams burned synchronously over the Holocene. Radiocarbon dates are associated with field observations of stratigraphy in order to infer geomorphic response to historic wildfires. Thirty samples were collected from sediment layers in 10 alluvial fans distributed among three watersheds (two burned and one unburned in the 2010 fire). Preliminary results suggest that we

  20. Update on the effects of a sierran wildfire on surface runoff water quality.

    PubMed

    Miller, W W; Johnson, D W; Gergans, N; Carroll-Moore, E M; Walker, R F; Cody, T L; Wone, B

    2013-07-01

    Wildfire has been shown to increase the short-term (1-3 yr) mobilization of mineral N and P in forest ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Lake Tahoe Basin. The ensuing effects on tributary and lake water quality are uncertain. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the impacts on runoff water quality over an intermediate time frame of 5 yr (2002-2007) after a wildfire event. Our design included fixed plots randomly placed within burned and unburned areas. Because each plot was sampled repeatedly during the study, we treated plots as repeated random effects in the analysis. We used a mixed model approach to analyze nutrient runoff concentrations and load for NH-N, NON and P in phosphate form (designated as ortho P or PO-P) where treatment (unburned vs. burned), time (pre-wildfire, post-wildfire year 1, year 2, etc.), and their interaction were fixed effects. Concentrations and loads of mineral N and P were higher in runoff from the burned areas immediately after wildfire. Because high water years may also contribute to higher runoff nutrient concentrations and loading, a wildfire followed by a high water year within the first season after a wildfire would likely have a much greater impact on runoff (and hence tributary) water quality than a wildfire followed by a low runoff water year.

  1. Impacts of Wildfire on Throughfall and Stemflow Precipitation Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, A. M.; McIntosh, J. C.; Meixner, T.; Brooks, P. D.; Chorover, J.

    2014-12-01

    The occurrence of large, stand replacing wildfires is more frequent in the western United States now than ever before. The loss of canopy cover due to wildfire drastically modifies landscapes and alters ecosystems as high intensity burns replace canopies with charred branches and trunks, change soil composition and erosion processes, and affect hydrologic flow paths and water chemistry. Precipitation that is not intercepted by the forest canopy makes its way to the forest floor as throughfall or stemflow. Tracking variations in the amount and chemistry of precipitation that interacts with burned versus unburned forest stands, as well as open precipitation, will help to quantify changes in hydrologic routing and catchment water chemistry caused by wildfire. This study investigates the effects of fire on the volume and chemical composition of precipitation diverted to the forest floor as stemflow and throughfall by observing the impact of the June 2013 Thompson Ridge wildfire in the Jemez River Basin Critical Zone Observatory field site in the Valles Caldera National Preserve of New Mexico. Throughfall and stemflow collectors were installed beneath both burned and unburned canopies and open areas in two catchments impacted by the Thompson Ridge fire. Initial results of field parameters, including electrical conductivity, pH and volume of precipitation collected from both burned and unburned sites, show variations across collector type (stemflow, throughfall and open precipitation), site location as the two catchments differ in aspect and gradient, and burn severity. Throughfall, stemflow and open precipitation samples were analyzed for trace metals, major cations, anions, nutrients and organic matter to determine how fire affects the chemical composition of the precipitation that interacts with burned canopies. This study is one of the first to quantify the relationship between wildfire and the chemistry and flux of stemflow and throughfall in conjunction with a full

  2. Increasing western US forest wildfire activity: sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring.

    PubMed

    Westerling, Anthony LeRoy

    2016-06-01

    Prior work shows western US forest wildfire activity increased abruptly in the mid-1980s. Large forest wildfires and areas burned in them have continued to increase over recent decades, with most of the increase in lightning-ignited fires. Northern US Rockies forests dominated early increases in wildfire activity, and still contributed 50% of the increase in large fires over the last decade. However, the percentage growth in wildfire activity in Pacific northwestern and southwestern US forests has rapidly increased over the last two decades. Wildfire numbers and burned area are also increasing in non-forest vegetation types. Wildfire activity appears strongly associated with warming and earlier spring snowmelt. Analysis of the drivers of forest wildfire sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring demonstrates that forests at elevations where the historical mean snow-free season ranged between two and four months, with relatively high cumulative warm-season actual evapotranspiration, have been most affected. Increases in large wildfires associated with earlier spring snowmelt scale exponentially with changes in moisture deficit, and moisture deficit changes can explain most of the spatial variability in forest wildfire regime response to the timing of spring.This article is part of the themed issue 'The interaction of fire and mankind'.

  3. Increasing western US forest wildfire activity: sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring.

    PubMed

    Westerling, Anthony LeRoy

    2016-06-01

    Prior work shows western US forest wildfire activity increased abruptly in the mid-1980s. Large forest wildfires and areas burned in them have continued to increase over recent decades, with most of the increase in lightning-ignited fires. Northern US Rockies forests dominated early increases in wildfire activity, and still contributed 50% of the increase in large fires over the last decade. However, the percentage growth in wildfire activity in Pacific northwestern and southwestern US forests has rapidly increased over the last two decades. Wildfire numbers and burned area are also increasing in non-forest vegetation types. Wildfire activity appears strongly associated with warming and earlier spring snowmelt. Analysis of the drivers of forest wildfire sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring demonstrates that forests at elevations where the historical mean snow-free season ranged between two and four months, with relatively high cumulative warm-season actual evapotranspiration, have been most affected. Increases in large wildfires associated with earlier spring snowmelt scale exponentially with changes in moisture deficit, and moisture deficit changes can explain most of the spatial variability in forest wildfire regime response to the timing of spring.This article is part of the themed issue 'The interaction of fire and mankind'. PMID:27216510

  4. The spatial domain of wildfire risk and response in the wildland urban interface in Sydney, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, O. F.; Bradstock, R. A.

    2013-12-01

    In order to quantify the risks from fire at the wildland urban interface (WUI), it is important to understand where fires occur and their likelihood of spreading to the WUI. For each of the 999 fires in the Sydney region we calculated the distance between the ignition and the WUI, the fire's weather and wind direction and whether it spread to the WUI. The likelihood of burning the WUI was analysed using binomial regression. Weather and distance interacted such that under mild weather conditions, the model predicted only a 5% chance that a fire starting >2.5 km from the interface would reach it, whereas when the conditions are extreme the predicted chance remained above 30% even at distances >10 km. Fires were more likely to spread to the WUI if the wind was from the west and in the western side of the region. We examined whether the management responses to wildfires are commensurate with risk by comparing the distribution of distance to the WUI of wildfires with roads and prescribed fires. Prescribed fires and roads were concentrated nearer to the WUI than wildfires as a whole, but further away than wildfires that burnt the WUI under extreme weather conditions (high risk fires). Overall, 79% of these high risk fires started within 2 km of the WUI, so there is some argument for concentrating more management effort near the WUI. By substituting climate change scenario weather into the statistical model, we predicted a small increase in the risk of fires spreading to the WUI, but the increase will be greater under extreme weather. This approach has a variety of uses, including mapping fire risk and improving the ability to match fire management responses to the threat from each fire. They also provide a baseline from which a cost-benefit analysis of complementary fire management strategies can be conducted.

  5. The spatial domain of wildfire risk and response in the Wildland Urban Interface in Sydney, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, O. F.; Bradstock, R. A.

    2013-09-01

    In order to quantify the risks from fire at the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), it is important to understand where fires occur and their likelihood of spreading to the WUI. For each of 999 fires in the Sydney region we calculated the distance between the ignition and the WUI, the fire weather and wind direction and whether it spread to the WUI. The likelihood of burning the WUI was analysed using binomial regression. Weather and distance interacted such that under mild weather conditions, the model predicted only a 5% chance that a fire starting more than 2.5 km from the interface would reach it, whereas when the conditions are extreme the predicted chance remained above 30% even at distances further than 10 km. Fires were more likely to spread to the WUI if the wind was from the west and in the western side of the region. We examined whether the management responses to wildfires are commensurate with risk by comparing the distribution of distance to the WUI of wildfires with roads and prescribed fires. Prescribed fires and roads were concentrated nearer to the WUI than wildfires as a whole, but further away than wildfires that burnt the WUI under extreme weather conditions (high risk fires). 79% of these high risk fires started within 2 km of the WUI, so there is some argument for concentrating more management effort near the WUI. By substituting climate change scenario weather into the statistical model, we predicted a small increase in the risk of fires spreading to the WUI, but the increase will be greater under extreme weather. This approach has a variety of uses, including mapping fire risk and improving the ability to match fire management responses to the threat from each fire. They also provide a baseline from which a cost-benefit analysis of complementary fire management strategies can be conducted.

  6. Joint Use of Sentinel-1 and Landsat-8 data for Burned Areas Mapping: the Case of the Sardinia Island, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepe, Antonio; Azar, Ramin; Calò, Fabiana; Stroppiana, Daniela; Brivio, Pietro Alessandro; Imperatore, Pasquale

    2016-04-01

    Fires widely affect Mediterranean regions, causing severe threats to human lives and damages to natural environments. The socio-economic impacts of fires on the affected local communities are significant, indeed, the activation of prevention measures and the extinguishment of fires and reclamation of the pre-fire conditions are very expensive. Moreover, fires have also global impacts: they affect global warming and climate changes due to gas and aerosol emissions to atmosphere. In such a context, fire scars mapping and monitoring are fundamental tasks for a sustainable management of natural resources and for the prevention/mitigation of fire risk. With this respect, remotely sensed data offer the opportunity for a regional-up-to-global scale monitoring of areas prone to fires, on a cost-effective and regular basis. In this work, the potential of a joint use of Sentinel-1A (C-band) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) data for detecting burned areas is investigated. The experimental analyses are conducted by focusing on Sardinia Island, which is one of the Italian regions most affected by fire events during summer. Our analysis shows that the capability of monitoring burned areas in the Mediterranean environment can be improved by exploiting information embedded in OLI multispectral bands in conjunction with multi-temporal dual-polarized SAR data. Indeed, limitations experienced in analyses based on the use of only optical data (e.g., cloud cover, spectral overlap/confusion of burned areas with dark soils, water surfaces and shaded regions) may be overcome by using SAR data, owing to the insensitiveness to sunlight-illumination conditions and the cloud-penetrating capability of microwave radiation. Results prove the effectiveness of an integrated approach based on the combination of optical and microwave imagery for the monitoring and mapping of burned areas in vegetated regions.

  7. Wildfires threaten mercury stocks in northern soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Turetsky, M.R.; Harden, J.W.; Friedli, H.R.; Flannigan, M.; Payne, N.; Crock, J.; Radke, L.

    2006-01-01

    With climate change rapidly affecting northern forests and wetlands, mercury reserves once protected in cold, wet soils are being exposed to burning, likely triggering large releases of mercury to the atmosphere. We quantify organic soil mercury stocks and burn areas across western, boreal Canada for use in fire emission models that explore controls of burn area, consumption severity, and fuel loading on atmospheric mercury emissions. Though renowned as hotspots for the accumulation of mercury and its transformation to the toxic methylmercury, boreal wetlands might soon transition to hotspots for atmospheric mercury emissions. Estimates of circumboreal mercury emissions from this study are 15-fold greater than estimates that do not account for mercury stored in peat soils. Ongoing and projected increases in boreal wildfire activity due to climate change will increase atmospheric mercury emissions, contributing to the anthropogenic alteration of the global mercury cycle and exacerbating mercury toxicities for northern food chains. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  8. Atlas of climatic controls of wildfire in the western United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hostetler, S.W.; Bartlein, P.J.; Holman, J.O.

    2006-01-01

    Wildfire behavior depends on several factors including ecologic characteristics, near-term and antecedent climatic conditions,fuel availability and moisture level, weather, and sources of ignition (lightning or human). The variability and interplay of these factors over many spatial and temporal scales present an ongoing challenge to our ability to forecast a given wildfire season. Here we focus on one aspect of wildfire in the western US through a retrospective analysis of wildfire (starts and area burned) and climate over monthly time scales. We consider prefire conditions up to a year preceding fire outbreaks. For our analysis, we used daily and monthly wildfire records and a combination of observed and model-simulated atmospheric and surface climate data. The focus of this report is on monthly wildfire and climate for the period 1980-2000. Although a longer fire record is desirable, the 21-year record is the longest currently available and it is sufficient for the purpose of a first-order regional analysis. We present the main results in the form of a wildfire-climate atlas for 8 subregions of the West that can be used by resource managers to assess current wildfire conditions relative to high, normal, and low fire years in the historical record. Our results clearly demonstrate the link between wildfire conditions and a small set of climatic variables, and our methodology is a framework for providing near-real-time assessments of current wildfire conditions in the West.

  9. County-level analysis of the impact of temperature and population increases on California wildfire data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baltar, M.; Keeley, Jon E.; Schoenberg, F.P.

    2013-01-01

    The extent to which the apparent increase in wildfire incidence and burn area in California from 1990 to 2006 is affected by population and temperature increases is examined. Using generalized linear models with random effects, we focus on the estimated impacts of increases in mean daily temperatures and populations in different counties on wildfire in those counties, after essentially controlling for the overall differences between counties in their overall mean temperatures and populations. We find that temperature increase appears to have a significant positive impact on both total burn area and number of observed wildfires. Population growth appears to have a much less pronounced impact on total burn area than do annual temperature increases, and population growth appears to be negatively correlated with the total number of observed wildfires. These effects are especially pronounced in the winter season and in Southern California counties.

  10. Wildfire exposure and fuel management on western US national forests.

    PubMed

    Ager, Alan A; Day, Michelle A; McHugh, Charles W; Short, Karen; Gilbertson-Day, Julie; Finney, Mark A; Calkin, David E

    2014-12-01

    Substantial investments in fuel management activities on national forests in the western US are part of a national strategy to reduce human and ecological losses from catastrophic wildfire and create fire resilient landscapes. Prioritizing these investments within and among national forests remains a challenge, partly because a comprehensive assessment that establishes the current wildfire risk and exposure does not exist, making it difficult to identify national priorities and target specific areas for fuel management. To gain a broader understanding of wildfire exposure in the national forest system, we analyzed an array of simulated and empirical data on wildfire activity and fuel treatment investments on the 82 western US national forests. We first summarized recent fire data to examine variation among the Forests in ignition frequency and burned area in relation to investments in fuel reduction treatments. We then used simulation modeling to analyze fine-scale spatial variation in burn probability and intensity. We also estimated the probability of a mega-fire event on each of the Forests, and the transmission of fires ignited on national forests to the surrounding urban interface. The analysis showed a good correspondence between recent area burned and predictions from the simulation models. The modeling also illustrated the magnitude of the variation in both burn probability and intensity among and within Forests. Simulated burn probabilities in most instances were lower than historical, reflecting fire exclusion on many national forests. Simulated wildfire transmission from national forests to the urban interface was highly variable among the Forests. We discuss how the results of the study can be used to prioritize investments in hazardous fuel reduction within a comprehensive multi-scale risk management framework.

  11. Wildfire exposure and fuel management on western US national forests.

    PubMed

    Ager, Alan A; Day, Michelle A; McHugh, Charles W; Short, Karen; Gilbertson-Day, Julie; Finney, Mark A; Calkin, David E

    2014-12-01

    Substantial investments in fuel management activities on national forests in the western US are part of a national strategy to reduce human and ecological losses from catastrophic wildfire and create fire resilient landscapes. Prioritizing these investments within and among national forests remains a challenge, partly because a comprehensive assessment that establishes the current wildfire risk and exposure does not exist, making it difficult to identify national priorities and target specific areas for fuel management. To gain a broader understanding of wildfire exposure in the national forest system, we analyzed an array of simulated and empirical data on wildfire activity and fuel treatment investments on the 82 western US national forests. We first summarized recent fire data to examine variation among the Forests in ignition frequency and burned area in relation to investments in fuel reduction treatments. We then used simulation modeling to analyze fine-scale spatial variation in burn probability and intensity. We also estimated the probability of a mega-fire event on each of the Forests, and the transmission of fires ignited on national forests to the surrounding urban interface. The analysis showed a good correspondence between recent area burned and predictions from the simulation models. The modeling also illustrated the magnitude of the variation in both burn probability and intensity among and within Forests. Simulated burn probabilities in most instances were lower than historical, reflecting fire exclusion on many national forests. Simulated wildfire transmission from national forests to the urban interface was highly variable among the Forests. We discuss how the results of the study can be used to prioritize investments in hazardous fuel reduction within a comprehensive multi-scale risk management framework. PMID:24997402

  12. Wildfire Perception and Community Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Jason S.; Matarrita-Cascante, David; Stedman, Richard C.; Luloff, A. E.

    2010-01-01

    Given increasing political and financial commitments to wildfire preparedness, risk policy demands that risk identification, assessment, and mitigation activities are balanced among diverse resident groups. Essential for this is the understanding of residents' perceptions of wildfire risks. This study compares wildfire-risk perceptions of…

  13. SEERISK concept: Dealing with climate change related hazards in southeast Europe: A common methodology for risk assessment and mapping focusing on floods, drought, winds, heat wave and wildfire.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papathoma-Koehle, Maria; Promper, Catrin; Glade, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Southeast Europe is a region that suffers often from natural hazards and has experienced significant losses in the recent past due to extreme weather conditions and their side-effects (cold and heat waves, extreme precipitation leading to floods / flash floods, thunderstorms, extreme winds, drought and wildfires). SEERISK ("Joint Disaster Management Risk Assessment and Preparedness in the Danube macro-region") is a European funded SEE (Southeast Europe) project that aims at the harmonisation and consistency among risk assessment practices undertaken by the partner countries at various levels regarding climate change related disasters. A common methodology for risk assessment has been developed that offers alternatives in order to tackle the problem of limited data. The methodology proposes alternative steps for hazard and vulnerability assessment that, according to the data availability, range from detailed modelling to expert judgement. In the present study the common methodology has been adapted for five hazard types (floods, drought, winds, heat wave and wildfire) that are expected to be affected by climate change in the future and are relevant for the specific study areas. The last step will be the application of the methodology in six different case studies in Hungary, Romania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Serbia followed by field exercises.

  14. Improving Long-term Post-wildfire hydrologic simulations using ParFlow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, S. R.; Kinoshita, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfires alter the natural hydrologic processes within a watershed. After vegetation is burned, the combustion of organic material and debris settles into the soil creating a hydrophobic layer beneath the soil surface with varying degree of thickness and depth. Vegetation regrowth rates vary as a function of radiative exposure, burn severity, and precipitation patterns. Hydrologic models used by the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams use input data and model calibration constraints that are generally either one-dimensional, empirically-based models, or two-dimensional, conceptually-based models with lumped parameter distributions. These models estimate runoff measurements at the watershed outlet; however, do not provide a distributed hydrologic simulation at each point within the watershed. This work uses ParFlow, a three-dimensional, distributed hydrologic model to (1) correlate burn severity with hydrophobicity, (2) evaluate vegetation recovery rate on water components, and (3) improve flood prediction for managers to help with resource allocation and management operations in burned watersheds. ParFlow is applied to Devil Canyon (43 km2) in San Bernardino, California, which was 97% burned in the 2003 Old Fire. The model set-up uses a 30m-cell size resolution over a 6.7 km by 6.4 km lateral extent. The subsurface reaches 30 m and is assigned a variable cell thickness. Variable subsurface thickness allows users to explicitly consider the degree of recovery throughout the stages of regrowth. Burn severity maps from remotely sensed imagery are used to assign initial hydrophobic layer parameters and thickness. Vegetation regrowth is represented with satellite an Enhanced Vegetation Index. Pre and post-fire hydrologic response is evaluated using runoff measurements at the watershed outlet, and using water component (overland flow, lateral flow, baseflow) measurements.

  15. Changes in Nutrient Concentrations After a Chaparral Wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meixner, T.; Fenn, M.; Rademacher, L.; Hogue, T.; Kong, H.; Morissey, S.

    2005-12-01

    Wildfires and their biogeochemical consequences are not fully understood in western ecosystems. Since 1995 several watersheds in the San Bernardino have been monitored at varying frequencies and for varying chemical constituents. In the fall of 2003 several but not all, of these watersheds burned during the Old Fire. Since few treatment-control catchment scale studies exist for evaluating the consequences of stand replacing wildfire, the monitored streams of the San Bernardino Mountains offer a rare opportunity to investigate the biogeochemical impacts of wildfire. Previous studies on the effect of fire have generally used controlled or simulated wildfire burns. A few available studies use the approach presented here: serendipity. This study must rely on weekly and monthly baseflow samples of stream chemical composition due to the experimental design implemented for the control (unburned locations) in the pre-fire time frame. This sample frequency emphasizes baseflow and groundwater conditions within the catchments. The chemical data from baseflow conditions in the control and treatment catchments show no difference in the first year immediately post fire. However data during the second year post-fire indicate that nitrate and potassium concentrations in the burned watersheds were increased relative to the control catchments and the concentrations of other chemical constituents were relatively unchanged. These results highlight two important points about groundwater chemical response to wildfire disturbance, at least in the chaparral forests of southern California, and possibly the wider chaparral communities of the southwest. First, changes in nutrient concentration may have a significant time lag that will depend on the groundwater characteristics of the specific setting. Second, because of these time lags, the changes in dissolved load concentrations caused by wildfire might have their largest impact on stream water quality for a long time period.

  16. Wildfire exposure analysis on the national forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

    PubMed

    Ager, Alan A; Buonopane, Michelle; Reger, Allison; Finney, Mark A

    2013-06-01

    We analyzed wildfire exposure for key social and ecological features on the national forests in Oregon and Washington. The forests contain numerous urban interfaces, old growth forests, recreational sites, and habitat for rare and endangered species. Many of these resources are threatened by wildfire, especially in the east Cascade Mountains fire-prone forests. The study illustrates the application of wildfire simulation for risk assessment where the major threat is from large and rare naturally ignited fires, versus many previous studies that have focused on risk driven by frequent and small fires from anthropogenic ignitions. Wildfire simulation modeling was used to characterize potential wildfire behavior in terms of annual burn probability and flame length. Spatial data on selected social and ecological features were obtained from Forest Service GIS databases and elsewhere. The potential wildfire behavior was then summarized for each spatial location of each resource. The analysis suggested strong spatial variation in both burn probability and conditional flame length for many of the features examined, including biodiversity, urban interfaces, and infrastructure. We propose that the spatial patterns in modeled wildfire behavior could be used to improve existing prioritization of fuel management and wildfire preparedness activities within the Pacific Northwest region.

  17. Automated Wildfire Detection Through Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Jerry; Borne, Kirk; Thomas, Brian; Huang, Zhenping; Chi, Yuechen

    2005-01-01

    We have tested and deployed Artificial Neural Network (ANN) data mining techniques to analyze remotely sensed multi-channel imaging data from MODIS, GOES, and AVHRR. The goal is to train the ANN to learn the signatures of wildfires in remotely sensed data in order to automate the detection process. We train the ANN using the set of human-detected wildfires in the U.S., which are provided by the Hazard Mapping System (HMS) wildfire detection group at NOAA/NESDIS. The ANN is trained to mimic the behavior of fire detection algorithms and the subjective decision- making by N O M HMS Fire Analysts. We use a local extremum search in order to isolate fire pixels, and then we extract a 7x7 pixel array around that location in 3 spectral channels. The corresponding 147 pixel values are used to populate a 147-dimensional input vector that is fed into the ANN. The ANN accuracy is tested and overfitting is avoided by using a subset of the training data that is set aside as a test data set. We have achieved an automated fire detection accuracy of 80-92%, depending on a variety of ANN parameters and for different instrument channels among the 3 satellites. We believe that this system can be deployed worldwide or for any region to detect wildfires automatically in satellite imagery of those regions. These detections can ultimately be used to provide thermal inputs to climate models.

  18. Rill Erosion in Post Wildfire Forests after Salvage Logging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robichaud, Peter; Wagenbrenner, Joseph; Brown, Robert

    2016-04-01

    Despite the dominance of concentrated flow or rill erosion in the erosion processes especially in steep forest environments that have been affected by wildfire or management activities few studies have quantified these effects on rill erosion. This study quantified the effects of wildfire and post-fire timber salvage operations on rill runoff quantity, runoff velocity, and rill erosion. Simulated rill experiments were conducted at various sites in the Western US after wildfire and timber salvage operations. The onsite conditions consists of burned only, salvage logged, skid or snig trail, or skid trails with extra logging debris added. For each rill experiment, concentrated flow was applied at the top of the plot through an energy dissipater at five inflow rates for 12 min each. Runoff was sampled every 2 min and runoff volume and sediment concentration were determined for each sample. The runoff velocity was measured using a dyed calcium chloride solution and two conductivity probes placed a known distance apart. Runoff volume, runoff velocities, and sediment concentrations increased with increasing levels of disturbance. The burned only plots had lower runoff rates and sediment concentrations than any of the other disturbances. The salvage logged plots had greater responses than the burn only plots and the mitigation treatment had a marginal effect on runoff ratios, runoff velocities and sediment concentrations. These results suggest that additional disturbance after a wildfire can increase the erosional response and that proper erosion control mitigation may be an important consideration for post fire management to reduce onsite erosion.

  19. Rapid increases and time-lagged declines in amphibian occupancy after wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, Blake R.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region.

  20. Rapid increases and time-lagged declines in amphibian occupancy after wildfire.

    PubMed

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-02-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region.

  1. Wildfires and Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This publication discusses conditions that feed wildfires, how a building catches fire, determining the school's risk, creating a survivable space for the school, the importance of maintenance, the fire-resistant school, meeting code requirements, and related flood and mudslide risks. Much of this publication has been adapted for schools from the…

  2. Wildfire Prevention Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Wildlife Coordinating Group, Boise, ID.

    This document provides information and guidance on wildfire prevention strategies. Chapters include: (1) "Introduction"; (2) "How to Use this Guide"; (3) "Fire Cause Classification"; (4) "Relative Effectiveness"; (5) "Degree of Difficulty"; (6) "Intervention Techniques"; (7) "Prevention Activities"; (8) "Sample Prevention Strategies"; and (9)…

  3. The Cerro Grande Fire - From Wildfire Modeling Through the Fire Aftermath

    SciTech Connect

    Rudell, T. M.; Gille, R. W.

    2001-01-01

    The Cerro Grande Fire developed from a prescribed burn by the National Park Service at Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, New Mexico. When the burn went out of control and became a wildfire, it attracted worldwide attention because it threatened the birthplace of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Was LANL prepared for a fire? What lessons have been learned?

  4. Infiltration and interrill erosion rates after a wildfire in western Montana, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The 2000 Valley Complex wildfire burned in steep montane forests with ash cap soils in western Montana, USA. The effects of high burn severity on forest soil hydrologic function was examined using rainfall simulations (100 mm h-1 for 1 h) on 0.5-m2 plots. Infiltration rates and sediment yields and c...

  5. Runoff and erosion effects after prescribed fire and wildfire on volcanic ash-cap soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    AFTER PRESCRIBED BURNS AT THREE LOCATIONS AND ONE WILDFIRE, RAINFALL SIMULATIONS STUDIES WERE COMPLETED TO COMPARE POSTFIRE RUNOFF RATES AND SEDIMENT YIELDS ON ASH-CAP SOIL IN CONIFER FOREST REGIONS OF NOTHERN IDAHO AND WESTERN MONTANA. THE MEASURED FIRE EFFECTS WERE DIFFERENTIATED BY BURN SEVERITY ...

  6. Asthma and Respiratory Related Emergency Room Visits Associated with a Wildfire in Eastern North Carolina in the Summer of 2008

    EPA Science Inventory

    Rationale: Epidemiological studies have shown associations between the incidence of increased emergency room admissions, hospital and outpatient clinic visits for respiratory causes with the exposures to wood stove, wildfires, and other forms of organic mass burning. In June 2008...

  7. Stream Water and Soil Water Chemistry Following the Table Mountain Wildfire, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roccanova, V. J.; Gazis, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Severe wildfire occurrence in the Western United States increased throughout the 20th century and has continued to increase into the 21st century. Global climate change resulting from natural and anthropogenic sources is considered a contributor to this increase in wildfire severity. Fire suppression techniques developed in the early 20th century are also a factor in increased severe wildfire occurrence as they augment available fuel loads. Biomass burning releases nutrients that are held within trees and plants. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and calcium levels have been documented as increasing in stream waters as a result of wildfire. As severe wildfire occurrence increases, so does the likelihood that stream, and to a lesser extent groundwater, will be loaded with nutrients and sediments as a result of wildfire activity. Increased nutrient loads can cause algal blooms that deplete streams of oxygen, important to aquatic plants and animals that reside in these streams. These changes in water quality can also affect humans who depend on these streams for irrigation and drinking water purposes. The Table Mountain wildfire in Washington State was started by a lightning strike that occurred at approximately 8:00 PM on Saturday September 8th, 2012. The fire burned for approximately one month and was declared to be 100% contained on Friday October 5th, 2012. Over this period the fire burned a total of 171 square kilometers of forest. In this study multiple stream and soil water samples were collected from three types of area in the winter through summer following the fire: severely burned, moderately burned, and unburned. All areas sampled have similar bedrock and vegetation cover. These samples were analyzed for major ions and trace element concentrations. Select samples will also be analyzed for strontium isotope ratios. The results of these geochemical analyses will be presented. Because calcium and strontium have similar properties, their concentrations can be combined

  8. Using WEPP Technology to Assess the Distribution of Erosion Risk, Mitigation Benefit, and Peak Flow Following Wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, I.; Elliot, W.; Glaza, B.; Robichaud, P.

    2006-12-01

    A number of interfaces have been developed for the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model. These include a GIS interface (GeoWEPP), a Windows interface, and an online interface to assist in analyzing erosion risks, variability, and mitigation effectiveness on forest and rangeland hillslopes that have been burned (the Erosion Risk Management Tool ERMiT). This presentation describes how each of these tools was used to assist in analyzing the erosion and peak runoff risk, and mitigation benefits following a large wildfire. In August, 2005, a wildfire burned 20,000 ha of forest south of Pomeroy, WA. Ten watersheds of greatest interest were identified for analysis and were modeled with GeoWEPP. The watersheds covered 7650 ha, or about 38 percent of the total burned area. Hillslopes were specified high, moderate or low burn severity by examining the BAER fire severity map. The results of this analysis highlighted areas of greatest erosion risk. Most of these areas were on steep south or west facing slopes. Following the GeoWEPP analysis identifying hillslopes of greatest erosion risk, the ERMiT interface was run to evaluate potential erosion risks on these hillslopes, and benefits from seeding or mulching during the first two years following the wildfire. An average of about 12 randomly selected hillslopes, or 5 percent of the hillslopes on larger watersheds, were run with ERMiT for each watershed. The results showed that untreated, there was a ten percent chance that erosion would exceed 13 to 29 t/ha, averaging about 25 t/ha in the first year. Seeding had no affect on first year erosion rates, but reduced erosion on the average about 40 percent in the second year. Mulching at 2 t/ha reduced erosion about 86 percent the year following the fire and 60 percent the second year. For the third analysis, the WEPP windows interface was run for each watershed to estimate return periods for peak runoff rates. From the peak runoff estimates for watersheds of varying area

  9. Impact of drought on wildfires in Iberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russo, Ana; Gouveia, Célia M.; DaCamara, Carlos; Sousa, Pedro; Trigo, Ricardo M.

    2015-04-01

    Southern European countries, and the Iberian Peninsula (IP) in particular, have been vastly affected by summer wildfires (Trigo et al., 2013). This condition is hampered by the frequent warm and dry meteorological conditions found in summer which play a significant role in the triggering and spreading of wildfires. These meteorological conditions are also particularly important for the onset and end of drought periods, a phenomenon that has recurrently affected the IP (Gouveia et al., 2012). Moreover, the IP corresponds to one of the most sensitive areas to current and future climate change, and recent and future trends towards a dryer and warmer Mediterranean climate (Sousa et al., 2014) will tend to exacerbate these problems. The main scope of this study was to investigate the impact of drought on wildfires' burned areas in the IP. The objective was to examine the correlation between drought, as expressed by both the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) (Vicente-Serrano et al., 2010), and wildfire burned areas. The SPI and SPEI were both calculated for 4 large regions (Northwestern, Northern, Southwestern and Eastern) whose spatial patterns and seasonal fire regimes were shown to be related with constraining factors such as topography, vegetation cover and climate conditions (Trigo et al., 2013). In this study, the drought indices were determined for the time scales of 3 and 6 months for August and for 12 months in September, thus representing the summer and annual drought. The correlation between drought and burned areas during July and August was particularly significant for the 3 months SPEI and SPI relatively to the 6 and 12 time scales, which indicates that drought and fires relation is a small-size scale process. Moreover, the correlation between drought and burned areas during July and August was particularly significant for the Northern and Southwestern regions both for SPEI for 3 and 6

  10. High altitude aircraft remote sensing during the 1988 Yellowstone National Park wildfires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ambrosia, Vincent G.

    1990-01-01

    An overview is presented of the effects of the wildfires that occurred in the Yellowstone National Park during 1988 and the techniques employed to combat these fires with the use of remote sensing. The fire management team utilized King-Air and Merlin aircraft flying night missions with a thermal IR line-scanning system. NASA-Ames Research Center assisted with an ER-2 high altitude aircraft with the ability to down-link active data from the aircraft via a teledetection system. The ER-2 was equipped with a multispectral Thematic Mapper Simulator scanner and the resultant map data and video imagery was provided to the fire command personnel for field evaluation and fire suppression activities. This type of information proved very valuable to the fire control management personnel and to the continuing ecological research goals of NASA-Ames scientists analyzing the effects of burn type and severity on ecosystem recovery and development.

  11. Satellite Observation Highlights of the 2010 Russian Wildfires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Witte, Jacquelyn C.; Douglass, Anne R.; Duncan, Bryan N.; daSilva, Arlindo; Torres, Omar

    2010-01-01

    From late-July through mid-August 2010, wildfires raged in western Russia. The resulting thick smoke and biomass burning products were transported over the highly populated Moscow city and surrounding regions, seriously impairing visibility and affecting human health. We demonstrate the uniqueness of the 2010 Russian wildfires by using satellite observations from NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) platforms. Over Moscow and the region of major fire activity to the southeast, we calculate unprecedented increases in the MODIS fire count record of 178 %, an order of magnitude increase in the MODIS fire radiative power (308%) and OMI absorbing aerosols (255%), and a 58% increase in AIRS total carbon monoxide (CO). The exceptionally high levels of CO are shown to be of comparable strength to the 2006 El Nino wildfires over Indonesia. Both events record CO values exceeding 30x10(exp 7) molec/ square cm.

  12. Examining Atmospheric and Ecological Drivers of Wildfires, Modeling Wildfire Occurrence in the Southwest United States, and Using Atmospheric Sounding Observations to Verify National Weather Service Spot Forecasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nauslar, Nicholas J.

    of wildfires and large wildfires identified days or time periods with increased wildfire activity for each PSA and the SWA. Self-organizing maps utilizing 500 and 700 hPa geopotential heights and precipitable water were implemented to identify atmospheric patterns contributing to the NAM onset and busy days/periods for each PSA and the SWA. Resulting SOM map types also showed the transition to, during, and from the NAM. Northward and eastward displacements of the subtropical ridge (i.e., four-corners high) over the SWA were associated with NAM onset, and a suppressed subtropical ridge and breakdown of the subtropical ridge map types over the SWA were associated with increased wildfire activity. We implemented boosted regression trees (BRT) to model wildfire occurrence for all and large wildfires for different wildfire types (i.e., lightning, human) across the SWA by PSA. BRT models for all wildfires demonstrated relatively small mean and mean absolute errors and showed better predictability on days with wildfires. Cross-validated accuracy assessments for large wildfires demonstrated the ability to discriminate between large wildfire and non-large wildfire days across all wildfire types. Measurements describing fuel conditions (i.e., 100 and 1000-hour dead fuel moisture, energy release component) were the most important predictors when considering all wildfire types and sizes. However, a combination of fuels and atmospheric predictors (i.e., lightning, temperature) proved most predictive for large wildfire occurrence, and the number of relevant predictors increases for large wildfires indicating more conditions need to align to support large wildfires.

  13. Sensitivity of tropospheric oxidants to wildfires: implications for radiative forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, J.; Horowitz, L. W.; Naik, V.; Fan, S.; Liu, J.; Fiore, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    Wildfires are one of the largest uncontrollable sources of trace gases and aerosols, and have profound influence on tropospheric oxidants and radiative forcing. We here investigate the impact of wildfires with a fully coupled chemistry-climate model (GFDL AM3), and in particular the sensitivity to recent updates to heterogeneous chemistry. We find that co-emission of trace gases and aerosols from biomass burning decreases OH concentrations, leading to an increase of CH4 lifetime by 0.58 yr, exceeding the arithmetic sum of separate aerosol and gas effects by about 20%. This nonlinearity results from a HOx sink via heterogeneous processes, which extends the lifetime of carbon monoxide (CO). We also show that heterogeneous processes largely suppress ozone production from biomass burning particularly over the Arctic, with the ΔO3/ΔCO enhancement ratio from biomass burning decreasing from 0.43 (without the aerosol HOx sink) to 0.17 (with the aerosol HOx sink). Our results suggest that heterogeneous processes can partly account for the observed lower ΔO3/ΔCO ratios in northern high latitudes versus tropical regions. Given the high sensitivity of global OH to wildfires, we show that the implied positive radiative forcing from the increase in CH4, and from the CH4-induced changes in O3 and stratospheric H2O, are of comparable magnitude to the negative direct and indirect forcing from biomass burning aerosols.

  14. Effects of flow regime on stream turbidity and suspended solids after wildfire, Colorado Front Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, Sheila F.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Writer, Jeffrey H.

    2012-01-01

    Wildfires occur frequently in the Colorado Front Range and can alter the hydrological response of watersheds, yet little information exists on the impact of flow regime and storm events on post-wildfire water quality. The flow regime in the region is characterized by base-flow conditions during much of the year and increased runoff during spring snowmelt and summer convective storms. The impact of snowmelt and storm events on stream discharge and water quality was evaluated for about a year after a wildfire near Boulder, Colorado, USA. During spring snowmelt and low-intensity storms, differences in discharge and turbidity at sites upstream and downstream from the burned areas were minimal. However, high-intensity convective storms resulted in dramatic increases in discharge and turbidity at sites downstream from the burned area. This study highlights the importance of using high-frequency sampling to assess accurately wildfire impacts on water quality downstream.

  15. Sensitivity of vegetation indices to different burn and vegetation ratios using LANDSAT-5 satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pleniou, M.; Koutsias, N.

    2013-08-01

    The application of vegetation indices is a very common approach in remote sensing of burned areas to either map the fire scar or estimate burn severity since they minimize the effect of exogenous factors and enhance the correlation with the internal parameters of vegetation. In a recent study we found that the original spectral channels, based on which these indices are estimated, are sensitive to external parameters of the vegetation as for example the spectral reflectance of the background soil. In such cases, the influence of the soil in the reflectance values is different in the various spectral regions depending on its type. These problems are further enhanced by the non-homogeneous pixels, as created from fractions of different types of land cover. Parnitha (Greece), where a wildfire occurred on July 2007, was established as test site. The purpose of this work is to explore the sensitivity of vegetation indices when used to estimate and map different fractions of fire-scorched (burned) and non fire-scorched (vegetated) areas. IKONOS, a very high resolution satellite imagery, was used to create a three-class thematic map to extract the percentages of vegetation, burned surfaces, and bare soil. Using an overlaid fishnet we extracted samples of completely "burned", completely "vegetated" pixels and proportions with different burn/vegetation ratios (45%-55% burned - 45%-55% vegetation, 20%-30% burned - 70%- 80% vegetation, 70%-80% burned - 20%-30% vegetation). Vegetation indices were calculated (NDVI, IPVI, SAVI) and their values were extracted to characterize the mentioned classes. The main findings of our recent research were that vegetation indices are less sensitive to external parameters of the vegetation by minimizing external effects. Thus, the semi-burned classes were spectrally more consistent to their different fractions of scorched and non-scorched vegetation, than the original spectral channels based on which these indices are estimated.

  16. THE RESPONSE OF THURBER'S NEEDLEGRASS TO FALL PRESCRIBED BURNING

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Thurber’s needlegrass (Achnatherum thurberianum (Piper) Barkworth) is an important component of many sagebrush communities in the Intermountain West. Prescribed fall burning is often implemented in sagebrush plant communities to mimic historic wildfires, improve wildlife habitat, and increase lives...

  17. Wildfire and landscape change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Santi, P.; Cannon, S.; DeGraff, J.

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire is a worldwide phenomenon that is expected to increase in extent and severity in the future, due to fuel accumulations, shifting land management practices, and climate change. It immediately affects the landscape by removing vegetation, depositing ash, influencing water-repellent soil formation, and physically weathering boulders and bedrock. These changes typically lead to increased erosion through sheetwash, rilling, dry ravel, and increased mass movement in the form of floods, debris flow, rockfall, and landslides. These process changes bring about landform changes as hillslopes are lowered and stream channels aggrade or incise at increased rates. Furthermore, development of alluvial fans, debris fans, and talus cones are enhanced. The window of disturbance to the landscape caused by wildfire is typically on the order of three to four years, with some effects persisting up to 30 years.

  18. Climate, CO2, and demographic impacts on global wildfire emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knorr, W.; Jiang, L.; Arneth, A.

    2015-09-01

    Wildfires are by far the largest contributor to global biomass burning and constitute a large global source of atmospheric traces gases and aerosols. Such emissions have a considerable impact on air quality and constitute a major health hazard. Biomass burning also influences the radiative balance of the atmosphere and is thus not only of societal, but also of significant scientific interest. There is a common perception that climate change will lead to an increase in emissions as hot and dry weather events that promote wildfire will become more common. However, even though a few studies have found that the inclusion of CO2 fertilization of photosynthesis and changes in human population patterns will tend to somewhat lower predictions of future wildfire emissions, no such study has included full ensemble ranges of both climate predictions and population projections, including the effect of different degrees of urbanisation. Here, we present a series of 124 simulations with the LPJ-GUESS-SIMFIRE global dynamic vegetation - wildfire model, including a semi-empirical formulation for the prediction of burned area based on fire weather, fuel continuity and human population density. The simulations comprise Climate Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) climate predictions from eight Earth system models using two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and five scenarios of future human population density based on the series of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), sensitivity tests for the effect of climate and CO2, as well as a sensitivity analysis using two alternative parameterisations of the semi-empirical burned-area model. Contrary to previous work, we find no clear future trend of global wildfire emissions for the moderate emissions and climate change scenario based on the RCP 4.5. Only historical population change introduces a decline by around 15 % since 1900. Future emissions could either increase for low population growth and fast urbanisation, or

  19. An improved algorithm for wildfire detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakau, K.

    2010-12-01

    Satellite information of wild fire location has strong demands from society. Therefore, Understanding such demands is quite important to consider what to improve the wild fire detection algorithm. Interviews and considerations imply that the most important improvements are geographical resolution of the wildfire product and classification of fire; smoldering or flaming. Discussion with fire service agencies are performed with fire service agencies in Alaska and fire service volunteer groups in Indonesia. Alaska Fire Service (AFS) makes 3D-map overlaid by fire location every morning. Then, this 3D-map is examined by leaders of fire service teams to decide their strategy to fighting against wild fire. Especially, firefighters of both agencies seek the best walk path to approach the fire. Because of mountainous landscape, geospatial resolution is quite important for them. For example, walking in bush for 1km, as same as one pixel of fire product, is very tough for firefighters. Also, in case of remote wild fire, fire service agencies utilize satellite information to decide when to have a flight observation to confirm the status; expanding, flaming, smoldering or out. Therefore, it is also quite important to provide the classification of fire; flaming or smoldering. Not only the aspect of disaster management, wildfire emits huge amount of carbon into atmosphere as much as one quarter to one half of CO2 by fuel combustion (IPCC AR4). Reduction of the CO2 emission by human caused wildfire is important. To estimate carbon emission from wildfire, special resolution is quite important. To improve sensitivity of wild fire detection, author adopts radiance based wildfire detection. Different from the existing brightness temperature approach, we can easily consider reflectance of background land coverage. Especially for GCOM-C1/SGLI, band to detect fire with 250m resolution is 1.6μm wavelength. In this band, we have much more sunlight reflection. Therefore, we need to

  20. Near-Real-Time Earth Observation Data Supporting Wildfire Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambrosia, V. G.; Zajkowski, T.; Quayle, B.

    2013-12-01

    During disaster events, the most critical element needed by responding personnel and management teams is situational intelligence / awareness. During rapidly-evolving events such as wildfires, the need for timely information is critical to save lives, property and resources. The wildfire management agencies in the US rely heavily on remote sensing information both from airborne platforms as well as from orbital assets. The ability to readily have information from those systems, not just data, is critical to effective control and damage mitigation. NASA has been collaborating with the USFS to mature and operationalize various asset-information capabilities to effect improved knowledge of fire-prone areas, monitor wildfire events in real-time, assess effectiveness of fire management strategies, and provide rapid, post-fire assessment for recovery operations. Specific examples of near-real-time remote sensing asset utility include daily MODIS data employed to assess fire potential / wildfire hazard areas, and national-scale hot-spot detection, airborne thermal sensor collected during wildfire events to effect management strategies, EO-1 ALI 'pointable' satellite sensor data to assess fire-retardant application effectiveness, and Landsat 8 and other sensor data to derive burn severity indices for post-fire remediation work. These cases of where near-real-time data is used operationally during the previous few fire seasons will be presented.

  1. Unifying wildfire models from ecology and statistical physics.

    PubMed

    Zinck, Richard D; Grimm, Volker

    2009-11-01

    Understanding the dynamics of wildfire regimes is crucial for both regional forest management and predicting global interactions between fire regimes and climate. Accordingly, spatially explicit modeling of forest fire ecosystems is a very active field of research, including both generic and highly specific models. There is, however, a second field in which wildfire has served as a metaphor for more than 20 years: statistical physics. So far, there has been only limited interaction between these two fields of wildfire modeling. Here we show that two typical generic wildfire models from ecology are structurally equivalent to the most commonly used model from statistical physics. All three models can be unified to a single model in which they appear as special cases of regrowth-dependent flammability. This local "ecological memory" of former fire events is key to self-organization in wildfire ecosystems. The unified model is able to reproduce three different patterns observed in real boreal forests: fire size distributions, fire shapes, and a hump-shaped relationship between disturbance intensity (average annual area burned) and diversity of succession stages. The unification enables us to bring together insights from both disciplines in a novel way and to identify limitations that provide starting points for further research.

  2. Unifying wildfire models from ecology and statistical physics.

    PubMed

    Zinck, Richard D; Grimm, Volker

    2009-11-01

    Understanding the dynamics of wildfire regimes is crucial for both regional forest management and predicting global interactions between fire regimes and climate. Accordingly, spatially explicit modeling of forest fire ecosystems is a very active field of research, including both generic and highly specific models. There is, however, a second field in which wildfire has served as a metaphor for more than 20 years: statistical physics. So far, there has been only limited interaction between these two fields of wildfire modeling. Here we show that two typical generic wildfire models from ecology are structurally equivalent to the most commonly used model from statistical physics. All three models can be unified to a single model in which they appear as special cases of regrowth-dependent flammability. This local "ecological memory" of former fire events is key to self-organization in wildfire ecosystems. The unified model is able to reproduce three different patterns observed in real boreal forests: fire size distributions, fire shapes, and a hump-shaped relationship between disturbance intensity (average annual area burned) and diversity of succession stages. The unification enables us to bring together insights from both disciplines in a novel way and to identify limitations that provide starting points for further research. PMID:19799499

  3. A decision support system for water supply in watersheds with recurrent wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, Regina; Fernandes, Luís; Pereira, Mário; Cortes, Rui; Pacheco, Fernando

    2015-04-01

    The Beça River basin (North of Portugal) is barely affected by anthropogenic pressures, namely by the harmful effects of industrialization, urbanization or intensive agriculture. However, this basin is subject to recurrent wildfires, which plays a major role on soil erosion and water quality deterioration. Wildfires are responsible for increasing the concentration of soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) that ultimately arise in the rivers and water reservoirs as a result of transport by rainfall. In this sense, the main aims of this study are threefold: (i) to assess the relationship between fire occurrence and P concentration in river water, (ii) to model the P and N concentrations in stream water at the basin and sub-basin scales, and (iii) to propose management guidelines for the protection of drinking water resources taking into account the local history on forest fires. This study includes morphological, hydrological and climatological characterization of the study area as well as the spatial-temporal distribution of the fire incidence in the basin. The rainfall-runoff and nutrient transport processes were performed respectively with Mike Hydro Basin and the ECO Lab. The data requirements for these analysis/tools includes: a digital elevation model, Corine Land Cover maps (for 1990, 2000 and 2006), cartography of burned areas (covering the period 1990 - 2013) and wildfire risk (assessed in 2011), daily records of temperature, precipitation and stream flow, measured at monitoring stations (during the 1990 - 2006 period). Obtained results reveals a maximum fire recurrence of 5 times during the study period (1990 - 2013) and robust exponential regression observed between burned area and wildfire risk (R2 > 0.9). The biophysical parameters contributes to 86% of the fire risk which suggest that burnt area in the Beça River basin is essentially triggered by natural causes. A total of 16,396 ha was burned between 1990 and 2013, corresponding to 47% of the basin

  4. Analysis of climate and topographic effect on wildfire regime in Liguria, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiorucci, Paolo; Biondi, Guido; Campo, Lorenzo; D'Andrea, Mirko; Degli Esposti, Silvia

    2016-04-01

    Wildfire risk is particularly significant in Italy, both in summer and winter season due to the high topographic and vegetation heterogeneity of the territory. Liguria is one of the few regions in Italy affected by wildfires both in summer and winter. Most of the fires in Italy occur in summer season and the burned area is largely greater than in winter season. In Liguria, the number of wildfires and the burned area is higher in winter than in summer. Winter fire regime is mainly due to frequent extremely dry winds from the north in condition of curing for most of the herbaceous species. Southern and central regions and the large islands are characterized by a severe summer fire regime, because of the higher temperatures and prolonged lack of precipitation. The threat of wildfires in Italy is not confined to wooded areas as they extend to agricultural areas and urban-forest interface areas. In view of the limited availability of fire risk management resources, most of which are used in the management of national and regional air services, it is necessary to precisely identify the areas most vulnerable to fire risk. The few resources available can thus be used on a yearly basis to mitigate problems in the areas at highest risk by defining a program of forest management interventions. The availability of a mapping of fire perimeters spans almost 20 years (1996-2013), and this, combined with a detailed knowledge of topography, climate and land cover allowed to understand which are the main features involved in forest fire occurrences and their behavior. The seasonality of the fire regime was also considered, partitioning the analysis in two macro season (November-April and May- October). Total precipitation and average air temperature obtained from the interpolation of 30 years-long time series from 164 raingauges and 127 thermometers series were considered. The analysis was based on a recursive-quantiles subdivision of the territory in classes based on the different

  5. Development of On-line Wildfire Emissions for the Operational Canadian Air Quality Forecast System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlovic, R.; Menard, S.; Chen, J.; Anselmo, D.; Paul-Andre, B.; Gravel, S.; Moran, M. D.; Davignon, D.

    2013-12-01

    An emissions processing system has been developed to incorporate near-real-time emissions from wildfires and large prescribed burns into Environment Canada's real-time GEM-MACH air quality (AQ) forecast system. Since the GEM-MACH forecast domain covers Canada and most of the USA, including Alaska, fire location information is needed for both of these large countries. Near-real-time satellite data are obtained and processed separately for the two countries for organizational reasons. Fire location and fuel consumption data for Canada are provided by the Canadian Forest Service's Canadian Wild Fire Information System (CWFIS) while fire location and emissions data for the U.S. are provided by the SMARTFIRE (Satellite Mapping Automated Reanalysis Tool for Fire Incident Reconciliation) system via the on-line BlueSky Gateway. During AQ model runs, emissions from individual fire sources are injected into elevated model layers based on plume-rise calculations and then transport and chemistry calculations are performed. This 'on the fly' approach to the insertion of emissions provides greater flexibility since on-line meteorology is used and reduces computational overhead in emission pre-processing. An experimental wildfire version of GEM-MACH was run in real-time mode for the summers of 2012 and 2013. 48-hour forecasts were generated every 12 hours (at 00 and 12 UTC). Noticeable improvements in the AQ forecasts for PM2.5 were seen in numerous regions where fire activity was high. Case studies evaluating model performance for specific regions, computed objective scores, and subjective evaluations by AQ forecasters will be included in this presentation. Using the lessons learned from the last two summers, Environment Canada will continue to work towards the goal of incorporating near-real-time intermittent wildfire emissions within the operational air quality forecast system.

  6. Spatio-temporal clustering of wildfires in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, R.; Pereira, M. G.; Caramelo, L.; Vega Orozco, C.; Kanevski, M.

    2012-04-01

    Several studies have shown that wildfires in Portugal presenthigh temporal as well as high spatial variability (Pereira et al., 2005, 2011). The identification and characterization of spatio-temporal clusters contributes to a comprehensivecharacterization of the fire regime and to improve the efficiency of fire prevention and combat activities. The main goalsin this studyare: (i) to detect the spatio-temporal clusters of burned area; and, (ii) to characterize these clusters along with the role of human and environmental factors. The data were supplied by the National Forest Authority(AFN, 2011) and comprises: (a)the Portuguese Rural Fire Database, PRFD, (Pereira et al., 2011) for the 1980-2007period; and, (b) the national mapping burned areas between 1990 and 2009. In this work, in order to complement the more common cluster analysis algorithms, an alternative approach based onscan statistics and on the permutation modelwas used. This statistical methodallows the detection of local excess events and to test if such an excess can reasonably have occurred by chance.Results obtained for different simulations performed for different spatial and temporal windows are presented, compared and interpreted.The influence of several fire factors such as (climate, vegetation type, etc.) is also assessed. Pereira, M.G., Trigo, R.M., DaCamara, C.C., Pereira, J.M.C., Leite, S.M., 2005:"Synoptic patterns associated with large summer forest fires in Portugal".Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 129, 11-25. Pereira, M. G., Malamud, B. D., Trigo, R. M., and Alves, P. I.: The history and characteristics of the 1980-2005 Portuguese rural fire database, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 3343-3358, doi:10.5194/nhess-11-3343-2011, 2011 AFN, 2011: AutoridadeFlorestalNacional (National Forest Authority). Available at http://www.afn.min-agricultura.pt/portal.

  7. Wildfire risk for main vegetation units in a biodiversity hotspot: modeling approach in New Caledonia, South Pacific.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Céline; Mangeas, Morgan; Curt, Thomas; Ibanez, Thomas; Munzinger, Jérôme; Dumas, Pascal; Jérémy, André; Despinoy, Marc; Hély, Christelle

    2015-01-01

    Wildfire has been recognized as one of the most ubiquitous disturbance agents to impact on natural environments. In this study, our main objective was to propose a modeling approach to investigate the potential impact of wildfire on biodiversity. The method is illustrated with an application example in New Caledonia where conservation and sustainable biodiversity management represent an important challenge. Firstly, a biodiversity loss index, including the diversity and the vulnerability indexes, was calculated for every vegetation unit in New Caledonia and mapped according to its distribution over the New Caledonian mainland. Then, based on spatially explicit fire behavior simulations (using the FLAMMAP software) and fire ignition probabilities, two original fire risk assessment approaches were proposed: a one-off event model and a multi-event burn probability model. The spatial distribution of fire risk across New Caledonia was similar for both indices with very small localized spots having high risk. The patterns relating to highest risk are all located around the remaining sclerophyll forest fragments and are representing 0.012% of the mainland surface. A small part of maquis and areas adjacent to dense humid forest on ultramafic substrates should also be monitored. Vegetation interfaces between secondary and primary units displayed high risk and should represent priority zones for fire effects mitigation. Low fire ignition probability in anthropogenic-free areas decreases drastically the risk. A one-off event associated risk allowed localizing of the most likely ignition areas with potential for extensive damage. Emergency actions could aim limiting specific fire spread known to have high impact or consist of on targeting high risk areas to limit one-off fire ignitions. Spatially explicit information on burning probability is necessary for setting strategic fire and fuel management planning. Both risk indices provide clues to preserve New Caledonia hot spot of

  8. Wildfire risk for main vegetation units in a biodiversity hotspot: modeling approach in New Caledonia, South Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Céline; Mangeas, Morgan; Curt, Thomas; Ibanez, Thomas; Munzinger, Jérôme; Dumas, Pascal; Jérémy, André; Despinoy, Marc; Hély, Christelle

    2015-01-01

    Wildfire has been recognized as one of the most ubiquitous disturbance agents to impact on natural environments. In this study, our main objective was to propose a modeling approach to investigate the potential impact of wildfire on biodiversity. The method is illustrated with an application example in New Caledonia where conservation and sustainable biodiversity management represent an important challenge. Firstly, a biodiversity loss index, including the diversity and the vulnerability indexes, was calculated for every vegetation unit in New Caledonia and mapped according to its distribution over the New Caledonian mainland. Then, based on spatially explicit fire behavior simulations (using the FLAMMAP software) and fire ignition probabilities, two original fire risk assessment approaches were proposed: a one-off event model and a multi-event burn probability model. The spatial distribution of fire risk across New Caledonia was similar for both indices with very small localized spots having high risk. The patterns relating to highest risk are all located around the remaining sclerophyll forest fragments and are representing 0.012% of the mainland surface. A small part of maquis and areas adjacent to dense humid forest on ultramafic substrates should also be monitored. Vegetation interfaces between secondary and primary units displayed high risk and should represent priority zones for fire effects mitigation. Low fire ignition probability in anthropogenic-free areas decreases drastically the risk. A one-off event associated risk allowed localizing of the most likely ignition areas with potential for extensive damage. Emergency actions could aim limiting specific fire spread known to have high impact or consist of on targeting high risk areas to limit one-off fire ignitions. Spatially explicit information on burning probability is necessary for setting strategic fire and fuel management planning. Both risk indices provide clues to preserve New Caledonia hot spot of

  9. Wildfire risk for main vegetation units in a biodiversity hotspot: modeling approach in New Caledonia, South Pacific.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Céline; Mangeas, Morgan; Curt, Thomas; Ibanez, Thomas; Munzinger, Jérôme; Dumas, Pascal; Jérémy, André; Despinoy, Marc; Hély, Christelle

    2015-01-01

    Wildfire has been recognized as one of the most ubiquitous disturbance agents to impact on natural environments. In this study, our main objective was to propose a modeling approach to investigate the potential impact of wildfire on biodiversity. The method is illustrated with an application example in New Caledonia where conservation and sustainable biodiversity management represent an important challenge. Firstly, a biodiversity loss index, including the diversity and the vulnerability indexes, was calculated for every vegetation unit in New Caledonia and mapped according to its distribution over the New Caledonian mainland. Then, based on spatially explicit fire behavior simulations (using the FLAMMAP software) and fire ignition probabilities, two original fire risk assessment approaches were proposed: a one-off event model and a multi-event burn probability model. The spatial distribution of fire risk across New Caledonia was similar for both indices with very small localized spots having high risk. The patterns relating to highest risk are all located around the remaining sclerophyll forest fragments and are representing 0.012% of the mainland surface. A small part of maquis and areas adjacent to dense humid forest on ultramafic substrates should also be monitored. Vegetation interfaces between secondary and primary units displayed high risk and should represent priority zones for fire effects mitigation. Low fire ignition probability in anthropogenic-free areas decreases drastically the risk. A one-off event associated risk allowed localizing of the most likely ignition areas with potential for extensive damage. Emergency actions could aim limiting specific fire spread known to have high impact or consist of on targeting high risk areas to limit one-off fire ignitions. Spatially explicit information on burning probability is necessary for setting strategic fire and fuel management planning. Both risk indices provide clues to preserve New Caledonia hot spot of

  10. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A.; Lukenbach, Maxwell C.; Waddington, James M.

    2016-06-01

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha‑1 emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change.

  11. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration

    PubMed Central

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A.; Lukenbach, Maxwell C.; Waddington, James M.

    2016-01-01

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha−1 emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change. PMID:27346604

  12. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration.

    PubMed

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A; Lukenbach, Maxwell C; Waddington, James M

    2016-01-01

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha(-1) emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change. PMID:27346604

  13. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration.

    PubMed

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A; Lukenbach, Maxwell C; Waddington, James M

    2016-06-27

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha(-1) emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change.

  14. Characterizing the Hydrological Properties of Wildfire Ash

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woods, S.; Balfour, V.

    2010-12-01

    Wildfires are extreme disturbance events that can increase runoff and erosion rates by 2-3 orders of magnitude. Fire related sediment presents a significant geomorphic hazard in terms of debris flows and other catastrophic erosion events, but ultimately plays a key role in landscape evolution in fire prone regions. The hyper-dessicated ash and soil layers making up the near surface profile in recently burned areas respond very differently to rainfall than the litter and unburned soil that existed prior to the fire. Limited knowledge regarding the hydrological properties of the ash-soil profile, and the ash layer in particular, currently limits efforts to model the infiltration process in burned areas and hence predict the location and magnitude of post fire runoff and erosion events. In our ongoing research we are investigating and quantifying the hydrologic properties of wildfire ash. Wherever possible we use conventional laboratory techniques from soil hydrology but in some cases we have had to adapt these techniques to account for the distinct physical and chemical properties of ash, such as the variability in particle density and the partial solubility of many of the mineral components. Some of the hydrologic properties of ash, such as the hydraulic conductivity, are similar to those of a mineral soil with a comparable particle size distribution. For example, ash from Spain with a silty loam texture had a hydraulic conductivity of 7 x 10-4 cm s-1, which is within the range reported for mineral soils with the same texture. However, other properties such as the porosity are considerably different; an undisturbed ash sample with a sandy loam texture had a porosity of 93 percent compared to the typical range of 30 to 50 percent for mineral soils with this texture. Scanning electron microscopy analysis indicates that the contrasting hydrologic properties of ash and soil are due to differences in the particle shape, particle packing and pore structure. Using examples

  15. Assessing burn severity using satellite time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veraverbeke, Sander; Lhermitte, Stefaan; Verstraeten, Willem; Goossens, Rudi

    2010-05-01

    In this study a multi-temporal differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBRMT) is presented to assess burn severity of the 2007 Peloponnese (Greece) wildfires. 8-day composites were created using the daily near infrared (NIR) and mid infrared (MIR) reflectance products of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Prior to the calculation of the dNBRMT a pixel-based control plot selection procedure was initiated for each burned pixel based on time series similarity of the pre-fire year 2006 to estimate the spatio-temporal NBR dynamics in the case that no fire event would have occurred. The dNBRMT is defined as the one-year post-fire integrated difference between the NBR values of the control and focal pixels. Results reveal the temporal dependency of the absolute values of bi-temporal dNBR maps as the mean temporal standard deviation of the one-year post-fire bi-temporal dNBR time series equaled 0.14 (standard deviation of 0.04). The dNBRMT's integration of temporal variability into one value potentially enhances the comparability of fires across space and time. In addition, the dNBRMT is robust to random noise thanks to the averaging effect. The dNBRMT, based on coarse resolution imagery with high temporal frequency, has the potential to become either a valuable complement to fine resolution Landsat dNBR mapping or an imperative option for assessing burn severity at a continental to global scale.

  16. Protect Your Home from Wildfire!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    PTA Today, 1994

    1994-01-01

    Homes in wooded areas or in the wildland/urban interface are at special risk for wildfire. The article provides a checklist of what to keep on hand to make homes safer from wildfire, focusing on vegetation around the home and maintenance of the yard and home. (SM)

  17. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance.

    PubMed

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Honeycutt, R Ken; Parks, Sean A; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-03-01

    Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host-parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent and

  18. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, Blake R.; Corn, P. Stephen; Winsor H. Lowe,; R. Kenneth Honeycutt,; Sean A. Parks,

    2013-01-01

    Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host–parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent

  19. Hydrological and sediment connectivity in areas affected by wildfires.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Murillo, Juan F.; Ruiz-Sinoga, José D.

    2016-04-01

    This study deals with the hydrological and sediment connectivity (HSC) process in burned areas, from detailed to wider spatial scales: -First of all, it is presented a brief review and analysis of meta-data, already published. -Secondly, some examples of HSC are shown from areas affected by wildfires in South of Spain. -Finally, it is an attempt of applying some indexes of hydrological connectivity to those areas. The study try to shed light on this complex process of connectivity from the hydrological and sedimentary point of view, a kew issue to improve the management of burned areas.

  20. Regional modeling of large wildfires under current and potential future climates in Colorado and Wyoming, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    West, Amanda; Kumar, Sunil; Jarnevich, Catherine S.

    2016-01-01

    Regional analysis of large wildfire potential given climate change scenarios is crucial to understanding areas most at risk in the future, yet wildfire models are not often developed and tested at this spatial scale. We fit three historical climate suitability models for large wildfires (i.e. ≥ 400 ha) in Colorado andWyoming using topography and decadal climate averages corresponding to wildfire occurrence at the same temporal scale. The historical models classified points of known large wildfire occurrence with high accuracies. Using a novel approach in wildfire modeling, we applied the historical models to independent climate and wildfire datasets, and the resulting sensitivities were 0.75, 0.81, and 0.83 for Maxent, Generalized Linear, and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines, respectively. We projected the historic models into future climate space using data from 15 global circulation models and two representative concentration pathway scenarios. Maps from these geospatial analyses can be used to evaluate the changing spatial distribution of climate suitability of large wildfires in these states. April relative humidity was the most important covariate in all models, providing insight to the climate space of large wildfires in this region. These methods incorporate monthly and seasonal climate averages at a spatial resolution relevant to land management (i.e. 1 km2) and provide a tool that can be modified for other regions of North America, or adapted for other parts of the world.

  1. Amphibian responses to wildfire in the western united states: Emerging patterns from short-term studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, B.R.; Pilliod, D.S.

    2011-01-01

    The increased frequency and severity of large wildfires in the western United States is an important ecological and management issue with direct relevance to amphibian conservation. Although the knowledge of fire effects on amphibians in the region is still limited relative to most other vertebrate species, we reviewed the current literature to determine if there are evident patterns that might be informative for conservation or management strategies. Of the seven studies that compared pre- and post-wildfire data on a variety of metrics, ranging from amphibian occupancy to body condition, two reported positive responses and five detected negative responses by at least one species. Another seven studies used a retrospective approach to compare effects of wildfire on populations: two studies reported positive effects, three reported negative effects from wildfire, and two reported no effects. All four studies that included plethodontid salamanders reported negative effects on populations or individuals; these effects were greater in forests where fire had been suppressed and in areas that burned with high severity. Species that breed in streams are also vulnerable to post-wildfire changes in habitat, especially in the Southwest. Wildfire is also important for maintaining suitable habitat for diverse amphibian communities, although those results may not be evident immediately after an area burns. We expect that wildfire will extirpate few healthy amphibian populations, but it is still unclear how populations will respond to wildfire in the context of land management (including pre- and post-fire timber harvest) and fragmentation. Wildfire may also increase the risk of decline or extirpation for small, isolated, or stressed (e.g., from drought or disease) populations. Improved understanding of how these effects vary according to changes in fire frequency and severity are critical to form more effective conservation strategies for amphibians in the western United States.

  2. Burnt area detection and hotspot analysis of wildfires in Margalla Hills National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalid, Noora; Ullah, Saleem

    2016-07-01

    Wildfires have been a growing source for the forest degradation and reduction in carbon sequestration which cause climate change and global warming. Thus, severely affect the ecosystem when not checked. Studies have revealed that land managements that do not use fire reduce the fire incidents by as much as 69 percent. This study focuses on mapping the areas burnt by forest fires owing to both natural and anthropogenic causes and identifying the fire prone areas in biodiversity spot of Islamabad, Margalla Hills National Park. The methodology employed based on using remotely sensed data with the integration of GIS techniques to estimate the area in hectares turned to ashes which ensued from forest fires during summers of 2008, 2010 and 2011 by applying Normalized Burn Ratio. Moreover hotspot analysis has also been used to pin point the locations with frequent fire incidents in the past using Global Positioning System (GPS) acquired coordinates from the fire surveys and official burned area statistics. The results revealed that wildfires destroyed some common regions in three years towards west which comprise of dense woodland comprising mainly Acacia Modesta, Dalbergia sissoo and Pinus longifolia. The calculated burnt area was 516 hectares, 122 hectares and 45 hectares for 2008, 2010 and 2011 respectively. Although a decline in burnt area has been observed owing to responsible management of authorities and development of fire pickets, still measures need to be taken to eradicate the core causes in charge of these fires and to promote reforestation. This study will allow policy makers and regulatory authorities to identify risk prone areas which will assist them in formulating a strategy to suppress fire incidents.

  3. Wildfires increasing in size and frequency across the U.S. West

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-08-01

    Since 1984, wildfires have increased in size and frequency, correlating with higher drought severity across the western United States. Dennison et al. looked at remotely sensed data from the U.S. government's Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project from the years 1984-2011, focusing on fires larger than 400 hectares in nine ecoregions that included mountains, plains, and deserts. The authors found that not only are wildfires becoming more frequent—by an estimated seven large fires per year—but they are also burning more total area, increasing by about 355 square kilometers per year.

  4. Using satellite image-based maps to improve sugarcane straw burning emission estimates in the state of São Paulo, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    França, D.; Longo, K.; Rudorff, B.; Aguiar, D.; Freitas, S. R.; Stockler, R.; Pereira, G.

    2014-12-01

    Since the last decade, the global demand for biofuel production has been increasing every year due to the growing need for energy supply security and mitigation of greenhouse gases (GHG). Currently, sugarcane ethanol is one of the most widely used biofuels and Brazil is already the world's largest sugarcane producer, devoting almost 50% of it to ethanol production. The state of São Paulo is the major sugarcane producer in this country, with a cultivated area of about 5.4 Mha in 2011. Approximately 2 million hectares were harvested annually from 2006 to 2011 with the pre-harvest straw burning practice, which emits trace gases and particulate material to the atmosphere. The assessment and monitoring of sugarcane burning impacts are fundamental in order to mitigate the negative impacts of pre-harvest burning and consolidate the environmental benefits of sugarcane ethanol. Although some official inventories created by the Brazilian government have indicated the prevalence of emissions from sugarcane straw burning in total agricultural residue emissions, specific information about emissions of gases and aerosols during pre-harvest burning of sugarcane is still scarce in Brazil. This study aimed to contribute to the improvement of estimates of emissions from sugarcane burning through the use of specific parameters for sugarcane straw burning and a method which has avoided underestimations resulting from the unique characteristics of this type of biomass fire. In this investigation, emissions of several air pollutants released by sugarcane burning during the harvest season were estimated through the integrated use of remote sensing based maps of sugarcane burned area and a numerical tool for the state of São Paulo from 2006 to 2011. Average estimated emissions (Gg/year) were 1,130 ± 152 for CO, 26 ± 4 for NOX, 16 ± 2 for CH4, 45 ± 6 for PM2.5, 120 ± 16 for PM10 and 154 ± 21 for NMHC (non-methane hydrocarbons). An intercomparison among annual emissions from this

  5. The role of precipitation type, intensity, and spatial distribution in source water quality after wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, Sheila F.; Writer, Jeffrey H.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Martin, Deborah A.

    2015-01-01

    Storms following wildfires are known to impair drinking water supplies in the southwestern United States, yet our understanding of the role of precipitation in post-wildfire water quality is far from complete. We quantitatively assessed water-quality impacts of different hydrologic events in the Colorado Front Range and found that for a three-year period, substantial hydrologic and geochemical responses downstream of a burned area were primarily driven by convective storms with a 30 min rainfall intensity >10 mm h−1. These storms, which typically occur several times each year in July–September, are often small in area, short-lived, and highly variable in intensity and geographic distribution. Thus, a rain gage network with high temporal resolution and spatial density, together with high-resolution stream sampling, are required to adequately characterize post-wildfire responses. We measured total suspended sediment, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nitrate, and manganese concentrations that were 10–156 times higher downstream of a burned area compared to upstream during relatively common (50% annual exceedance probability) rainstorms, and water quality was sufficiently impaired to pose water-treatment concerns. Short-term water-quality impairment was driven primarily by increased surface runoff during higher intensity convective storms that caused erosion in the burned area and transport of sediment and chemical constituents to streams. Annual sediment yields downstream of the burned area were controlled by storm events and subsequent remobilization, whereas DOC yields were closely linked to annual runoff and thus were more dependent on interannual variation in spring runoff. Nitrate yields were highest in the third year post-wildfire. Results from this study quantitatively demonstrate that water quality can be altered for several years after wildfire. Because the southwestern US is prone to wildfires and high-intensity rain storms, the role of storms in post-wildfire

  6. A comparison of effects from prescribed fires and wildfires managed for resource objectives in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nesmith, C.B.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Pfaff, Anne H.; McGinnis, Thomas W.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2011-01-01

    Current goals for prescription burning are focused on measures of fuel consumption and changes in forest density. These benchmarks, however, do not address the extent to which prescription burning meets perceived ecosystem needs of heterogeneity in burning, both for overstory trees and understory herbs and shrubs. There are still questions about how closely prescribed fires mimic these patterns compared to natural wildfires. This study compared burn patterns of prescribed fires and managed unplanned wildfires to understand how the differing burning regimes affect ecosystem properties. Measures of forest structure and fire severity were sampled in three recent prescribed fires and three wildfires managed for resource objectives in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Fine scale patterns of fire severity and heterogeneity were compared between fire types using ground-based measures of fire effects on fuels and overstory and understory vegetation. Prescribed fires and wildfires managed for resource objectives displayed similar patterns of overstory and understory fire severity, heterogeneity, and seedling and sapling survival. Variation among plots within the same fire was always greater than between fire types. Prescribed fires can provide burned landscapes that approximate natural fires in many ways. It is recognized that constraints placed on when wildfires managed for resource objectives are allowed to burn freely may bias the range of conditions that might have been experienced under more natural conditions. Therefore they may not exactly mimic natural wildfires. Overall, the similarity in fire effects that we observed between prescribed fires and managed wildfires indicate that despite the restrictions that are often placed on prescribed fires, they appear to be creating post-fire conditions that approximate natural fires when assessed on a fine spatial scale.

  7. Simulating effects of land use policies on extent of the wildland urban interface and wildfire risk in Flathead County, Montana.

    PubMed

    Paveglio, Travis B; Prato, Tony; Hardy, Michael

    2013-11-30

    This study used a wildfire loss simulation model to evaluate how different land use policies are likely to influence wildfire risk in the wildland urban interface (WUI) for Flathead County, Montana. The model accounts for the complex socio-ecological interactions among climate change, economic growth, land use change and policy, homeowner mitigations, and forest treatments in Flathead County's WUI over the five 10-year subperiods comprising the future evaluation period (i.e., 2010-2059). Wildfire risk, defined as expected residential losses from wildfire [E(RLW)], depends on the number of residential properties on parcels, the probability that parcels burn, the probability of wildfire losses to residential structures on properties given the parcels on which those properties are located burn, the average percentage of wildfire-related losses in aesthetic values of residential properties, and the total value (structures plus land) of residential properties. E(RLW) for the five subperiods is simulated for 2010 (referred to as the current), moderately restrictive, and highly restrictive land use policy scenarios, a moderate economic growth scenario and the A2 greenhouse gas emissions scenario. Results demonstrate that increasingly restrictive land use policy for Flathead County significantly reduces the amount and footprint of future residential development in the WUI. In addition, shifting from the current to a moderately restrictive land use policy for Flathead County significantly reduces wildfire risk for the WUI, but shifting from the current to a highly restrictive land use policy does not significantly reduce wildfire risk in the WUI. Both the methods and results of the study can help land and wildfire managers to better manage future wildfire risk and identify residential areas having potentially high wildfire risk.

  8. Immediate health effects of an urban wildfire.

    PubMed

    Shusterman, D; Kaplan, J Z; Canabarro, C

    1993-02-01

    To document the immediate health effects of the urban wildfire that swept through parts of Alameda County, California, on October 20 and 21, 1991, we conducted a retrospective review of emergency department and coroner's records. Nine hospitals (6 local and 3 outlying) were surveyed for the week beginning October 20, 1991. Coroner's reports were reviewed for 25 identified fire-related deaths. A total of 241 fire-related emergency encounters, including 44 inpatient admissions, were recorded for 227 persons. Nearly a fourth of emergency department patients were seen for work-related injuries, more than half of which occurred among professional firefighters. Smoke-related disorders constituted more than half of all emergency department cases; of these, 61% had documented bronchospasm. Major trauma and burns contributed 1% and 4% of principal diagnoses, respectively; these were exceeded in number by corneal abrasions (13%), other medical problems (8%), and minor trauma (7%), among other diagnoses. All coroner's cases involved extensive burns, many with documented smoke inhalation injury. While the Oakland-Berkeley fire storm resulted in a high case-fatality ratio among major burn cases (25/31), those who survived the initial fire storm did well clinically. Among emergency department patients, medical (particularly smoke-related) disorders outnumbered traumatic presentations by a ratio of more than 2 to 1.

  9. Immediate health effects of an urban wildfire.

    PubMed Central

    Shusterman, D; Kaplan, J Z; Canabarro, C

    1993-01-01

    To document the immediate health effects of the urban wildfire that swept through parts of Alameda County, California, on October 20 and 21, 1991, we conducted a retrospective review of emergency department and coroner's records. Nine hospitals (6 local and 3 outlying) were surveyed for the week beginning October 20, 1991. Coroner's reports were reviewed for 25 identified fire-related deaths. A total of 241 fire-related emergency encounters, including 44 inpatient admissions, were recorded for 227 persons. Nearly a fourth of emergency department patients were seen for work-related injuries, more than half of which occurred among professional firefighters. Smoke-related disorders constituted more than half of all emergency department cases; of these, 61% had documented bronchospasm. Major trauma and burns contributed 1% and 4% of principal diagnoses, respectively; these were exceeded in number by corneal abrasions (13%), other medical problems (8%), and minor trauma (7%), among other diagnoses. All coroner's cases involved extensive burns, many with documented smoke inhalation injury. While the Oakland-Berkeley fire storm resulted in a high case-fatality ratio among major burn cases (25/31), those who survived the initial fire storm did well clinically. Among emergency department patients, medical (particularly smoke-related) disorders outnumbered traumatic presentations by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. Images PMID:8434462

  10. Assessing increasing susceptibility to wildfire at the wildland-urban fringe in the western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinoshita, A. M.; Hogue, T. S.

    2013-05-01

    Much of the western U.S. is increasingly susceptible to wildfire activity due to drier conditions, elevated fuel loads, and expanding urbanization. As population increases, development pushes the urban boundary further into wildlands, creating more potential for human interaction at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), primarily from human ignitions and fire suppression policies. The immediate impacts of wildfires include vulnerability to debris flows, flooding, and impaired water quality. Fires also alter longer-term hydrological and ecosystem behavior. The current study utilizes geospatial datasets to investigate historical wildfire size and frequency relative to the WUI for a range of cities across western North America. California, the most populous state in the U.S., has an extensive fire history. The decennial population and acres burned for four major counties (Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Shasta) in California show that increasing wildfire size and frequency follow urbanization trends, with high correlation between the last decade of burned area, urban-fringe proximity, and increasing population. Ultimately, results will provide information on urban fringe communities that are most vulnerable to the risks associated with wildfire and post-fire impacts. In light of evolving land use policies (i.e. forest management and treatment, development at the urban-fringe) and climate change, it is critical to advance our knowledge of the implications that these conditions pose to urban centers, communicate risks to the public, and ultimately provide guidance for wildfire management.

  11. Land management practices associated with house loss in wildfires.

    PubMed

    Gibbons, Philip; van Bommel, Linda; Gill, A Malcolm; Cary, Geoffrey J; Driscoll, Don A; Bradstock, Ross A; Knight, Emma; Moritz, Max A; Stephens, Scott L; Lindenmayer, David B

    2012-01-01

    Losses to life and property from unplanned fires (wildfires) are forecast to increase because of population growth in peri-urban areas and climate change. In response, there have been moves to increase fuel reduction--clearing, prescribed burning, biomass removal and grazing--to afford greater protection to peri-urban communities in fire-prone regions. But how effective are these measures? Severe wildfires in southern Australia in 2009 presented a rare opportunity to address this question empirically. We predicted that modifying several fuels could theoretically reduce house loss by 76%-97%, which would translate to considerably fewer wildfire-related deaths. However, maximum levels of fuel reduction are unlikely to be feasible at every house for logistical and environmental reasons. Significant fuel variables in a logistic regression model we selected to predict house loss were (in order of decreasing effect): (1) the cover of trees and shrubs within 40 m of houses, (2) whether trees and shrubs within 40 m of houses was predominantly remnant or planted, (3) the upwind distance from houses to groups of trees or shrubs, (4) the upwind distance from houses to public forested land (irrespective of whether it was managed for nature conservation or logging), (5) the upwind distance from houses to prescribed burning within 5 years, and (6) the number of buildings or structures within 40 m of houses. All fuel treatments were more effective if undertaken closer to houses. For example, 15% fewer houses were destroyed if prescribed burning occurred at the observed minimum distance from houses (0.5 km) rather than the observed mean distance from houses (8.5 km). Our results imply that a shift in emphasis away from broad-scale fuel-reduction to intensive fuel treatments close to property will more effectively mitigate impacts from wildfires on peri-urban communities. PMID:22279530

  12. Land management practices associated with house loss in wildfires.

    PubMed

    Gibbons, Philip; van Bommel, Linda; Gill, A Malcolm; Cary, Geoffrey J; Driscoll, Don A; Bradstock, Ross A; Knight, Emma; Moritz, Max A; Stephens, Scott L; Lindenmayer, David B

    2012-01-01

    Losses to life and property from unplanned fires (wildfires) are forecast to increase because of population growth in peri-urban areas and climate change. In response, there have been moves to increase fuel reduction--clearing, prescribed burning, biomass removal and grazing--to afford greater protection to peri-urban communities in fire-prone regions. But how effective are these measures? Severe wildfires in southern Australia in 2009 presented a rare opportunity to address this question empirically. We predicted that modifying several fuels could theoretically reduce house loss by 76%-97%, which would translate to considerably fewer wildfire-related deaths. However, maximum levels of fuel reduction are unlikely to be feasible at every house for logistical and environmental reasons. Significant fuel variables in a logistic regression model we selected to predict house loss were (in order of decreasing effect): (1) the cover of trees and shrubs within 40 m of houses, (2) whether trees and shrubs within 40 m of houses was predominantly remnant or planted, (3) the upwind distance from houses to groups of trees or shrubs, (4) the upwind distance from houses to public forested land (irrespective of whether it was managed for nature conservation or logging), (5) the upwind distance from houses to prescribed burning within 5 years, and (6) the number of buildings or structures within 40 m of houses. All fuel treatments were more effective if undertaken closer to houses. For example, 15% fewer houses were destroyed if prescribed burning occurred at the observed minimum distance from houses (0.5 km) rather than the observed mean distance from houses (8.5 km). Our results imply that a shift in emphasis away from broad-scale fuel-reduction to intensive fuel treatments close to property will more effectively mitigate impacts from wildfires on peri-urban communities.

  13. Evidence, exaggeration, and error in historical accounts of chaparral wildfires in California.

    PubMed

    Goforth, Brett R; Minnich, Richard A

    2007-04-01

    For more than half a century, ecologists and historians have been integrating the contemporary study of ecosystems with data gathered from historical sources to evaluate change over broad temporal and spatial scales. This approach is especially useful where ecosystems were altered before formal study as a result of natural resources management, land development, environmental pollution, and climate change. Yet, in many places, historical documents do not provide precise information, and pre-historical evidence is unavailable or has ambiguous interpretation. There are similar challenges in evaluating how the fire regime of chaparral in California has changed as a result of fire suppression management initiated at the beginning of the 20th century. Although the firestorm of October 2003 was the largest officially recorded in California (approximately 300,000 ha), historical accounts of pre-suppression wildfires have been cited as evidence that such a scale of burning was not unprecedented, suggesting the fire regime and patch mosaic in chaparral have not substantially changed. We find that the data do not support pre-suppression megafires, and that the impression of large historical wildfires is a result of imprecision and inaccuracy in the original reports, as well as a parlance that is beset with hyperbole. We underscore themes of importance for critically analyzing historical documents to evaluate ecological change. A putative 100 mile long by 10 mile wide (160 x 16 km) wildfire reported in 1889 was reconstructed to an area of chaparral approximately 40 times smaller by linking local accounts to property tax records, voter registration rolls, claimed insurance, and place names mapped with a geographical information system (GIS) which includes data from historical vegetation surveys. We also show that historical sources cited as evidence of other large chaparral wildfires are either demonstrably inaccurate or provide anecdotal information that is immaterial in the

  14. Sources and Implications of Bias and Uncertainty in a Century of US Wildfire Activity Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Short, K.

    2013-12-01

    -2013-0009). While necessarily incomplete in some aspects, the database is intended to facilitate fairly high-resolution geospatial analysis of wildfire activity over the past two decades, based on available information from the authoritative systems of record. Formal non-federal wildfire reporting has been on the rise over the past several decades, and users of national datasets like the FPA FOD must beware of state and local reporting biases to avoid drawing spurious conclusions when analysing the data. Apparent trends in the numbers and area burned by wildfires, for example, may be the result of multiple factors, including changes in climate, fuels, demographics (e.g. population density), fire-management policies, and - as we underscore here - levels of reporting.

  15. Projected effects of climate and development on California wildfire emissions through 2100.

    PubMed

    Hurteau, Matthew D; Westerling, Anthony L; Wiedinmyer, Christine; Bryant, Benjamin P

    2014-02-18

    Changing climatic conditions are influencing large wildfire frequency, a globally widespread disturbance that affects both human and natural systems. Understanding how climate change, population growth, and development patterns will affect the area burned by and emissions from wildfires and how populations will in turn be exposed to emissions is critical for climate change adaptation and mitigation planning. We quantified the effects of a range of population growth and development patterns in California on emission projections from large wildfires under six future climate scenarios. Here we show that end-of-century wildfire emissions are projected to increase by 19-101% (median increase 56%) above the baseline period (1961-1990) in California for a medium-high temperature scenario, with the largest emissions increases concentrated in northern California. In contrast to other measures of wildfire impacts previously studied (e.g., structural loss), projected population growth and development patterns are unlikely to substantially influence the amount of projected statewide wildfire emissions. However, increases in wildfire emissions due to climate change may have detrimental impacts on air quality and, combined with a growing population, may result in increased population exposure to unhealthy air pollutants. PMID:24443984

  16. Projected effects of climate and development on California wildfire emissions through 2100.

    PubMed

    Hurteau, Matthew D; Westerling, Anthony L; Wiedinmyer, Christine; Bryant, Benjamin P

    2014-02-18

    Changing climatic conditions are influencing large wildfire frequency, a globally widespread disturbance that affects both human and natural systems. Understanding how climate change, population growth, and development patterns will affect the area burned by and emissions from wildfires and how populations will in turn be exposed to emissions is critical for climate change adaptation and mitigation planning. We quantified the effects of a range of population growth and development patterns in California on emission projections from large wildfires under six future climate scenarios. Here we show that end-of-century wildfire emissions are projected to increase by 19-101% (median increase 56%) above the baseline period (1961-1990) in California for a medium-high temperature scenario, with the largest emissions increases concentrated in northern California. In contrast to other measures of wildfire impacts previously studied (e.g., structural loss), projected population growth and development patterns are unlikely to substantially influence the amount of projected statewide wildfire emissions. However, increases in wildfire emissions due to climate change may have detrimental impacts on air quality and, combined with a growing population, may result in increased population exposure to unhealthy air pollutants.

  17. Influences of prior wildfires on vegetation response to subsequent fire in a reburned Southwestern landscape.

    PubMed

    Coop, Jonathan D; Parks, Sean A; McClernan, Sarah R; Holsinger, Lisa M

    2016-03-01

    Large and severe wildfires have raised concerns about the future of forested landscapes in the southwestern United States, especially under repeated burning. In 2011, under extreme weather and drought conditions, the Las Conchas fire burned over several previous burns as well as forests not recently exposed to fire. Our purpose was to examine the influences of prior wildfires on plant community composition and structure, subsequent burn severity, and vegetation response. To assess these relationships, we used satellite-derived measures of burn severity and a nonmetric multidimensional scaling of pre- and post- Las Conchas field samples. Earlier burns were associated with shifts from forested sites to open savannas and meadows, oak scrub, and ruderal communities. These non-forested vegetation types exhibited both resistance to subsequent fire, measured by reduced burn severity, and resilience to reburning, measured by vegetation recovery relative to forests not exposed to recent prior fire. Previous shifts toward non-forested states were strongly reinforced by reburning. Ongoing losses of forests and their ecological values confirm the need for restoration interventions. However, given future wildfire and climate projections, there may also be opportunities presented by transformations toward fire-resistant and resilient vegetation types within portions of the landscape. PMID:27209778

  18. Influences of prior wildfires on vegetation response to subsequent fire in a reburned Southwestern landscape.

    PubMed

    Coop, Jonathan D; Parks, Sean A; McClernan, Sarah R; Holsinger, Lisa M

    2016-03-01

    Large and severe wildfires have raised concerns about the future of forested landscapes in the southwestern United States, especially under repeated burning. In 2011, under extreme weather and drought conditions, the Las Conchas fire burned over several previous burns as well as forests not recently exposed to fire. Our purpose was to examine the influences of prior wildfires on plant community composition and structure, subsequent burn severity, and vegetation response. To assess these relationships, we used satellite-derived measures of burn severity and a nonmetric multidimensional scaling of pre- and post- Las Conchas field samples. Earlier burns were associated with shifts from forested sites to open savannas and meadows, oak scrub, and ruderal communities. These non-forested vegetation types exhibited both resistance to subsequent fire, measured by reduced burn severity, and resilience to reburning, measured by vegetation recovery relative to forests not exposed to recent prior fire. Previous shifts toward non-forested states were strongly reinforced by reburning. Ongoing losses of forests and their ecological values confirm the need for restoration interventions. However, given future wildfire and climate projections, there may also be opportunities presented by transformations toward fire-resistant and resilient vegetation types within portions of the landscape.

  19. Global and regional analysis of climate and human drivers of wildfire.

    PubMed

    Aldersley, Andrew; Murray, Steven J; Cornell, Sarah E

    2011-08-15

    Identifying and quantifying the statistical relationships between climate and anthropogenic drivers of fire is important for global biophysical modelling of wildfire and other Earth system processes. This study used regression tree and random forest analysis on global data for various climatic and human variables to establish their relative importance. The main interactions found at the global scale also apply regionally: greatest wildfire burned area is associated with high temperature (> 28 °C), intermediate annual rainfall (350-1100 mm), and prolonged dry periods (which varies by region). However, the regions of highest fire incidence do not show clear and systematic behaviour. Thresholds seen in the regression tree split conditions vary, as do the interplay between climatic and anthropogenic variables, so challenges remain in developing robust predictive insight for the most wildfire-threatened regions. Anthropogenic activities alter the spatial extent of wildfires. Gross domestic product (GDP) density is the most important human predictor variable at the regional scale, and burned area is always greater when GDP density is minimised. South America is identified as a region of concern, as anthropogenic factors (notably land conversions) outweigh climatic drivers of wildfire burned area.

  20. Prescribed fires as ecological surrogates for wildfires: A stream and riparian perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arkle, R.S.; Pilliod, D.S.

    2010-01-01

    Forest managers use prescribed fire to reduce wildfire risk and to provide resource benefits, yet little information is available on whether prescribed fires can function as ecological surrogates for wildfire in fire-prone landscapes. Information on impacts and benefits of this management tool on stream and riparian ecosystems is particularly lacking. We used a beyond-BACI (Before, After, Control, Impact) design to investigate the effects of a prescribed fire on a stream ecosystem and compared these findings to similar data collected after wildfire. For 3 years after prescribed fire treatment, we found no detectable changes in periphyton, macroinvertebrates, amphibians, fish, and riparian and stream habitats compared to data collected over the same time period in four unburned reference streams. Based on changes in fuels, plant and litter cover, and tree scorching, this prescribed fire was typical of those being implemented in ponderosa pine forests throughout the western U.S. However, we found that the extent and severity of riparian vegetation burned was substantially lower after prescribed fire compared to nearby wildfires. The early-season prescribed fire did not mimic the riparian or in-stream ecological effects observed following a nearby wildfire, even in catchments with burn extents similar to the prescribed fire. Little information exists on the effects of long-term fire exclusion from riparian forests, but a "prescribed fire regime" of repeatedly burning upland forests while excluding fire in adjacent riparian forests may eliminate an important natural disturbance from riparian and stream habitats.

  1. Combustion efficiency and emission factors for US wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbanski, S. P.

    2013-01-01

    In the US wildfires and prescribed burning present significant challenges to air regulatory agencies attempting to achieve and maintain compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and Regional Haze Regulations. Wildland fire emission inventories (EI) provide critical inputs for atmospheric chemical transport models used by air regulatory agencies to understand and to predict the impact of fires on air quality. Fire emission factors (EF), which quantify the amount of pollutants released per mass of biomass burned, are essential input for the emission models used to develop EI. Over the past decade substantial progress has been realized in characterizing the composition of fresh biomass burning (BB) smoke and in quantifying BB EF. However, most BB studies of temperate ecosystems have focused on emissions from prescribed burning. Little information is available on EF for wildfires in the temperate forests of the conterminous US. Current emission estimates for US wildfires rely largely on EF measurements from prescribed burns and it is unknown if these fires are a reasonable proxy for wildfires. Over 8 days in August of 2011 we deployed airborne chemistry instruments and sampled emissions from 3 wildfires and a prescribed fire that occurred in mixed conifer forests of the northern Rocky Mountains. We measured the combustion efficiency, quantified as the modified combustion efficiency (MCE), and EF for CO2, CO, and CH4. Our study average values for MCE, EFCO2, EFCO, and EFCH4 were 0.883, 1596 g kg-1, 135 g kg-1, 7.30 g kg-1, respectively. Compared with previous field studies of prescribed fires in similar forest types, the fires sampled in our study had significantly lower MCE and EFCO2 and significantly higher EFCO and EFCH4. An examination of our study and 47 temperate forest prescribed fires from previously published studies shows a clear trend in MCE across US region/fire type: southeast (MCE = 0.933) > southwest (MCE = 0.922) > northwest (MCE = 0

  2. How risk management can prevent future wildfire disasters in the wildland-urban interface

    PubMed Central

    Calkin, David E.; Cohen, Jack D.; Finney, Mark A.; Thompson, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

    Recent fire seasons in the western United States are some of the most damaging and costly on record. Wildfires in the wildland-urban interface on the Colorado Front Range, resulting in thousands of homes burned and civilian fatalities, although devastating, are not without historical reference. These fires are consistent with the characteristics of large, damaging, interface fires that threaten communities across much of the western United States. Wildfires are inevitable, but the destruction of homes, ecosystems, and lives is not. We propose the principles of risk analysis to provide land management agencies, first responders, and affected communities who face the inevitability of wildfires the ability to reduce the potential for loss. Overcoming perceptions of wildland-urban interface fire disasters as a wildfire control problem rather than a home ignition problem, determined by home ignition conditions, will reduce home loss. PMID:24344292

  3. How risk management can prevent future wildfire disasters in the wildland-urban interface.

    PubMed

    Calkin, David E; Cohen, Jack D; Finney, Mark A; Thompson, Matthew P

    2014-01-14

    Recent fire seasons in the western United States are some of the most damaging and costly on record. Wildfires in the wildland-urban interface on the Colorado Front Range, resulting in thousands of homes burned and civilian fatalities, although devastating, are not without historical reference. These fires are consistent with the characteristics of large, damaging, interface fires that threaten communities across much of the western United States. Wildfires are inevitable, but the destruction of homes, ecosystems, and lives is not. We propose the principles of risk analysis to provide land management agencies, first responders, and affected communities who face the inevitability of wildfires the ability to reduce the potential for loss. Overcoming perceptions of wildland-urban interface fire disasters as a wildfire control problem rather than a home ignition problem, determined by home ignition conditions, will reduce home loss.

  4. Wildfire-Migration Dynamics: Lessons from Colorado’s Fourmile Canyon Fire

    PubMed Central

    Nawrotzki, Raphael J.; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Hunter, Lori M.; Champ, Patricia A.

    2014-01-01

    The number of people living in wildfire prone wildland-urban interface (WUI) communities is on the rise. Yet, no prior study has investigated wildfire-induced residential relocation from WUI areas after a major fire event. To provide insight into the association between socio-demographic and socio-psychological characteristics and wildfire related intention to move, we use data from a survey of WUI residents in Boulder and Larimer Counties, Colorado. The data were collected two months after the devastating Fourmile Canyon fire destroyed 169 homes and burned over 6,000 acres of public and private land. Although working with a small migrant sample, logistic regression models demonstrate that survey respondents intending to move in relation to wildfire incidence do not differ socio-demographically from their non-migrant counterparts. They do, however, show significantly higher levels of risk perception. Investigating destination choices shows a preference for short distance moves. PMID:24882943

  5. A project for monitoring trends in burn severity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eidenshink, Jeffery C.; Schwind, Brian; Brewer, Ken; Zhu, Zhu-Liang; Quayle, Brad; Howard, Stephen M.

    2007-01-01

    Jeff Eidenshink, Brian Schwind, Ken Brewer, Zhi-Liang Zhu, Brad Quayle, and Elected officials and leaders of environmental agencies need information about the effects of large wildfires in order to set policy and make management decisions. Recently, the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), which implements and coordinates the National Fire Plan (NFP) and Federal Wildland Fire Management Policies (National Fire Plan 2004), adopted a strategy to monitor the effectiveness of the National Fire Plan and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA). One component of this strategy is to assess the environmental impacts of large wildland fires and identify the trends of burn severity on all lands across the United States. To that end, WFLC has sponsored a six-year project, Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS), which requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USDA-FS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to map and assess the burn severity for all large current and historical fires. Using Landsat data and the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) algorithm, the USGS Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) and USDA-FS Remote Sensing Applications Center will map burn severity of all fires since 1984 greater than 202 ha (500ac) in the east, and 404 ha (1,000 ac) in the west. The number of historical fires from this period combined with current fires occurring during the course of the project will exceed 9,000. The MTBS project will generate burn severity data, maps, and reports, which will be available for use at local, state, and national levels to evaluate trends in burn severity and help develop and assess the effectiveness of land management decisions. Additionally, the information developed will provide a baseline from which to monitor the recovery and health of fire-affected landscapes over time. Spatial and tabular data quantifying burn severity will augment existing information used to estimate risk associated with a range

  6. Factor Analysis of Wildfire and Risk Area Estimation in Korean Peninsula Using Maximum Entropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Teayeon; Lim, Chul-Hee; Lee, Woo-Kyun; Kim, YouSeung; Heo, Seongbong; Cha, Sung Eun; Kim, Seajin

    2016-04-01

    The number of wildfires and accompanying human injuries and physical damages has been increased by frequent drought. Especially, Korea experienced severe drought and numbers of wildfire took effect this year. We used MaxEnt model to figure out major environmental factors for wildfire and used RCP scenarios to predict future wildfire risk area. In this study, environmental variables including topographic, anthropogenic, meteorologic data was used to figure out contributing variables of wildfire in South and North Korea, and compared accordingly. As for occurrence data, we used MODIS fire data after verification. In North Korea, AUC(Area Under the ROC Curve) value was 0.890 which was high enough to explain the distribution of wildfires. South Korea had low AUC value than North Korea and high mean standard deviation which means there is low anticipation to predict fire with same environmental variables. It is expected to enhance AUC value in South Korea with environmental variables such as distance from trails, wildfire management systems. For instance, fire occurred within DMZ(demilitarized zone, 4kms boundary from 38th parallel) has decisive influence on fire risk area in South Korea, but not in North Korea. The contribution of each environmental variables was more distributed among variables in North Korea than in South Korea. This means South Korea is dependent on few certain variables, and North Korea can be explained as number of variables with evenly distributed portions. Although the AUC value and standard deviation of South Korea was not high enough to predict wildfire, the result carries an significant meaning to figure out scientific and social matters that certain environmental variables has great weight by understanding their response curves. We also made future wildfire risk area map in whole Korean peninsula using the same model. In four RCP scenarios, it was found that severe climate change would lead wildfire risk area move north. Especially North

  7. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Buckweed Fire Perimeter, Agua Dulce Quadrangle, Los Angeles County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  8. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, San Pasqual Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  9. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Poomacha Fire Perimeter, Boucher Hill Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  10. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Slide Fire Perimeter, Keller Peak Quadrangle, San Bernardino County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  11. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Canyon Fire Perimeter, Malibu Beach Quadrangle, Los Angeles County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  12. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Rice Fire Perimeter, Bonsall Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  13. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ranch Fire Perimeter, Fillmore Quadrangle, Ventura County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  14. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ranch Fire Perimeter, Piru Quadrangle, Ventura County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  15. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Slide Fire Perimeter, Harrison Mountain Quadrangle, San Bernardino County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  16. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Poomacha Fire Perimeter, Pala Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  17. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Harris Fire Perimeter, Morena Reservoir Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  18. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Cajon Fire Perimeter, Devore Quadrangle, San Bernardino County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  19. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Harris Fire Perimeter, Otay Mountain Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  20. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Santiago Fire Perimeter, Lake Forest Quadrangle, Orange County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  1. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Buckweed Fire Perimeter, Green Valley Quadrangle, Los Angeles County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  2. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Harris Fire Perimeter, Potrero Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  3. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, Escondido Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  4. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Santiago Fire Perimeter, Tustin Quadrangle, Orange County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  5. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, Ramona Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  6. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Buckweed Fire Perimeter, Mint Canyon Quadrangle, Los Angeles County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  7. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, Warners Ranch Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  8. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Slide Fire Perimeter, Butler Peak Quadrangle, San Bernardino County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  9. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Buckweed Fire Perimeter, Sleepy Valley Quadrangle, Los Angeles County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  10. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, Poway Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  11. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, Tule Springs Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  12. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, Valley Center Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  13. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ammo Fire Perimeter, Margarita Peak Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  14. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Harris Fire Perimeter, Tecate Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  15. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Harris Fire Perimeter, Jamul Mountains Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  16. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Harris Fire Perimeter, Otay Mesa Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  17. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, Santa Ysabel Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  18. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Harris Fire Perimeter, Dulzura Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  19. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Santiago Fire Perimeter, Orange Quadrangle, Orange County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  20. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Poomacha Fire Perimeter, Palomar Observatory Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  1. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Harris Fire Perimeter, Barrett Lake Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  2. Visualizing Earth's Erupting Volcanoes and Wildfires: Seven Years of Data From the Earth Observing Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, R.; Pilger, E.; Flynn, L. P.; Harris, A. J.

    2006-12-01

    Volcanic eruptions and wildfires are natural hazards that are truly global in their geographic scope, as well as being temporally very dynamic. As such, satellite remote sensing lends itself to their effective detection and monitoring. The results of such mapping can be communicated in the form of traditional static maps. However, most hazards have strong time-dependent forcing mechanisms (in the case of biomass burning, climate) and the dynamism of these geophysical phenomena requires a suitable method for their presentation. Here, we present visualizations of the amount of thermal energy radiated by all of Earth's sub-aerially erupting volcanoes, wildfires and industrial heat sources over a seven year period. These visualizations condense the results obtained from the near-real-time analysis of over 1.2 million MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer) images, acquired from NASA's Terra and Aqua platforms. In the accompanying poster we will describe a) the raw data, b) how these data can be used to derive higher-order geophysical parameters, and c) how the visualization of these derived products adds scientific value to the raw data. The visualizations reveal spatio-temporal trends in fire radiated energy (and by proxy, biomass combustion rates and carbon emissions into the atmosphere), which are indiscernible in the static data set. Most notable are differences in biomass combustion between the North American and Eurasian Boreal forests. We also give examples relating to the development of lava flow-fields at Mount Etna (Italy) and Kilauea (USA), as well as variations in heat output from Iraqi oil fields, that span the onset of the 2003 Persian Gulf War. The raw data used to generate these visualizations are routinely made available via the Internet, as portable ASCII files. They can therefore be easily integrated with image datasets, by other researchers, to create their own visualizations.

  3. Current research issues related to post-wildfire runoff and erosion processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moody, John A.; Shakesby, Richard A.; Robichaud, Peter R.; Cannon, Susan H.; Martin, Deborah A.

    2013-01-01

    Research into post-wildfire effects began in the United States more than 70 years ago and only later extended to other parts of the world. Post-wildfire responses are typically transient, episodic, variable in space and time, dependent on thresholds, and involve multiple processes measured by different methods. These characteristics tend to hinder research progress, but the large empirical knowledge base amassed in different regions of the world suggests that it should now be possible to synthesize the data and make a substantial improvement in the understanding of post-wildfire runoff and erosion response. Thus, it is important to identify and prioritize the research issues related to post-wildfire runoff and erosion. Priority research issues are the need to: (1) organize and synthesize similarities and differences in post-wildfire responses between different fire-prone regions of the world in order to determine common patterns and generalities that can explain cause and effect relations; (2) identify and quantify functional relations between metrics of fire effects and soil hydraulic properties that will better represent the dynamic and transient conditions after a wildfire; (3) determine the interaction between burned landscapes and temporally and spatially variable meso-scale precipitation, which is often the primary driver of post-wildfire runoff and erosion responses; (4) determine functional relations between precipitation, basin morphology, runoff connectivity, contributing area, surface roughness, depression storage, and soil characteristics required to predict the timing, magnitudes, and duration of floods and debris flows from ungaged burned basins; and (5) develop standard measurement methods that will ensure the collection of uniform and comparable runoff and erosion data. Resolution of these issues will help to improve conceptual and computer models of post-wildfire runoff and erosion processes.

  4. Current research issues related to post-wildfire runoff and erosion processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moody, John A.; Shakesby, Richard A.; Robichaud, Peter R.; Cannon, Susan H.; Martin, Deborah A.

    Research into post-wildfire effects began in the United States more than 70 years ago and only later extended to other parts of the world. Post-wildfire responses are typically transient, episodic, variable in space and time, dependent on thresholds, and involve multiple processes measured by different methods. These characteristics tend to hinder research progress, but the large empirical knowledge base amassed in different regions of the world suggests that it should now be possible to synthesize the data and make a substantial improvement in the understanding of post-wildfire runoff and erosion response. Thus, it is important to identify and prioritize the research issues related to post-wildfire runoff and erosion. Priority research issues are the need to: (1) organize and synthesize similarities and differences in post-wildfire responses between different fire-prone regions of the world in order to determine common patterns and generalities that can explain cause and effect relations; (2) identify and quantify functional relations between metrics of fire effects and soil hydraulic properties that will better represent the dynamic and transient conditions after a wildfire; (3) determine the interaction between burned landscapes and temporally and spatially variable meso-scale precipitation, which is often the primary driver of post-wildfire runoff and erosion responses; (4) determine functional relations between precipitation, basin morphology, runoff connectivity, contributing area, surface roughness, depression storage, and soil characteristics required to predict the timing, magnitudes, and duration of floods and debris flows from ungaged burned basins; and (5) develop standard measurement methods that will ensure the collection of uniform and comparable runoff and erosion data. Resolution of these issues will help to improve conceptual and computer models of post-wildfire runoff and erosion processes.

  5. Detecting post-fire burn severity and vegetation recovery using multitemporal remote sensing spectral indices and field-collected composite burn index data in a ponderosa pine forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, X.; Vogelmann, J.E.; Rollins, M.; Ohlen, D.; Key, C.H.; Yang, L.; Huang, C.; Shi, H.

    2011-01-01

    It is challenging to detect burn severity and vegetation recovery because of the relatively long time period required to capture the ecosystem characteristics. Multitemporal remote sensing data can providemultitemporal observations before, during and after a wildfire, and can improve the change detection accuracy. The goal of this study is to examine the correlations between multitemporal spectral indices and field-observed burn severity, and to provide a practical method to estimate burn severity and vegetation recovery. The study site is the Jasper Fire area in the Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota, that burned during August and September 2000. Six multitemporal Landsat images acquired from 2000 (pre-fire), 2001 (post-fire), 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 were used to assess burn severity. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), enhanced vegetation index (EVI), normalized burn ratio (NBR), integrated forest index (IFI) and the differences of these indices between the pre-fire and post-fire years were computed and analysed with 66 field-based composite burn index (CBI) plots collected in 2002. Results showed that differences of NDVI and differences of EVI between the pre-fire year and the first two years post-fire were highly correlated with the CBI scores. The correlations were low beyond the second year post-fire. Differences of NBR had good correlation with CBI scores in all study years. Differences of IFI had low correlation with CBI in the first year post-fire and had good correlation in later years. A CBI map of the burnt area was produced using regression tree models and the multitemporal images. The dynamics of four spectral indices from 2000 to 2007 indicated that both NBR and IFI are valuable for monitoring long-term vegetation recovery. The high burn severity areas had a much slower recovery than the moderate and low burn areas. ?? 2011 Taylor & Francis.

  6. A time-integrated MODIS burn severity assessment using the multi-temporal differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR MT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veraverbeke, S.; Lhermitte, S.; Verstraeten, W. W.; Goossens, R.

    2011-02-01

    Burn severity is an important parameter in post-fire management. It incorporates both the direct fire impact (vegetation depletion) and ecosystem responses (vegetation regeneration). From a remote sensing perspective, burn severity is traditionally estimated using Landsat's differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR). In this case study of the large 2007 Peloponnese (Greece) wildfires, Landsat dNBR estimates correlated reasonably well with Geo composite burn index (GeoCBI) field data of severity ( R2 = 0.56). The usage of Landsat imagery is, however, restricted by cloud cover and image-to-image normalization constraints. Therefore a multi-temporal burn severity approach based on coarse spatial, high temporal resolution moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery is presented in this study. The multi-temporal dNBR (dNBR MT) is defined as the 1-year integrated difference between burned pixels and their unique control pixels. These control pixels were selected based on time series similarity and spatial context and reflect how burned pixels would have behaved in the case no fire had occurred. Linear regression between downsampled Landsat dNBR and dNBR MT estimates resulted in a moderate-high coefficient of determination R2 = 0.54. dNBR MT estimates are indicative for the change in vegetation productivity due to the fire. This change is considerably higher for forests than for more sparsely vegetated areas like shrub lands. Although Landsat dNBR is superior for spatial detail, MODIS-derived dNBR MT estimates present a valuable alternative for burn severity mapping at continental to global scale without image availability constraints. This is beneficial to compare trends in burn severity across regions and time. Moreover, thanks to MODIS's repeated temporal sampling, the dNBR MT accounts for both first- and second-order fire effects.

  7. The Response of a Steelhead Trout Population to Wildfire at the Landscape Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boughton, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    Wildfire is a prevalent disturbance of watersheds that impacts stream habitats and fish abundance, by direct removal of riparian vegetation and indirect effects on sediment regimes and water quality. Individual studies at the reach scale of the fish Oncorhynchus mykiss (steelhead trout) after wildfire show that habitat- and population-response is highly context dependent, suggesting broad-scale heterogeneity in effects of wildfire, possibly linked to fluvial processes. Here I report the results of a novel study design that examined wildfire response of O. mykiss and its habitat condition at 26 reaches sampled from a stream system heavily burned during the 2008 Indians/Basin Complex Fire in the central California chaparral. Proportional decline in juvenile fish abundances in the year after the wildfire were large but spatially heterogeneous (ranging by 2 orders of magnitude). Influence diagrams suggested that the major impact of the fire on the fish was not direct impacts on riparian vegetation (which were quite minor), but indirect impacts via pulses of fine sediment into channels the following winter. Abundance at some sites increased after the fire; the largest increases were not outside (downstream of) the burned area, but rather were in headwater reaches inside the burned area. In the year after the wildfire, fish abundance rebounded, with magnitude of rebound nearly proportional to the previous year's decline at most sites, suggesting rapid recovery of habitat quality and population recruitment. This study illustrates the importance of spatial structure and fluvial-process diversity for the rapid recovery of a fish after an intense wildfire.

  8. SENTINEL-2A red-edge spectral indices suitability for discriminating burn severity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández-Manso, Alfonso; Fernández-Manso, Oscar; Quintano, Carmen

    2016-08-01

    Fires are a problematic and recurrent issue in Mediterranean ecosystems. Accurate discrimination between burn severity levels is essential for the rehabilitation planning of burned areas. Sentinel-2A MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) record data in three red-edge wavelengths, spectral domain especially useful on agriculture and vegetation applications. Our objective is to find out whether Sentinel-2A MSI red-edge wavelengths are suitable for burn severity discrimination. As study area, we used the 2015 Sierra Gata wildfire (Spain) that burned approximately 80 km2. A Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS)-grading map with four burn severity levels was considered as reference truth. Cox and Snell, Nagelkerke and McFadde pseudo-R2 statistics obtained by Multinomial Logistic Regression showed the superiority of red-edge spectral indices (particularly, Modified Simple Ratio Red-edge, Chlorophyll Index Red-edge, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index Red-edge) over conventional spectral indices. Fisher's Least Significant Difference test confirmed that Sentinel-2A MSI red-edge spectral indices are adequate to discriminate four burn severity levels.

  9. Effects of wildfire on source-water quality and aquatic ecosystems, Colorado Front Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Writer, Jeffrey H.; McClelskey, R. Blaine; Murphy, Sheila F.

    2012-01-01

    Watershed erosion can dramatically increase after wildfire, but limited research has evaluated the corresponding influence on source-water quality. This study evaluated the effects of the Fourmile Canyon wildfire (Colorado Front Range, USA) on source-water quality and aquatic ecosystems using high-frequency sampling. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nutrient loads in stream water were evaluated for a one-year period during different types of runoff events, including spring snowmelt, and both frontal and summer convective storms. DOC export from the burned watershed did not increase relative to the unburned watershed during spring snowmelt, but substantial increases in DOC export were observed during summer convective storms. Elevated nutrient export from the burned watershed was observed during spring snowmelt and summer convective storms, which increased the primary productivity of stream biofilms. Wildfire effects on source-water quality were shown to be substantial following high-intensity storms, with the potential to affect drinking-water treatment processes.

  10. AmeriFlux US-Me1 Metolius - Eyerly burn

    SciTech Connect

    Law, Bev

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Me1 Metolius - Eyerly burn. Site Description - An intermediate aged ponderosa pine forest that was severely burned in the 2002 Eyerly wildfire. All trees were killed (stand replacing event). Irvine et al (2007) GCB 13 (8), 1748–1760.

  11. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Ammo Fire, San Diego County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Ammo Fire in San Diego County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  12. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Rice Fire, San Diego County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Rice Fire in San Diego County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  13. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Poomacha Fire, San Diego County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Poomacha Fire in San Diego County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 2.25 inches (57.15 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  14. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Buckweed Fire, Los Angeles County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Buckweed Fire in Los Angeles County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 2.25 inches (57.15 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  15. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Santiago Fire, Orange County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Santiago Fire in Orange County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  16. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Witch Fire, San Diego County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Witch Fire in San Diego County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 2.25 inches (57.15 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  17. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Canyon Fire, Los Angeles County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Canyon Fire in Los Angeles County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 2.25 inches (57.15 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  18. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Harris Fire, San Diego County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Harris Fire in San Diego County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  19. Impacts of upwind wildfire emissions on CO, CO2, and PM2.5 concentrations in Salt Lake City, Utah

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallia, D. V.; Lin, J. C.; Urbanski, S.; Ehleringer, J.; Nehrkorn, T.

    2015-01-01

    burning is known to contribute large quantities of CO2, CO, and PM2.5 to the atmosphere. Biomass burning not only affects the area in the vicinity of fire but may also impact the air quality far downwind from the fire. The 2007 and 2012 western U.S. wildfire seasons were characterized by significant wildfire activity across much of the Intermountain West and California. In this study, we determined the locations of wildfire-derived emissions and their aggregate impacts on Salt Lake City, a major urban center downwind of the fires. To determine the influences of biomass burning emissions, we initiated an ensemble of stochastic back trajectories at the Salt Lake City receptor within the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model, driven by wind fields from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The trajectories were combined with a new, high-resolution biomass burning emissions inventory—the Wildfire Emissions Inventory. Initial results showed that the WRF-STILT model was able to replicate many periods of enhanced wildfire activity observed in the measurements. Most of the contributions for the 2007 and 2012 wildfire seasons originated from fires located in Utah and central Idaho. The model results suggested that during intense episodes of upwind wildfires in 2007 and 2012, fires contributed as much as 250 ppb of CO during a 3 h period and 15 µg/m3 of PM2.5 averaged over 24 h at Salt Lake City. Wildfires had a much smaller impact on CO2 concentrations in Salt Lake City, with contributions rarely exceeding 2 ppm enhancements.

  20. Comparative In Vivo and Ex Vivo Toxicity Studies of Wildfire Particulate Matter

    EPA Science Inventory

    Inhalation of particulate matter (PM) generated from biomass burning is of concern particularly as the frequency and severity of wildfires have been increasing. Size-fractionated PM samples (ultrafine, <0.2 µm; fine, 0.2-2.5 µm; coarse, 2.5-10 µm) were colle...

  1. Large-Scale Simulation of the Effects of Climate Change on Runoff Erosion Following Extreme Wildfire Events Authors: Gould, Adam, Warren, Barber, Wagenbrenner, Robichaud, Wang, Cherkauer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, G.; Adam, J. C.; Barber, M. E.; Wagenbrenner, J. W.; Robichaud, P. R.; Wang, L.; Cherkauer, K. A.

    2012-12-01

    Across the western U.S., there is clear concern for increases in wildfire occurrence, severity, and post-fire runoff erosion due to projected climate changes. The aim of this study was to advance our capability to simulate post-fire runoff erosion at scales larger than a single hillslope to examine the relative contribution of sediment being released to larger streams and rivers in response to wildfire. We applied the Variable Capacity Infiltration-Water Erosion Prediction Project (VIC-WEPP), a newly-developed physically-based modeling framework that combines large-scale hydrology with hillslope-scale runoff erosion, over the Salmon River basin (SRB) in central Idaho. We selected the SRB for this study because of recent research that suggested that forest wildfires are likely contributing the majority of coarser sands that settle in downstream navigation channels and in reservoirs, causing adverse impacts to aquatic life, navigation, and flood storage. Using the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR), burn intensity and severity maps show the regularity of wildfire occurrence in the SRB. These maps compare pre-fire images to next growing season images from the Landsat Thematic Mapper multispectral scanning sensor. Rather than implementing WEPP over all hillslopes within the SRB, we applied a representative hillslope approach. A monofractal scaling method downscales globally available 30 arc second digital elevation model (DEM) data to a 30 m resolution for simulations. This information determined the distribution of slope gradients within each VIC grid cell. This study applied VIC-WEPP over the 1979-2010 period and compared an ensemble of future climate simulations for the period of 2041-2070. For future scenarios, we only considered meteorological impacts on post-fire erosion and did not incorporate changes in future fire occurrence or severity. We ran scenarios for a variety of land cover and soil parameter sets, particularly those that relate to pre and post

  2. Characterizing recovery of soil hydrological properties impacted by wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joseph, Alicia; Borak, Jordan; Yatheendradas, Soni; Crosgrove, Brian; Gochis, David; Dugger, Aubrey; Goodrich, David

    2016-04-01

    Accurate characterization of the post-burn recovery of soil properties over time is important for hydrological modeling applications. Yet, this recovery remains not characterized well enough for effective usage as hydrologic model simulation guidelines, for example, by organizations like the NOAA NWS National Water Center for streamflow modeling or like USDA for flash flood modeling. By calibrating a model's soil properties to soil moisture at different short periods of post-fire rain events for an example test case, we attempt to characterize the soil recovery from wildfires as a function of the burn severity, soil properties, hydrologic states like moisture and antecedent rain history post-burn, and ecosystem vegetation type and plant cover density. This work is in line with similar recent work but focuses more on improving predictability for operational hydrologic applications.

  3. Global pyrogeography: the current and future distribution of wildfire.

    PubMed

    Krawchuk, Meg A; Moritz, Max A; Parisien, Marc-André; Van Dorn, Jeff; Hayhoe, Katharine

    2009-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter the geographic distribution of wildfire, a complex abiotic process that responds to a variety of spatial and environmental gradients. How future climate change may alter global wildfire activity, however, is still largely unknown. As a first step to quantifying potential change in global wildfire, we present a multivariate quantification of environmental drivers for the observed, current distribution of vegetation fires using statistical models of the relationship between fire activity and resources to burn, climate conditions, human influence, and lightning flash rates at a coarse spatiotemporal resolution (100 km, over one decade). We then demonstrate how these statistical models can be used to project future changes in global fire patterns, highlighting regional hotspots of change in fire probabilities under future climate conditions as simulated by a global climate model. Based on current conditions, our results illustrate how the availability of resources to burn and climate conditions conducive to combustion jointly determine why some parts of the world are fire-prone and others are fire-free. In contrast to any expectation that global warming should necessarily result in more fire, we find that regional increases in fire probabilities may be counter-balanced by decreases at other locations, due to the interplay of temperature and precipitation variables. Despite this net balance, our models predict substantial invasion and retreat of fire across large portions of the globe. These changes could have important effects on terrestrial ecosystems since alteration in fire activity may occur quite rapidly, generating ever more complex environmental challenges for species dispersing and adjusting to new climate conditions. Our findings highlight the potential for widespread impacts of climate change on wildfire, suggesting severely altered fire regimes and the need for more explicit inclusion of fire in research on global

  4. Global pyrogeography: the current and future distribution of wildfire.

    PubMed

    Krawchuk, Meg A; Moritz, Max A; Parisien, Marc-André; Van Dorn, Jeff; Hayhoe, Katharine

    2009-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter the geographic distribution of wildfire, a complex abiotic process that responds to a variety of spatial and environmental gradients. How future climate change may alter global wildfire activity, however, is still largely unknown. As a first step to quantifying potential change in global wildfire, we present a multivariate quantification of environmental drivers for the observed, current distribution of vegetation fires using statistical models of the relationship between fire activity and resources to burn, climate conditions, human influence, and lightning flash rates at a coarse spatiotemporal resolution (100 km, over one decade). We then demonstrate how these statistical models can be used to project future changes in global fire patterns, highlighting regional hotspots of change in fire probabilities under future climate conditions as simulated by a global climate model. Based on current conditions, our results illustrate how the availability of resources to burn and climate conditions conducive to combustion jointly determine why some parts of the world are fire-prone and others are fire-free. In contrast to any expectation that global warming should necessarily result in more fire, we find that regional increases in fire probabilities may be counter-balanced by decreases at other locations, due to the interplay of temperature and precipitation variables. Despite this net balance, our models predict substantial invasion and retreat of fire across large portions of the globe. These changes could have important effects on terrestrial ecosystems since alteration in fire activity may occur quite rapidly, generating ever more complex environmental challenges for species dispersing and adjusting to new climate conditions. Our findings highlight the potential for widespread impacts of climate change on wildfire, suggesting severely altered fire regimes and the need for more explicit inclusion of fire in research on global

  5. Wildfire altering terrestrial precursors of disinfection byproducts in forest detritus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun-Jian; Dahlgren, Randy A; Erşan, Mahmut S; Karanfil, Tanju; Chow, Alex T

    2015-05-19

    Wildfire occurrence and intensity are increasing worldwide causing severe disturbances to forest watersheds used for potable water supply. The effects of wildfire on drinking water quality are not well understood, especially in terms of terrestrial dissolved organic matter (DOM) and DOM-associated formation of disinfection byproducts (DBP). As the forest floor layer is a major source of terrestrial DOM, we investigated characteristics and DBP formation of water extractable organic matter (WEOM) from the 0-5 cm depth of nonburned detritus (control) and burned detritus with black ash (moderate severity) and white ash (high severity) associated with the 2013 Rim Fire in California. Spectroscopic results suggested that the aromaticity of WEOM followed white ash > control > black ash and fluorescence region II (excitation 220-250 nm; emission 330-380 nm) of the emission-excitation-matrix was identified as a potential burn severity indicator. Compared to the control, WEOM from white and black ashes had lower reactivity in forming trihalomethanes (55%-of-control) and haloacetic acids (67%-of-control), but higher reactivity in forming the more carcinogenic haloacetonitrile after chlorination (244%-of-control) and N-nitrosodimethylamine after chloramination (229%-of-control). There was no change in reactivity for chloral hydrate formation, while WEOM from black ash showed a higher reactivity for haloketone formation (150%-of-control). Because wildfire consumed a large portion of organic matter from the detritus layer, there was lower water extractable organic carbon (27%-of-control) and organic nitrogen (19%-of-control) yields in ashes. Consequently, the wildfire caused an overall reduction in water extractable terrestrial DBP precursor yield from detritus materials.

  6. Biophysical Interactions within Step-Pool Mountain Streams Following Wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, A.; Chin, A.; O'Dowd, A. P.

    2014-12-01

    Recovery of riverine ecosystems following disturbance is driven by a variety of interacting processes. Wildfires pose increasing disturbances to riverine landscapes, with rising frequencies and magnitudes owing to warming climates and increased fuel loads. The effects of wildfire include loss of vegetation, elevated runoff and flash floods, erosion and deposition, and changing biological habitats and communities. Understanding process interactions in post-fire landscapes is increasingly urgent for successful management and restoration of affected ecosystems. In steep channels, steps and pools provide prominent habitats for organisms and structural integrity in high energy environments. Step-pools are typically stable, responding to extreme events with recurrence intervals often exceeding 50 years. Once wildfire occurs, however, intensification of post-fire flood events can potentially overpower the inherent stability of these systems, with significant consequences for aquatic life and human well-being downstream. This study examined the short-term response of step-pool streams following the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado. We explored interacting feedbacks among geomorphology, hydrology, and ecology in the post-fire environment. At selected sites with varying burn severity, we established baseline conditions immediately after the fire with channel surveys, biological assessment using benthic macroinvertebrates, sediment analysis including pebble counts, and precipitation gauging. Repeat measurements after major storm events over several years enabled analysis of the interacting feedbacks among post-fire processes. We found that channels able to retain the step-pool structure changed less and facilitated recovery more readily. Step habitats maintained higher percentages of sensitive macroinvertebrate taxa compared to pools through post-fire floods. Sites burned with high severity experienced greater reduction in the percentage of sensitive taxa. The decimation of

  7. Global Pyrogeography: the Current and Future Distribution of Wildfire

    PubMed Central

    Krawchuk, Meg A.; Moritz, Max A.; Parisien, Marc-André; Van Dorn, Jeff; Hayhoe, Katharine

    2009-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter the geographic distribution of wildfire, a complex abiotic process that responds to a variety of spatial and environmental gradients. How future climate change may alter global wildfire activity, however, is still largely unknown. As a first step to quantifying potential change in global wildfire, we present a multivariate quantification of environmental drivers for the observed, current distribution of vegetation fires using statistical models of the relationship between fire activity and resources to burn, climate conditions, human influence, and lightning flash rates at a coarse spatiotemporal resolution (100 km, over one decade). We then demonstrate how these statistical models can be used to project future changes in global fire patterns, highlighting regional hotspots of change in fire probabilities under future climate conditions as simulated by a global climate model. Based on current conditions, our results illustrate how the availability of resources to burn and climate conditions conducive to combustion jointly determine why some parts of the world are fire-prone and others are fire-free. In contrast to any expectation that global warming should necessarily result in more fire, we find that regional increases in fire probabilities may be counter-balanced by decreases at other locations, due to the interplay of temperature and precipitation variables. Despite this net balance, our models predict substantial invasion and retreat of fire across large portions of the globe. These changes could have important effects on terrestrial ecosystems since alteration in fire activity may occur quite rapidly, generating ever more complex environmental challenges for species dispersing and adjusting to new climate conditions. Our findings highlight the potential for widespread impacts of climate change on wildfire, suggesting severely altered fire regimes and the need for more explicit inclusion of fire in research on global

  8. Autonomous wildfire surveillance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vries, Jan S.

    1993-11-01

    Until recently, problems resulting from fires in forests and natural areas were solved on a national rather than international level. This resulted in duplicating research efforts. The Commission of the European Communities (CEC) tries to enhance the cooperation between European countries to stimulate research on the causes and the technological developments for wildfire prevention, detection, and fighting. One result of these efforts has been the start of an international project on the development of a demonstration system that will be used to aid wild land managers and fire fighters in preventing and fighting wild fires. The system will consist of a decision support system and an autonomous wild fire detection system. The basic information that is used by the decision support system is on the one hand a database system with historical, topographical, logistic, meteorological and geographic information and on the other hand `real-time' data from automated cameras and weather sensors. Also, in other large countries outside Europe, such as Canada, the United States and Australia, technological approaches are being developed to reduce hazards as a result of wild fires. In this paper a summary is given on the various problems and solutions in the area of autonomous wild fire detection and surveillance in the CEC and some other parts of the world.

  9. Burning Issue: Handling Household Burns

    MedlinePlus

    ... hot objects or liquid, fire, friction, the sun, electricity, or certain chemicals. Each year, about a half- ... infant or elderly. the burn was caused by electricity, which can lead to “invisible” burns. Burns Burns ...

  10. The Effects of Wildfire on Soil Moisture Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanarek, M.; Cardenas, M.

    2013-12-01

    Moisture dynamics in the critical zone have significant implications for a variety of hydrologic processes, from water availability to plants to infiltration and groundwater recharge rates. These processes are perturbed by events such as wildfires, which may have long-lasting impacts. In September 2011, the most destructive wildfire in Texas history occurred in and around Bastrop State Park, which was significantly affected; thus we take advantage of a rare opportunity to study soil moisture under such burned conditions. A 165 m long transect bridging burned and unburned areas was established within the 'Lost Pines' of the park. Soil moisture and soil temperature were monitored and estimated using a variety of methods, including 2D electrical resistivity imaging (using dipole-dipole and Schlumberger configurations), surface permittivity measurements (ThetaProbe), permittivity-based soil moisture profiling (PR2 profile probes), and installation of thermistors. Field measurements were collected at approximately one-month intervals to study temporal and seasonal effects on soil moisture and temperature in this area. Greater soil moisture and lower resistivity were found near the surface at the heavily burned end of the transect, where trees have been largely killed by the fire and grasses now dominate, and very low near-surface soil moisture and higher resistivity were found at the opposite end, which is still populated by pine trees. These variations can likely be attributed to the vegetative variations between the two ends of the transect, with trees consuming more water at one end and the ground cover of grasses and mosses consuming less water and helping reduce evaporation at the burned end. Higher clay content at the burned end of the transect could also be a factor in greater soil moisture retention there. Given the higher moisture content throughout the soil profile at the heavily burned end of the transect, this could be an indication of greater infiltration

  11. Estimating mercury emissions resulting from wildfire in forests of the Western United States.

    PubMed

    Webster, Jackson P; Kane, Tyler J; Obrist, Daniel; Ryan, Joseph N; Aiken, George R

    2016-10-15

    Understanding the emissions of mercury (Hg) from wildfires is important for quantifying the global atmospheric Hg sources. Emissions of Hg from soils resulting from wildfires in the Western United States was estimated for the 2000 to 2013 period, and the potential emission of Hg from forest soils was assessed as a function of forest type and soil-heating. Wildfire released an annual average of 3100±1900kg-Hgy(-1) for the years spanning 2000-2013 in the 11 states within the study area. This estimate is nearly 5-fold lower than previous estimates for the study region. Lower emission estimates are attributed to an inclusion of fire severity within burn perimeters. Within reported wildfire perimeters, the average distribution of low, moderate, and high severity burns was 52, 29, and 19% of the total area, respectively. Review of literature data suggests that that low severity burning does not result in soil heating, moderate severity fire results in shallow soil heating, and high severity fire results in relatively deep soil heating (<5cm). Using this approach, emission factors for high severity burns ranged from 58 to 640μg-Hgkg-fuel(-1). In contrast, low severity burns have emission factors that are estimated to be only 18-34μg-Hgkg-fuel(-1). In this estimate, wildfire is predicted to release 1-30gHgha(-1) from Western United States forest soils while above ground fuels are projected to contribute an additional 0.9 to 7.8gHgha(-1). Land cover types with low biomass (desert scrub) are projected to release less than 1gHgha(-1). Following soil sources, fuel source contributions to total Hg emissions generally followed the order of duff>wood>foliage>litter>branches.

  12. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ranch Fire Perimeter, Whitaker Peak Quadrangle, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  13. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Santiago Fire Perimeter, Black Star Canyon Quadrangle, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  14. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Poomacha Fire Perimeter, Temecula Quadrangle, Riverside and San Diego Counties, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  15. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ammo Fire Perimeter, San Clemente Quadrangle, Orange and San Diego Counties, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  16. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Cajon Fire Perimeter, San Bernardino North Quadrangle, San Bernardino County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  17. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Poomacha Fire Perimeter, Pechanga Quadrangle, Riverside and San Diego Counties, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  18. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ranch Fire Perimeter, Cobblestone Mountain Quadrangle, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  19. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, Rancho Santa Fe Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  20. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ammo Fire Perimeter, San Onofre Bluff Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  1. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Santiago Fire Perimeter, Santiago Peak Quadrangle, Orange and Riverside Counties, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  2. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ammo Fire Perimeter, Las Pulgas Canyon Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  3. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ranch and Magic Fire Perimeters, Val Verde Quadrangle, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  4. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Buckweed Fire Perimeter, Warm Springs Mountain Quadrangle, Los Angeles County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  5. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch and Poomacha Fire Perimeters, Rodriguez Mountain Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  6. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Grass Valley Fire Perimeter, Lake Arrowhead Quadrangle, San Bernardino County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  7. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch and Poomacha Fire Perimeters, Mesa Grande Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  8. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Poomacha Fire Perimeter, Vail Lake Quadrangle, Riverside and San Diego Counties, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  9. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, El Cajon Mountain Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  10. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, San Vicente Reservoir Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  11. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Magic and Buckweed Fire Perimeters, Newhall Quadrangle, Los Angeles County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  12. Emissions from Combustion of Open Area Sources: Prescribed Forest and Agricultural Burns

    EPA Science Inventory

    Emissions from wildfires and prescribed forest and agricultural burns generate a variety of emissions that can cause adverse health effects for humans, contribute to climate change, and decrease visibility. Only limited pollutant data are available for these sources, particularly...

  13. Stable isotope analysis of energy dynamics in aquatic ecosystems suggests trophic shifts following severe wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martens, A. M.; Silins, U.; Bladon, K. D.; Williams, C.; Wagner, M. J.; Luchkow, E.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire alters landscapes and can have significant impacts on stream ecosystems. The 2003 Lost Creek wildfire was one of the most severe on Alberta's eastern rocky mountain slopes, resulting in elevated sediment production and nutrient (phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon) export in impacted streams. These resulted in increased algal productivity and macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity, and as a result, fish in watersheds draining wildfire affected catchments were larger than those in the same age class from reference (unburned) watersheds. In the present investigation, stable isotope analysis of C and N was utilized to evaluate ecosystem energy dynamics and describe trophic relationships in those watersheds. Aquatic invertebrates from burned catchments showed enrichment in δ13C and δ15N relative to algae suggesting a reliance on algae (autochthony) as a primary source of energy. Invertebrates from unburned systems were depleted in δ13C relative to algae indicating reliance on allochthonous or terrestrial primary energy sources. Preliminary analysis of δ15N in macroinvertebrates showed slight enrichment in burned catchments suggesting a trophic shift. More comprehensive macroinvertebrate sampling and identification has been conducted; isotopic analysis will provide greater resolution of how specific families within feeding guilds have been affected by wildfire. This will provide more robust insights into how wildfires may impact stream ecology in mountain environments.

  14. Forest Structure Affects Soil Mercury Losses in the Presence and Absence of Wildfire.

    PubMed

    Homann, Peter S; Darbyshire, Robyn L; Bormann, Bernard T; Morrissette, Brett A

    2015-11-01

    Soil is an important, dynamic component of regional and global mercury (Hg) cycles. This study evaluated how changes in forest soil Hg masses caused by atmospheric deposition and wildfire are affected by forest structure. Pre and postfire soil Hg measurements were made over two decades on replicate experimental units of three prefire forest structures (mature unthinned, mature thinned, clear-cut) in Douglas-fir dominated forest of southwestern Oregon. In the absence of wildfire, O-horizon Hg decreased by 60% during the 14 years after clearcutting, possibly the result of decreased atmospheric deposition due to the smaller-stature vegetative canopy; in contrast, no change was observed in mature unthinned and thinned forest. Wildfire decreased O-horizon Hg by >88% across all forest structures and decreased mineral-soil (0 to 66 mm depth) Hg by 50% in thinned forest and clear-cut. The wildfire-associated soil Hg loss was positively related to the amount of surface fine wood that burned during the fire, the proportion of area that burned at >700 °C, fire severity as indicated by tree mortality, and soil C loss. Loss of soil Hg due to the 200,000 ha wildfire was more than four times the annual atmospheric Hg emissions from human activities in Oregon.

  15. Improved Airborne System for Sensing Wildfires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKeown, Donald; Richardson, Michael

    2008-01-01

    The Wildfire Airborne Sensing Program (WASP) is engaged in a continuing effort to develop an improved airborne instrumentation system for sensing wildfires. The system could also be used for other aerial-imaging applications, including mapping and military surveillance. Unlike prior airborne fire-detection instrumentation systems, the WASP system would not be based on custom-made multispectral line scanners and associated custom- made complex optomechanical servomechanisms, sensors, readout circuitry, and packaging. Instead, the WASP system would be based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment that would include (1) three or four electronic cameras (one for each of three or four wavelength bands) instead of a multispectral line scanner; (2) all associated drive and readout electronics; (3) a camera-pointing gimbal; (4) an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver for measuring the position, velocity, and orientation of the aircraft; and (5) a data-acquisition subsystem. It would be necessary to custom-develop an integrated sensor optical-bench assembly, a sensor-management subsystem, and software. The use of mostly COTS equipment is intended to reduce development time and cost, relative to those of prior systems.

  16. An Infiltration Perspective on the Hydrologic Legacies of Landscape Disturbance by Wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebel, B. A.; Moody, J. A.; Martin, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire is a widespread disturbance that impacts soil and vegetation properties and associated hydrologic functions of water transmission and storage. Studies that examine hydrologic recovery after wildfire typically have focused on short-term (1-2 years) effects on soil properties or vegetation regeneration. The long-term recovery of soil hydraulic properties, however, may also control enhanced surface runoff and flash flood generation, especially under extreme rainfall conditions. Knowledge of the evolution of soil hydraulic properties after wildfire is essential for improving conceptual and numerical models of infiltration and runoff generation. We summarize ongoing efforts using repeated field and laboratory measurements with tension infiltrometers to examine how infiltration properties, such as field-saturated hydraulic conductivity and sorptivity, change as a function of burn severity and recovery time since wildfire disturbance. These results focus on mountainous, forested terrain in Colorado and New Mexico. We seek input from colleagues in the wildfire community regarding the duration and mechanisms of soil property recovery in other wildfire-prone landscapes to build a broader understanding.

  17. Short-term response of testate amoebae to wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Yangmin

    2016-04-01

    Many peatlands are exposed to intermittent burning but the implications of this burning for microbial communities have been little studied. Here we consider the impacts of burning on the dominant protists of peatland ecosystems, the testate amoebae. To do this we use a 'natural experiment'; a peatland exposed to wildfire where fire-fighting activity left a combination of unburned and heavily burned areas in close proximity. We assessed the change in testate amoebae three days after the end of the fire. We find that burning led to a large change in assemblage composition, primarily noted by a shift from taxa with tests constructed of idiosomes to those constructed of xenosomes. The most likely explanation for this change is the direct destruction of idiosome tests by extreme heat. Although we did not differentiate live individuals from empty tests it is probable that the fire has led to significant change in the amoeba community. This change may have interesting implications for the structure of the microbial foodweb, for silica cycling and for palaeoecological reconstruction in burned peatlands. This is clearly a topic which deserves more research attention.

  18. Sediment-phosphorus dynamics can shift aquatic ecology and cause downstream legacy effects after wildfire in large river systems.

    PubMed

    Emelko, Monica B; Stone, Micheal; Silins, Uldis; Allin, Don; Collins, Adrian L; Williams, Chris H S; Martens, Amanda M; Bladon, Kevin D

    2016-03-01

    Global increases in the occurrence of large, severe wildfires in forested watersheds threaten drinking water supplies and aquatic ecology. Wildfire effects on water quality, particularly nutrient levels and forms, can be significant. The longevity and downstream propagation of these effects as well as the geochemical mechanisms regulating them remain largely undocumented at larger river basin scales. Here, phosphorus (P) speciation and sorption behavior of suspended sediment were examined in two river basins impacted by a severe wildfire in southern Alberta, Canada. Fine-grained suspended sediments (<125 μm) were sampled continuously during ice-free conditions over a two-year period (2009-2010), 6 and 7 years after the wildfire. Suspended sediment samples were collected from upstream reference (unburned) river reaches, multiple tributaries within the burned areas, and from reaches downstream of the burned areas, in the Crowsnest and Castle River basins. Total particulate phosphorus (TPP) and particulate phosphorus forms (nonapatite inorganic P, apatite P, organic P), and the equilibrium phosphorus concentration (EPC0 ) of suspended sediment were assessed. Concentrations of TPP and the EPC0 were significantly higher downstream of wildfire-impacted areas compared to reference (unburned) upstream river reaches. Sediments from the burned tributary inputs contained higher levels of bioavailable particulate P (NAIP) - these effects were also observed downstream at larger river basin scales. The release of bioavailable P from postfire, P-enriched fine sediment is a key mechanism causing these effects in gravel-bed rivers at larger basin scales. Wildfire-associated increases in NAIP and the EPC0 persisted 6 and 7 years after wildfire. Accordingly, this work demonstrated that fine sediment in gravel-bed rivers is a significant, long-term source of in-stream bioavailable P that contributes to a legacy of wildfire impacts on downstream water quality, aquatic ecology, and

  19. Sediment-phosphorus dynamics can shift aquatic ecology and cause downstream legacy effects after wildfire in large river systems.

    PubMed

    Emelko, Monica B; Stone, Micheal; Silins, Uldis; Allin, Don; Collins, Adrian L; Williams, Chris H S; Martens, Amanda M; Bladon, Kevin D

    2016-03-01

    Global increases in the occurrence of large, severe wildfires in forested watersheds threaten drinking water supplies and aquatic ecology. Wildfire effects on water quality, particularly nutrient levels and forms, can be significant. The longevity and downstream propagation of these effects as well as the geochemical mechanisms regulating them remain largely undocumented at larger river basin scales. Here, phosphorus (P) speciation and sorption behavior of suspended sediment were examined in two river basins impacted by a severe wildfire in southern Alberta, Canada. Fine-grained suspended sediments (<125 μm) were sampled continuously during ice-free conditions over a two-year period (2009-2010), 6 and 7 years after the wildfire. Suspended sediment samples were collected from upstream reference (unburned) river reaches, multiple tributaries within the burned areas, and from reaches downstream of the burned areas, in the Crowsnest and Castle River basins. Total particulate phosphorus (TPP) and particulate phosphorus forms (nonapatite inorganic P, apatite P, organic P), and the equilibrium phosphorus concentration (EPC0 ) of suspended sediment were assessed. Concentrations of TPP and the EPC0 were significantly higher downstream of wildfire-impacted areas compared to reference (unburned) upstream river reaches. Sediments from the burned tributary inputs contained higher levels of bioavailable particulate P (NAIP) - these effects were also observed downstream at larger river basin scales. The release of bioavailable P from postfire, P-enriched fine sediment is a key mechanism causing these effects in gravel-bed rivers at larger basin scales. Wildfire-associated increases in NAIP and the EPC0 persisted 6 and 7 years after wildfire. Accordingly, this work demonstrated that fine sediment in gravel-bed rivers is a significant, long-term source of in-stream bioavailable P that contributes to a legacy of wildfire impacts on downstream water quality, aquatic ecology, and

  20. Learning to coexist with wildfire.

    PubMed

    Moritz, Max A; Batllori, Enric; Bradstock, Ross A; Gill, A Malcolm; Handmer, John; Hessburg, Paul F; Leonard, Justin; McCaffrey, Sarah; Odion, Dennis C; Schoennagel, Tania; Syphard, Alexandra D

    2014-11-01

    The impacts of escalating wildfire in many regions - the lives and homes lost, the expense of suppression and the damage to ecosystem services - necessitate a more sustainable coexistence with wildfire. Climate change and continued development on fire-prone landscapes will only compound current problems. Emerging strategies for managing ecosystems and mitigating risks to human communities provide some hope, although greater recognition of their inherent variation and links is crucial. Without a more integrated framework, fire will never operate as a natural ecosystem process, and the impact on society will continue to grow. A more coordinated approach to risk management and land-use planning in these coupled systems is needed. PMID:25373675

  1. Learning to coexist with wildfire.

    PubMed

    Moritz, Max A; Batllori, Enric; Bradstock, Ross A; Gill, A Malcolm; Handmer, John; Hessburg, Paul F; Leonard, Justin; McCaffrey, Sarah; Odion, Dennis C; Schoennagel, Tania; Syphard, Alexandra D

    2014-11-01

    The impacts of escalating wildfire in many regions - the lives and homes lost, the expense of suppression and the damage to ecosystem services - necessitate a more sustainable coexistence with wildfire. Climate change and continued development on fire-prone landscapes will only compound current problems. Emerging strategies for managing ecosystems and mitigating risks to human communities provide some hope, although greater recognition of their inherent variation and links is crucial. Without a more integrated framework, fire will never operate as a natural ecosystem process, and the impact on society will continue to grow. A more coordinated approach to risk management and land-use planning in these coupled systems is needed.

  2. Wildfires in Bamboo-Dominated Amazonian Forest: Impacts on Above-Ground Biomass and Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Barlow, Jos; Silveira, Juliana M.; Mestre, Luiz A. M.; Andrade, Rafael B.; Camacho D'Andrea, Gabriela; Louzada, Julio; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z.; Numata, Izaya; Lacau, Sébastien; Cochrane, Mark A.

    2012-01-01

    Fire has become an increasingly important disturbance event in south-western Amazonia. We conducted the first assessment of the ecological impacts of these wildfires in 2008, sampling forest structure and biodiversity along twelve 500 m transects in the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve, Acre, Brazil. Six transects were placed in unburned forests and six were in forests that burned during a series of forest fires that occurred from August to October 2005. Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) calculations, based on Landsat reflectance data, indicate that all transects were similar prior to the fires. We sampled understorey and canopy vegetation, birds using both mist nets and point counts, coprophagous dung beetles and the leaf-litter ant fauna. Fire had limited influence upon either faunal or floral species richness or community structure responses, and stems <10 cm DBH were the only group to show highly significant (p = 0.001) community turnover in burned forests. Mean aboveground live biomass was statistically indistinguishable in the unburned and burned plots, although there was a significant increase in the total abundance of dead stems in burned plots. Comparisons with previous studies suggest that wildfires had much less effect upon forest structure and biodiversity in these south-western Amazonian forests than in central and eastern Amazonia, where most fire research has been undertaken to date. We discuss potential reasons for the apparent greater resilience of our study plots to wildfire, examining the role of fire intensity, bamboo dominance, background rates of disturbance, landscape and soil conditions. PMID:22428035

  3. Wildfires in bamboo-dominated Amazonian forest: impacts on above-ground biomass and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Jos; Silveira, Juliana M; Mestre, Luiz A M; Andrade, Rafael B; Camacho D'Andrea, Gabriela; Louzada, Julio; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z; Numata, Izaya; Lacau, Sébastien; Cochrane, Mark A

    2012-01-01

    Fire has become an increasingly important disturbance event in south-western Amazonia. We conducted the first assessment of the ecological impacts of these wildfires in 2008, sampling forest structure and biodiversity along twelve 500 m transects in the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve, Acre, Brazil. Six transects were placed in unburned forests and six were in forests that burned during a series of forest fires that occurred from August to October 2005. Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) calculations, based on Landsat reflectance data, indicate that all transects were similar prior to the fires. We sampled understorey and canopy vegetation, birds using both mist nets and point counts, coprophagous dung beetles and the leaf-litter ant fauna. Fire had limited influence upon either faunal or floral species richness or community structure responses, and stems <10 cm DBH were the only group to show highly significant (p = 0.001) community turnover in burned forests. Mean aboveground live biomass was statistically indistinguishable in the unburned and burned plots, although there was a significant increase in the total abundance of dead stems in burned plots. Comparisons with previous studies suggest that wildfires had much less effect upon forest structure and biodiversity in these south-western Amazonian forests than in central and eastern Amazonia, where most fire research has been undertaken to date. We discuss potential reasons for the apparent greater resilience of our study plots to wildfire, examining the role of fire intensity, bamboo dominance, background rates of disturbance, landscape and soil conditions.

  4. Wildfires in bamboo-dominated Amazonian forest: impacts on above-ground biomass and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Jos; Silveira, Juliana M; Mestre, Luiz A M; Andrade, Rafael B; Camacho D'Andrea, Gabriela; Louzada, Julio; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z; Numata, Izaya; Lacau, Sébastien; Cochrane, Mark A

    2012-01-01

    Fire has become an increasingly important disturbance event in south-western Amazonia. We conducted the first assessment of the ecological impacts of these wildfires in 2008, sampling forest structure and biodiversity along twelve 500 m transects in the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve, Acre, Brazil. Six transects were placed in unburned forests and six were in forests that burned during a series of forest fires that occurred from August to October 2005. Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) calculations, based on Landsat reflectance data, indicate that all transects were similar prior to the fires. We sampled understorey and canopy vegetation, birds using both mist nets and point counts, coprophagous dung beetles and the leaf-litter ant fauna. Fire had limited influence upon either faunal or floral species richness or community structure responses, and stems <10 cm DBH were the only group to show highly significant (p = 0.001) community turnover in burned forests. Mean aboveground live biomass was statistically indistinguishable in the unburned and burned plots, although there was a significant increase in the total abundance of dead stems in burned plots. Comparisons with previous studies suggest that wildfires had much less effect upon forest structure and biodiversity in these south-western Amazonian forests than in central and eastern Amazonia, where most fire research has been undertaken to date. We discuss potential reasons for the apparent greater resilience of our study plots to wildfire, examining the role of fire intensity, bamboo dominance, background rates of disturbance, landscape and soil conditions. PMID:22428035

  5. When a Refuge is No More: Higher than Expected Wildfire Severity in Historical Forest Refugia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bleeker, T.; Kolden, C.; Camp, A. E.; Hessburg, P. F., Sr.; Poulos, H.

    2014-12-01

    Global climate change is an increasingly important driver of changes in the biogeograpraphy of vegetation. Such changes have primarily been characterized by gradual shifts in species distribution; however, major disturbances acting in concert with climate change may result in a sudden 'jump' in biogeographical distribution. This study examines the effects of wildfire on forest composition along an environmental gradient in the eastern Cascade Mountains of Central Washington, USA. A previous study by Camp et al. (1997) examined three drainages in this complex mountainous landscape to identify and characterize historic wildfire refugia based on topographic characteristics and forest age and species composition. These drainages subsequently burned in the 2012 Table Mountain and Peavine Canyon fires. In 2014 the Camp et al. plots were re-established and re-sampled to (1) assess burn severity using the Composite Burn Index (CBI) protocol and (2) assess fire effects upon the individual trees in each study plot. Remotely sensed imagery classified using the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) indicated these fires burned more intensely than historical fires in the region, providing a potential harbinger of future fire severity under climate change. Analysis of burn severity revealed that the fire burned across the entire environmental gradient of the drainages, with no significant difference in burn occurrence or burn severity between refugial and non-refugial plots as designated by Camp et al.; this suggests that historical wildfire refugia may no longer prove sustainable in an era of climate change. Additionally, trees characteristic of warmer and drier climates experienced lower fire mortality than trees typical of cooler and moister climates. If future reseeding and recruitment in the forest favors more xeric tree species, the 2012 fires may prove to be the disturbance event that precipitates a 'jump' in the biogeographic distribution of trees in these drainages.

  6. Pastoral wildfires in the Mediterranean: understanding their linkages to land cover patterns in managed landscapes.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Mirazo, Jabier; Martínez-Fernández, Jesús; Vega-García, Cristina

    2012-05-15

    The pastoral use of fire to regenerate rangelands is a major cause of wildfires in many Mediterranean countries. Despite producing important environmental impacts, this phenomenon has hardly ever been studied separately from other wildfire ignition causes. As extensive livestock breeding relies on the available pasture resources, we hypothesised that a higher rate of pastoral wildfire ignitions could be associated with land cover patterns, as these reflect the spatial arrangement of human activities in managed landscapes. To investigate these patterns, we studied landscape structure and the pastoral wildfires recorded between 1988 and 2000 in 24 Nature Park landscapes in Andalusia (Spain). The CORINE Land Cover map was reclassified according to five levels of grazing use and landscape metrics were calculated. Neural networks were developed to model the relationship between landscape metrics and pastoral wildfires, obtaining a set of significant variables which are discussed in the frame of land and livestock management in the region. We conclude that pastoral wildfire ignitions are more likely in landscapes where the pattern of being dominated by a matrix composed of several large patches of low to moderate grazing use, and having abundant small and elongated patches of higher grazing use, is more extreme. This pattern could be reflecting the persistence of numerous small livestock farms within an increasingly abandoned agrarian landscape. To prevent pastoral wildfires, land management could attempt to enlarge and merge those small patches of higher grazing use, reducing the amount of interface and their intermixture with the surrounding poorer pasture resources. PMID:22245863

  7. Air quality impacts of European wildfire emissions in a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knorr, Wolfgang; Dentener, Frank; Hantson, Stijn; Jiang, Leiwen; Klimont, Zbigniew; Arneth, Almut

    2016-05-01

    Wildfires are not only a threat to human property and a vital element of many ecosystems, but also an important source of air pollution. In this study, we first review the available evidence for a past or possible future climate-driven increase in wildfire emissions in Europe. We then introduce an ensemble of model simulations with a coupled wildfire-dynamic-ecosystem model, which we combine with published spatial maps of both wildfire and anthropogenic emissions of several major air pollutants to arrive at air pollutant emission projections for several time slices during the 21st century. The results indicate moderate wildfire-driven emission increases until 2050, but there is a possibility of large increases until the last decades of this century at high levels of climate change. We identify southern and north-eastern Europe as potential areas where wildfires may surpass anthropogenic pollution sources during the summer months. Under a scenario of high levels of climate change (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP, 8.5), emissions from wildfires in central and northern Portugal and possibly southern Italy and along the west coast of the Balkan peninsula are projected to reach levels that could affect annual mean particulate matter concentrations enough to be relevant for meeting WHO air quality targets.

  8. Pastoral wildfires in the Mediterranean: understanding their linkages to land cover patterns in managed landscapes.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Mirazo, Jabier; Martínez-Fernández, Jesús; Vega-García, Cristina

    2012-05-15

    The pastoral use of fire to regenerate rangelands is a major cause of wildfires in many Mediterranean countries. Despite producing important environmental impacts, this phenomenon has hardly ever been studied separately from other wildfire ignition causes. As extensive livestock breeding relies on the available pasture resources, we hypothesised that a higher rate of pastoral wildfire ignitions could be associated with land cover patterns, as these reflect the spatial arrangement of human activities in managed landscapes. To investigate these patterns, we studied landscape structure and the pastoral wildfires recorded between 1988 and 2000 in 24 Nature Park landscapes in Andalusia (Spain). The CORINE Land Cover map was reclassified according to five levels of grazing use and landscape metrics were calculated. Neural networks were developed to model the relationship between landscape metrics and pastoral wildfires, obtaining a set of significant variables which are discussed in the frame of land and livestock management in the region. We conclude that pastoral wildfire ignitions are more likely in landscapes where the pattern of being dominated by a matrix composed of several large patches of low to moderate grazing use, and having abundant small and elongated patches of higher grazing use, is more extreme. This pattern could be reflecting the persistence of numerous small livestock farms within an increasingly abandoned agrarian landscape. To prevent pastoral wildfires, land management could attempt to enlarge and merge those small patches of higher grazing use, reducing the amount of interface and their intermixture with the surrounding poorer pasture resources.

  9. How wild is your model fire? Constraining WRF-Chem wildfire smoke simulations with satellite observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, E. V.; Ford, B.; Lassman, W.; Pierce, J. R.; Pfister, G.; Volckens, J.; Magzamen, S.; Gan, R.

    2015-12-01

    Exposure to high concentrations of particulate matter (PM) present during acute pollution events is associated with adverse health effects. While many anthropogenic pollution sources are regulated in the United States, emissions from wildfires are difficult to characterize and control. With wildfire frequency and intensity in the western U.S. projected to increase, it is important to more precisely determine the effect that wildfire emissions have on human health, and whether improved forecasts of these air pollution events can mitigate the health risks associated with wildfires. One of the challenges associated with determining health risks associated with wildfire emissions is that the low spatial resolution of surface monitors means that surface measurements may not be representative of a population's exposure, due to steep concentration gradients. To obtain better estimates of ambient exposure levels for health studies, a chemical transport model (CTM) can be used to simulate the evolution of a wildfire plume as it travels over populated regions downwind. Improving the performance of a CTM would allow the development of a new forecasting framework that could better help decision makers estimate and potentially mitigate future health impacts. We use the Weather Research and Forecasting model with online chemistry (WRF-Chem) to simulate wildfire plume evolution. By varying the model resolution, meteorology reanalysis initial conditions, and biomass burning inventories, we are able to explore the sensitivity of model simulations to these various parameters. Satellite observations are used first to evaluate model skill, and then to constrain the model results. These data are then used to estimate population-level exposure, with the aim of better characterizing the effects that wildfire emissions have on human health.

  10. Assessing reverse 911®: a case study of the 2007 San Diego wildfires.

    PubMed

    Neaves, Tonya T; Mann, Stacey C; Myers, Laura B; Cosby, Arthur G

    2014-01-01

    In October 2007, 250,000 residents of San Diego County were forced to evacuate as wildfires burned 62 miles(2) in 24 hours. In 2005, the Sheriff's Department invested in Reverse 911® to contact residents upon emergencies. The system was used during this wildfire, and by the following midday, had made 394,915 calls. Shortly thereafter, 1,210 residents were surveyed to investigate the effectiveness of this technology. Findings reveal that 42 percent of respondents received their first warning from a Reverse 911® call while an additional 7 percent received the same call, but not as their first warning, as compared to all other methods used.

  11. The use of composite fingerprints to quantify sediment sources in a wildfire impacted landscape, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Stone, M; Collins, A L; Silins, U; Emelko, M B; Zhang, Y S

    2014-03-01

    There is increasing global concern regarding the impacts of large scale land disturbance by wildfire on a wide range of water and related ecological services. This study explores the impact of the 2003 Lost Creek wildfire in the Crowsnest River basin, Alberta, Canada on regional scale sediment sources using a tracing approach. A composite geochemical fingerprinting procedure was used to apportion the sediment efflux among three key spatial sediment sources: 1) unburned (reference) 2) burned and 3) burned sub-basins that were subsequently salvage logged. Spatial sediment sources were characterized by collecting time-integrated suspended sediment samples using passive devices during the entire ice free periods in 2009 and 2010. The tracing procedure combines the Kruskal-Wallis H-test, principal component analysis and genetic-algorithm driven discriminant function analysis for source discrimination. Source apportionment was based on a numerical mass balance model deployed within a Monte Carlo framework incorporating both local optimization and global (genetic algorithm) optimization. The mean relative frequency-weighted average median inputs from the three spatial source units were estimated to be 17% (inter-quartile uncertainty range 0-32%) from the reference areas, 45% (inter-quartile uncertainty range 25-65%) from the burned areas and 38% (inter-quartile uncertainty range 14-59%) from the burned-salvage logged areas. High sediment inputs from burned and the burned-salvage logged areas, representing spatial source units 2 and 3, reflect the lasting effects of forest canopy and forest floor organic matter disturbance during the 2003 wildfire including increased runoff and sediment availability related to high terrestrial erosion, streamside mass wasting and river bank collapse. The results demonstrate the impact of wildfire and incremental pressures associated with salvage logging on catchment spatial sediment sources in higher elevation Montane regions where forest

  12. The use of composite fingerprints to quantify sediment sources in a wildfire impacted landscape, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Stone, M; Collins, A L; Silins, U; Emelko, M B; Zhang, Y S

    2014-03-01

    There is increasing global concern regarding the impacts of large scale land disturbance by wildfire on a wide range of water and related ecological services. This study explores the impact of the 2003 Lost Creek wildfire in the Crowsnest River basin, Alberta, Canada on regional scale sediment sources using a tracing approach. A composite geochemical fingerprinting procedure was used to apportion the sediment efflux among three key spatial sediment sources: 1) unburned (reference) 2) burned and 3) burned sub-basins that were subsequently salvage logged. Spatial sediment sources were characterized by collecting time-integrated suspended sediment samples using passive devices during the entire ice free periods in 2009 and 2010. The tracing procedure combines the Kruskal-Wallis H-test, principal component analysis and genetic-algorithm driven discriminant function analysis for source discrimination. Source apportionment was based on a numerical mass balance model deployed within a Monte Carlo framework incorporating both local optimization and global (genetic algorithm) optimization. The mean relative frequency-weighted average median inputs from the three spatial source units were estimated to be 17% (inter-quartile uncertainty range 0-32%) from the reference areas, 45% (inter-quartile uncertainty range 25-65%) from the burned areas and 38% (inter-quartile uncertainty range 14-59%) from the burned-salvage logged areas. High sediment inputs from burned and the burned-salvage logged areas, representing spatial source units 2 and 3, reflect the lasting effects of forest canopy and forest floor organic matter disturbance during the 2003 wildfire including increased runoff and sediment availability related to high terrestrial erosion, streamside mass wasting and river bank collapse. The results demonstrate the impact of wildfire and incremental pressures associated with salvage logging on catchment spatial sediment sources in higher elevation Montane regions where forest

  13. Modeling wildfire incident complexity dynamics.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Matthew P

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire management in the United States and elsewhere is challenged by substantial uncertainty regarding the location and timing of fire events, the socioeconomic and ecological consequences of these events, and the costs of suppression. Escalating U.S. Forest Service suppression expenditures is of particular concern at a time of fiscal austerity as swelling fire management budgets lead to decreases for non-fire programs, and as the likelihood of disruptive within-season borrowing potentially increases. Thus there is a strong interest in better understanding factors influencing suppression decisions and in turn their influence on suppression costs. As a step in that direction, this paper presents a probabilistic analysis of geographic and temporal variation in incident management team response to wildfires. The specific focus is incident complexity dynamics through time for fires managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The modeling framework is based on the recognition that large wildfire management entails recurrent decisions across time in response to changing conditions, which can be represented as a stochastic dynamic system. Daily incident complexity dynamics are modeled according to a first-order Markov chain, with containment represented as an absorbing state. A statistically significant difference in complexity dynamics between Forest Service Regions is demonstrated. Incident complexity probability transition matrices and expected times until containment are presented at national and regional levels. Results of this analysis can help improve understanding of geographic variation in incident management and associated cost structures, and can be incorporated into future analyses examining the economic efficiency of wildfire management.

  14. Wildfire on Karst: an Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleborn, K.; Lupingna, A.; Flemons, I.; Nagra, G.; Treble, P. C.; Andersen, M. S.; Baker, A.; Tozer, M.; Fairchild, I. J.; Baker, A.; Meehan, S.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfires dramatically change the surface environment by removing vegetation and soil microbial communities and altering soil structure and geochemistry. Karst subsurface processes such as dissolution, cave formation and speleothem deposition are sensitive to environmental change, which is precisely why speleothems have been widely used as recorders of surface and climate change at an annual to millennial temporal scale. The effect of fire on karst processes is poorly understood. We hypothesise that a wildfire induced change at the surface will impact karst dissolution and precipitation processes. Firstly, sterilisation of the soil by heating causes a reduction in soil CO2 concentration which is a key component in dissolution processes. Secondly, removal of vegetation alters surface albedo and soil water storage properties. This could change the hydrology and isotopic signature of speleothem-forming drip water. We also hypothesise that a wildfire will produce a unique biogeochemical signature due to a change in the organic and inorganic properties of soil, which can be transported into speleothem forming drip water. Fire changes the organic matter character which is an important component in the mobilisation and transport of trace metals. Combustion of vegetation results in addition of ash derived minerals to the soil. Quantifying the biogeochemical signature from a burnt landscape will enable us to determine whether this wildfire signature is preserved in speleothems. This would provide the opportunity to use speleothems as recorders of fire history for the first time. Determining the impact of fire on karst processes would inform fire management and karst conservation policies.

  15. A transport model for prediction of wildfire behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Linn, R.R.

    1997-07-01

    Wildfires are a threat to human life and property, yet they are an unavoidable part of nature. In the past people have tried to predict wildfire behavior through the use of point functional models but have been unsuccessful at adequately predicting the gross behavior of the broad spectrum of fires that occur in nature. The majority of previous models do not have self-determining propagation rates. The author uses a transport approach to represent this complicated problem and produce a model that utilizes a self-determining propagation rate. The transport approach allows one to represent a large number of environments including transition regions such as those with nonhomogeneous vegetation and terrain. Some of the most difficult features to treat are the imperfectly known boundary conditions and the fine scale structure that is unresolvable, such as the specific location of the fuel or the precise incoming winds. The author accounts for the microscopic details of a fire with macroscopic resolution by dividing quantities into mean and fluctuating parts similar to what is done in traditional turbulence modelling. The author develops a complicated model that includes the transport of multiple gas species, such as oxygen and volatile hydrocarbons, and tracks the depletion of various fuels and other stationary solids and liquids. From this model the author also forms a simplified local burning model with which he performs a number of simulations for the purpose of demonstrating the properties of a self-determining transport-based wildfire model.

  16. Vegetation and wildfire controls on sediment yield in bedrock landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dibiase, Roman A.; Lamb, Michael P.

    2013-03-01

    rocky landscapes commonly exhibit high sediment yields and are especially sensitive to climate, tectonics, and wildfire. Predicting landscape response to these perturbations demands a quantitative understanding of erosion processes. However, existing models for hillslope sediment production and transport do not apply to landscapes with patchy soil and slopes that exceed the angle for sediment stability. Here we present field measurements in southern California, USA, which indicate that sediment storage on steep slopes is enabled by vegetation that traps sediment upslope. We find that the storage capacity of unburned vegetation dams follows a geometric scaling model with a cubic dependence on effective plant width and an inverse dependence on local slope. Measured sediment volumes behind burned vegetation dams indicate a loss of at least 75% relative to unburned dams, and when expanded to the catchment scale, our measurements match records of postfire sediment yield from nearby retention basins. Contrary to existing models, our observations indicate that wildfire-induced sediment yield is driven by transient storage and release of sediment by vegetation dams, rather than increased bedrock-to-soil conversion rates. Without a feedback between soil production and wildfire, fire may play little role in long-term landscape evolution, and increasing fire frequency in response to climate change may not result in heightened sedimentation hazards due to supply limitations.

  17. Modeling of carbonaceous particles emitted by boreal and temperature wildfires at northern latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavoué, David; Liousse, Catherine; Cachier, HéLèNe; Stocks, Brian J.; Goldammer, Johann G.

    2000-11-01

    For the first time, a spatial and monthly inventory has been constructed for carbonaceous particles emitted by boreal and temperate wildfires in forests, shrublands, and grasslands, with burned area data statistics, fuel load maps, fire characteristics, and particle emission factors. The time period considered is 1960-1997, and an important year-to-year variability was observed. On average, boreal and temperate vegetation fires represent 4% of global biomass burning, but during extreme years, their contribution may reach 12%, producing 9% and 20% of black carbon (BC) and particulate organic matter (POM), respectively, emitted by worldwide fires. The North American component of the boreal forest fires (Canada and Alaska) represents 4 to 122 Gg C yr-1 of BC and 0.07 to 2.4 Tg yr-1 of POM emitted, whereas the Eurasiatic component (Russia and northern Mongolia) may vary in the 16 to 474 Gg C yr-1 range for BC and between 0.3 and 9.4 Tg yr-1 for POM, with however great uncertainty. Temperate forests in conterminous United States and Europe have a much lower contribution with an average of 11 Gg C yr-1 of BC and 0.2 Tg yr-1 of POM. Grassland fires in Mongolia represent significant BC and POM sources which may reach 62 Gg C and 0.4 Tg, respectively. Finally, an annual average of BC emissions for shrubland fires in both the Mediterranean region and California is 20 Gg C yr-1, with average POM emissions of 0.1 Tg yr-1. These source maps obtained with a high spatial resolution (lox lo) can now be added to previous ones developed for other global carbonaceous aerosol sources (fossil fuel combustion, tropical biomass burning, agricultural and domestic fires) in order to provide global maps of particulate carbon emissions. Taking into account particle injection height in relation with each type of fire, our source map is a useful tool for studying the atmospheric transport and the impact of carbonaceous aerosols in three-dimensional transport and climate models.

  18. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Slide and Grass Valley Fires, San Bernardino County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Slide and Grass Valley Fires in San Bernardino County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 3.50 inches (88.90 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  19. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Ranch Fire, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Ranch Fire in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 2.25 inches (57.15 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  20. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granath, Gustaf; Lukenbach, Max; Moore, Paul; Waddington, James

    2015-04-01

    Wildfire frequency and severity are expected to increase in forested temperate and boreal ecosystems. Recent research indicates that northern peatlands are no exceptions to these risks and may be particularly vulnerable. These ecosystems represent a major component of the global carbon cycle and serve as contemporary and long-term net carbon sink. However, severe, deep burning, fires on these organic soils may not only compromise long-term carbon storage by releasing large amounts of carbon but also impose a real threat to human health and economies through smoke pollution and large costs in fire suppression, respectively. As research in tropical peatlands has revealed, these risks are likely enhanced when northern peatlands are drained and/or mined. Here we examine whether peatland restoration (re-wetting) practices can mitigate the risk of deep burns (>20 cm) and provide management recommendations. We synthesize the effects of drainage on peat moisture content and show how drainage and mining can weaken ecohydrological feedbacks in peatlands, making drained peatlands vulnerable to deep burns and carbon loss. We use bulk density and moisture data from burned, unburned and restored peatlands to evaluate the risk of deep burns under various conditions (differences in peat properties, extent of water table drop) using a new peat smouldering model. Climate change scenarios are shown to explore future risks of deep peat burning in extensively drained areas such as northern Europe. Combining modeling and experimental data we conclude that restoration can successfully lower the risk of deep burns if, for example, a new peat moss layer is established which will ensure a higher moisture content. Considering the large areas of drained and mined peatlands in the northern hemisphere, we will argue that restoration efforts are important to mitigate deep burns and carbon loss in peatlands.

  1. Projection of wildfire activity in southern California in the mid-twenty-first century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, Xu; Mickley, Loretta J.; Logan, Jennifer A.

    2014-10-01

    We estimate area burned in southern California at mid-century (2046-2065) for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change A1B scenario. We develop both regressions and a parameterization to predict area burned in three ecoregions, and apply present-day (1981-2000) and future meteorology from the suite of general circulation models to these fire prediction tools. The regressions account for the impacts of both current and antecedent meteorological factors on wildfire activity and explain 40-46 % of the variance in area burned during 1980-2009. The parameterization yields area burned as a function of temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity, and includes the impact of Santa Ana wind and other geographical factors on wildfires. It explains 38 % of the variance in area burned over southern California as a whole, and 64 % of the variance in southwestern California. The parameterization also captures the seasonality of wildfires in three ecoregions of southern California. Using the regressions, we find that area burned likely doubles in Southwestern California by midcentury, and increases by 35 % in the Sierra Nevada and 10 % in central western California. The parameterization suggests a likely increase of 40 % in area burned in southwestern California and 50 % in the Sierra Nevada by midcentury. It also predicts a longer fire season in southwestern California due to warmer and drier conditions on Santa Ana days in November. Our method provides robust estimates of area burned at midcentury, a key metric which can be used to calculate the fire-related effects on air quality, human health, and the associated costs.

  2. Projection of wildfire activity in southern California in the mid-21st century.

    PubMed

    Yue, Xu; Mickley, Loretta J; Logan, Jennifer A

    2014-10-01

    We estimate area burned in southern California at mid-century (2046-2065) for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) A1B scenario. We develop both regressions and a parameterization to predict area burned in three ecoregions, and apply present-day (1981-2000) and future meteorology from the suite of general circulation models (GCMs) to these fire prediction tools. The regressions account for the impacts of both current and antecedent meteorological factors on wildfire activity and explain 40-46% of the variance in area burned during 1980-2009. The parameterization yields area burned as a function of temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity, and includes the impact of Santa Ana wind and other geographical factors on wildfires. It explains 38% of the variance in area burned over southern California as a whole, and 64% of the variance in southwestern California. The parameterization also captures the seasonality of wildfires in three ecoregions of southern California. Using the regressions, we find that area burned likely doubles in Southwestern California by midcentury, and increases by 35% in the Sierra Nevada and 10% in central western California. The parameterization suggests a likely increase of 40% in area burned in southwestern California and 50% in the Sierra Nevada by midcentury. It also predicts a longer fire season in southwestern California due to warmer and drier conditions on Santa Ana days in November. Our method provides robust estimates of area burned at midcentury, a key metric which can be used to calculate the fire-related effects on air quality, human health, and the associated costs.

  3. Projection of wildfire activity in southern California in the mid-21st century.

    PubMed

    Yue, Xu; Mickley, Loretta J; Logan, Jennifer A

    2014-10-01

    We estimate area burned in southern California at mid-century (2046-2065) for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) A1B scenario. We develop both regressions and a parameterization to predict area burned in three ecoregions, and apply present-day (1981-2000) and future meteorology from the suite of general circulation models (GCMs) to these fire prediction tools. The regressions account for the impacts of both current and antecedent meteorological factors on wildfire activity and explain 40-46% of the variance in area burned during 1980-2009. The parameterization yields area burned as a function of temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity, and includes the impact of Santa Ana wind and other geographical factors on wildfires. It explains 38% of the variance in area burned over southern California as a whole, and 64% of the variance in southwestern California. The parameterization also captures the seasonality of wildfires in three ecoregions of southern California. Using the regressions, we find that area burned likely doubles in Southwestern California by midcentury, and increases by 35% in the Sierra Nevada and 10% in central western California. The parameterization suggests a likely increase of 40% in area burned in southwestern California and 50% in the Sierra Nevada by midcentury. It also predicts a longer fire season in southwestern California due to warmer and drier conditions on Santa Ana days in November. Our method provides robust estimates of area burned at midcentury, a key metric which can be used to calculate the fire-related effects on air quality, human health, and the associated costs. PMID:25346575

  4. Projection of wildfire activity in southern California in the mid-21st century

    PubMed Central

    Mickley, Loretta J.; Logan, Jennifer A.

    2014-01-01

    We estimate area burned in southern California at mid-century (2046-2065) for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) A1B scenario. We develop both regressions and a parameterization to predict area burned in three ecoregions, and apply present-day (1981-2000) and future meteorology from the suite of general circulation models (GCMs) to these fire prediction tools. The regressions account for the impacts of both current and antecedent meteorological factors on wildfire activity and explain 40-46% of the variance in area burned during 1980-2009. The parameterization yields area burned as a function of temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity, and includes the impact of Santa Ana wind and other geographical factors on wildfires. It explains 38% of the variance in area burned over southern California as a whole, and 64% of the variance in southwestern California. The parameterization also captures the seasonality of wildfires in three ecoregions of southern California. Using the regressions, we find that area burned likely doubles in Southwestern California by midcentury, and increases by 35% in the Sierra Nevada and 10% in central western California. The parameterization suggests a likely increase of 40% in area burned in southwestern California and 50% in the Sierra Nevada by midcentury. It also predicts a longer fire season in southwestern California due to warmer and drier conditions on Santa Ana days in November. Our method provides robust estimates of area burned at midcentury, a key metric which can be used to calculate the fire-related effects on air quality, human health, and the associated costs. PMID:25346575

  5. Bushfire disaster burn casualty management: the Australian "Black Saturday" bushfire experience.

    PubMed

    Seifman, Marc; Ek, Edmund W; Menezes, Hana; Rozen, Warren M; Whitaker, Iain S; Cleland, Heather J

    2011-11-01

    Mass burn disasters are among the most difficult disasters to manage, with major burns requiring complex management in a multidisciplinary setting and specialist burns services having limited capacity to deal with large numbers of complex patients. There is a paucity of literature addressing health system responses to mass burn disasters resulting from wildfires, with the events of the "Black Saturday" disaster in the state of Victoria, Australia, able to provide a unique opportunity to draw lessons and increase awareness of key management issues arising in mass burn casualty disasters. The event comprised the worst natural disaster in the state's history and one of the worst wildfire disasters in world history, claiming 173 lives and costing more than AUD 4 billion. This article draws on the national burns disaster plan instituted, Australian Mass Casualty Burn Disaster Plan (AUSBURNPLAN), and details the management of mass burn cases through a systems-based perspective. PMID:22001422

  6. Fire Emissions Estimates in Siberia: Evaluation of Uncertainties in Area Burned, Land Cover, and Fuel Consumption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kukavskaya, E.; Soja, A. J.; Ivanova, G. A.; Petkov, A.; Ponomarev, E. I.; Conard, S. G.

    2012-12-01

    Wildfire is one of the main disturbance factors in the boreal zone of Russia. Fires in the Russian boreal forest range from low-severity surface fires to high-severity crown fires. Estimates of carbon emissions from fires in Russia vary substantially due to differences in ecosystem classification and mapping, burned area calculations, and estimates of fuel consumption. We examined uncertainties in different parameters used to estimate biomass burning emissions. Several fire datasets (Institute of Forest burned area product, MCD45, MCD64, MOD14/MYD14, official data) were compared to estimate uncertainties in area burned in Siberia. Area burned was found to differ significantly by data source, with satellite data being by an order of magnitude greater than ground-based data. Differences between mapped ecosystems were also compared and contrasted on the basis of five land cover maps (GLC-2000, Globcover-2009, MODIS Collection 4 and 5 Global Land Cover, and the Digitized Ecosystem map of the Former Soviet Union) to evaluate the potential for error resulting from disparate vegetation structure and fuel consumption estimates. The examination of land cover maps showed that estimates of relative proportion of fire by ecosystem type varied substantially for the same year from map to map. Fuel consumption remains one of the main uncertainties in estimates of biomass burning emissions in Siberia. Accurate fuel consumption estimates are obtained in the course of fire experiments with pre- and post-fire biomass measuring. Our large-scale experiments carried out in the course of the FIRE BEAR (Fire Effects in the Boreal Eurasia Region) Project provided quantitative and qualitative data on ecosystem state and carbon emissions due to fires of known behavior in major forest types of Siberia that could be used to verify large-scale carbon emissions estimates. Global climate change is expected to result in increase of fire hazard and area burned, leading to impacts on global air

  7. Medieval warming initiated exceptionally large wildfire outbreaks in the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Calder, W John; Parker, Dusty; Stopka, Cody J; Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Shuman, Bryan N

    2015-10-27

    Many of the largest wildfires in US history burned in recent decades, and climate change explains much of the increase in area burned. The frequency of extreme wildfire weather will increase with continued warming, but many uncertainties still exist about future fire regimes, including how the risk of large fires will persist as vegetation changes. Past fire-climate relationships provide an opportunity to constrain the related uncertainties, and reveal widespread burning across large regions of western North America during past warm intervals. Whether such episodes also burned large portions of individual landscapes has been difficult to determine, however, because uncertainties with the ages of past fires and limited spatial resolution often prohibit specific estimates of past area burned. Accounting for these challenges in a subalpine landscape in Colorado, we estimated century-scale fire synchroneity across 12 lake-sediment charcoal records spanning the past 2,000 y. The percentage of sites burned only deviated from the historic range of variability during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) between 1,200 and 850 y B.P., when temperatures were similar to recent decades. Between 1,130 and 1,030 y B.P., 83% (median estimate) of our sites burned when temperatures increased ∼0.5 °C relative to the preceding centuries. Lake-based fire rotation during the MCA decreased to an estimated 120 y, representing a 260% higher rate of burning than during the period of dendroecological sampling (360 to -60 y B.P.). Increased burning, however, did not persist throughout the MCA. Burning declined abruptly before temperatures cooled, indicating possible fuel limitations to continued burning. PMID:26438834

  8. Medieval warming initiated exceptionally large wildfire outbreaks in the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Calder, W John; Parker, Dusty; Stopka, Cody J; Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Shuman, Bryan N

    2015-10-27

    Many of the largest wildfires in US history burned in recent decades, and climate change explains much of the increase in area burned. The frequency of extreme wildfire weather will increase with continued warming, but many uncertainties still exist about future fire regimes, including how the risk of large fires will persist as vegetation changes. Past fire-climate relationships provide an opportunity to constrain the related uncertainties, and reveal widespread burning across large regions of western North America during past warm intervals. Whether such episodes also burned large portions of individual landscapes has been difficult to determine, however, because uncertainties with the ages of past fires and limited spatial resolution often prohibit specific estimates of past area burned. Accounting for these challenges in a subalpine landscape in Colorado, we estimated century-scale fire synchroneity across 12 lake-sediment charcoal records spanning the past 2,000 y. The percentage of sites burned only deviated from the historic range of variability during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) between 1,200 and 850 y B.P., when temperatures were similar to recent decades. Between 1,130 and 1,030 y B.P., 83% (median estimate) of our sites burned when temperatures increased ∼0.5 °C relative to the preceding centuries. Lake-based fire rotation during the MCA decreased to an estimated 120 y, representing a 260% higher rate of burning than during the period of dendroecological sampling (360 to -60 y B.P.). Increased burning, however, did not persist throughout the MCA. Burning declined abruptly before temperatures cooled, indicating possible fuel limitations to continued burning.

  9. Medieval warming initiated exceptionally large wildfire outbreaks in the Rocky Mountains

    PubMed Central

    Calder, W. John; Parker, Dusty; Stopka, Cody J.; Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Shuman, Bryan N.

    2015-01-01

    Many of the largest wildfires in US history burned in recent decades, and climate change explains much of the increase in area burned. The frequency of extreme wildfire weather will increase with continued warming, but many uncertainties still exist about future fire regimes, including how the risk of large fires will persist as vegetation changes. Past fire-climate relationships provide an opportunity to constrain the related uncertainties, and reveal widespread burning across large regions of western North America during past warm intervals. Whether such episodes also burned large portions of individual landscapes has been difficult to determine, however, because uncertainties with the ages of past fires and limited spatial resolution often prohibit specific estimates of past area burned. Accounting for these challenges in a subalpine landscape in Colorado, we estimated century-scale fire synchroneity across 12 lake-sediment charcoal records spanning the past 2,000 y. The percentage of sites burned only deviated from the historic range of variability during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) between 1,200 and 850 y B.P., when temperatures were similar to recent decades. Between 1,130 and 1,030 y B.P., 83% (median estimate) of our sites burned when temperatures increased ∼0.5 °C relative to the preceding centuries. Lake-based fire rotation during the MCA decreased to an estimated 120 y, representing a 260% higher rate of burning than during the period of dendroecological sampling (360 to −60 y B.P.). Increased burning, however, did not persist throughout the MCA. Burning declined abruptly before temperatures cooled, indicating possible fuel limitations to continued burning. PMID:26438834

  10. Evolution of brown carbon in wildfire plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forrister, Haviland; Liu, Jiumeng; Scheuer, Eric; Dibb, Jack; Ziemba, Luke; Thornhill, Kenneth L.; Anderson, Bruce; Diskin, Glenn; Perring, Anne E.; Schwarz, Joshua P.; Campuzano-Jost, Pedro; Day, Douglas A.; Palm, Brett B.; Jimenez, Jose L.; Nenes, Athanasios; Weber, Rodney J.

    2015-06-01

    Particulate brown carbon (BrC) in the atmosphere absorbs light at subvisible wavelengths and has poorly constrained but potentially large climate forcing impacts. BrC from biomass burning has virtually unknown lifecycle and atmospheric stability. Here, BrC emitted from intense wildfires was measured in plumes transported over 2 days from two main fires, during the 2013 NASA SEAC4RS mission. Concurrent measurements of organic aerosol (OA) and black carbon (BC) mass concentration, BC coating thickness, absorption Ångström exponent, and OA oxidation state reveal that the initial BrC emitted from the fires was largely unstable. Using back trajectories to estimate the transport time indicates that BrC aerosol light absorption decayed in the plumes with a half-life of 9 to 15 h, measured over day and night. Although most BrC was lost within a day, possibly through chemical loss and/or evaporation, the remaining persistent fraction likely determines the background BrC levels most relevant for climate forcing.

  11. Estimation of wildfire size and risk changes due to fuels treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cochrane, M.A.; Moran, C.J.; Wimberly, M.C.; Baer, A.D.; Finney, M.A.; Beckendorf, K.L.; Eidenshink, J.; Zhu, Z.

    2012-01-01

    Human land use practices, altered climates, and shifting forest and fire management policies have increased the frequency of large wildfires several-fold. Mitigation of potential fire behaviour and fire severity have increasingly been attempted through pre-fire alteration of wildland fuels using mechanical treatments and prescribed fires. Despite annual treatment of more than a million hectares of land, quantitative assessments of the effectiveness of existing fuel treatments at reducing the size of actual wildfires or how they might alter the risk of burning across landscapes are currently lacking. Here, we present a method for estimating spatial probabilities of burning as a function of extant fuels treatments for any wildland fire-affected landscape. We examined the landscape effects of more than 72 000 ha of wildland fuel treatments involved in 14 large wildfires that burned 314 000 ha of forests in nine US states between 2002 and 2010. Fuels treatments altered the probability of fire occurrence both positively and negatively across landscapes, effectively redistributing fire risk by changing surface fire spread rates and reducing the likelihood of crowning behaviour. Trade offs are created between formation of large areas with low probabilities of increased burning and smaller, well-defined regions with reduced fire risk.

  12. Effects of large-scale wildfire on ground foraging ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matsuda, Tritia; Turschak, Greta; Brehme, Cheryl; Rochester, Carlton; Mitrovich, Milan; Fisher, Robert

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the effect of broad-scale wildfire on ground foraging ants within southern California. In October and November of 2003, two wildfires burned large portions of the wildlands within San Diego County. Between January 2005 and September 2006, we surveyed 63 plots across four sites to measure the effect of the fires on the ant assemblages present in four vegetation types: 1) coastal sage scrub, 2) chaparral, 3) grassland, and 4) woodland riparian. Thirty-six of the 63 plots were sampled before the fires between March 2001 and June 2003. Mixed model regression analyses, accounting for the burn history of each plot and our pre- and postfire sampling efforts, revealed that fire had a negative effect on ant species diversity. Multivariate analyses showed that ant community structure varied significantly among the four vegetation types, and only the ant assemblage associated with coastal sage scrub exhibited a significant difference between burned and unburned samples. The most notable change detected at the individual species level involved Messor andrei (Mayr), which increased from <1% of prefire coastal sage scrub ant samples to 32.1% in burned plots postfire. We theorize that M. andrei responded to the increase of bare ground and postfire seed production, leading to an increase in the detection rate for this species. Collectively, our results suggest that wildfires can have short-term impacts on the diversity and community structure of ground foraging ants in coastal sage scrub. We discuss these findings in relation to management implications and directions for future research.

  13. Effect of wildfires on physicochemical changes of watershed dissolved organic matter.

    PubMed

    Revchuk, Alex D; Suffet, I H

    2014-04-01

    Physicochemical characterization of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) provides essential data to describe watershed characteristics after drastic changes caused by wildfires. Post-fire watershed behavior is important for water source selection, management, and drinking water treatment optimization. Using ash and other burned vegetation fragments, a leaching procedure was implemented to describe physicochemical changes to watershed DOC caused by wildfires. Samples were collected after the 2007 and 2009 wildfires near Santa Barbara, California. Substantial differences in size distribution (measured by ultrafiltration), polarity (measured by polarity rapid assessment method), and the origin of leached DOC (measured by fluorescence) were observed between burned and unburned sites. Recently burned ash had 10 times the DOC leaching potential, and was dominated by large size fragments, compared to weathered 2-year-old ash. Charged DOC fractions were found to positively correlate with DOC size, whereas hydrophobic and hydrophilic DOC fractions were not. Proteins were only observed in recently burned ash and were indicative of recent post-fire biological activity.

  14. Impact of 2050 climate change on North American wildfire: consequences for ozone air quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, X.; Mickley, L. J.; Logan, J. A.; Hudman, R. C.; Martin, M. V.; Yantosca, R. M.

    2015-09-01

    We estimate future area burned in the Alaskan and Canadian forest by the mid-century (2046-2065) based on the simulated meteorology from 13 climate models under the A1B scenario. We develop ecoregion-dependent regressions using observed relationships between annual total area burned and a suite of meteorological variables and fire weather indices, and apply these regressions to the simulated meteorology. We find that for Alaska and western Canada, almost all models predict significant (p < 0.05) increases in area burned at the mid-century, with median values ranging from 150 to 390 %, depending on the ecoregion. Such changes are attributed to the higher surface air temperatures and 500 hPa geopotential heights relative to present day, which together lead to favorable conditions for wildfire spread. Elsewhere the model predictions are not as robust. For the central and southern Canadian ecoregions, the models predict increases in area burned of 45-90 %. Except for the Taiga Plain, where area burned decreases by 50 %, no robust trends are found in northern Canada, due to the competing effects of hotter weather and wetter conditions there. Using the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model, we find that changes in wildfire emissions alone increase mean summertime surface ozone levels by 5 ppbv for Alaska, 3 ppbv for Canada, and 1 ppbv for the western US by the mid-century. In the northwestern US states, local wildfire emissions at the mid-century enhance surface ozone by an average of 1 ppbv, while transport of boreal fire pollution further degrades ozone air quality by an additional 0.5 ppbv. The projected changes in wildfire activity increase daily summertime surface ozone above the 95th percentile by 1 ppbv in the northwestern US, 5 ppbv in the high latitudes of Canada, and 15 ppbv in Alaska, suggesting a greater frequency of pollution episodes in the future atmosphere.

  15. Towards an improvement of carbon accounting for wildfires: incorporation of charcoal production into carbon emission models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, Stefan H.; Santin, Cristina; de Groot, Bill

    2015-04-01

    Every year fires release to the atmosphere the equivalent to 20-30% of the carbon (C) emissions from fossil fuel consumption, with future emissions from wildfires expected to increase under a warming climate. Critically, however, part of the biomass C affected by fire is not emitted during burning, but converted into charcoal, which is very resistant to environmental degradation and, thus, contributes to long-term C sequestration. The magnitude of charcoal production from wildfires as a long-term C sink remains essentially unknown and, to the date, charcoal production has not been included in wildfire emission and C budget models. Here we present complete inventories of charcoal production in two fuel-rich, but otherwise very different ecosystems: i) a boreal conifer forest (experimental stand-replacing crown fire; Canada, 2012) and a dry eucalyptus forest (high-intensity fuel reduction burn; Australia 2014). Our data show that, when considering all the fuel components and quantifying all the charcoal produced from each (i.e. bark, dead wood debris, fine fuels), the overall amount of charcoal produced is significant: up to a third of the biomass C affected by fire. These findings indicate that charcoal production from wildfires could represent a major and currently unaccounted error in the estimation of the effects of wildfires in the global C balance. We suggest an initial approach to include charcoal production in C emission models, by using our case study of a boreal forest fire and the Canadian Fire Effects Model (CanFIRE). We also provide recommendations of how a 'conversion factor' for charcoal production could be relatively easily estimated when emission factors for different types of fuels and fire conditions are experimentally obtained. Ultimately, this presentation is a call for integrative collaboration between the fire emission modelling community and the charcoal community to work together towards the improvement of C accounting for wildfires.

  16. Effects of Wildfire on Fluvial Sediment Regime through Perturbations in Dry-Ravel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Florsheim, J. L.; Chin, A.; Kinoshita, A. M.; Nourbakhshbeidokhti, S.; Storesund, R.; Keller, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    In steep chaparral ecosystems with Mediterranean climate, dry ravel is a natural process resulting from wildfire disturbance that supplies sediment to fluvial systems. When dense chaparral vegetation burns, sediment accumulated on steep hillslopes is released for dry-season transport (dry ravel) down steep hillslopes during or soon after the wildfire. Results of a field study in southern California's Transverse Ranges illustrate the effect of wildfire on fluvial sediment regime in an unregulated chaparral system. Big Sycamore Canyon in the steep Santa Monica Mountains burned during the May 2013 Springs Fire and experienced one small sediment-transporting stormflow during the following winter. We conducted pre- and post-storm field campaigns during the fall and winter following the fire to quantify the effect of wildfire on the fluvial sediment regime. We utilized a sediment mass balance approach in which: 1) sediment supply, consisting primarily of dry ravel-derived deposits composed of relatively fine grained-sediment, was measured in the upstream basin and in the hillslope-channel margin adjacent to the study reach; 2) changes in storage in the study reach were quantified by analyzing the difference between pre- and post-storm channel topography derived from Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning (TLS) and field surveys; and 3) transport from the study reach was estimated as the difference between supply and change in storage where uncertainty is estimated using calculated sediment transport as a comparison. Results demonstrate channel deposition caused by changes in the short-term post-wildfire sediment regime. The increased sediment supply and storage are associated with significant changes in morphology, channel bed-material characteristics, and ecology. These results suggest that dry-ravel processes are an important factor to consider in post-wildfire sediment management.

  17. Epidemic cholera spreads like wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Manojit; Zinck, Richard D.; Bouma, Menno J.; Pascual, Mercedes

    2014-01-01

    Cholera is on the rise globally, especially epidemic cholera which is characterized by intermittent and unpredictable outbreaks that punctuate periods of regional disease fade-out. These epidemic dynamics remain however poorly understood. Here we examine records for epidemic cholera over both contemporary and historical timelines, from Africa (1990-2006) and former British India (1882-1939). We find that the frequency distribution of outbreak size is fat-tailed, scaling approximately as a power-law. This pattern which shows strong parallels with wildfires is incompatible with existing cholera models developed for endemic regions, as it implies a fundamental role for stochastic transmission and local depletion of susceptible hosts. Application of a recently developed forest-fire model indicates that epidemic cholera dynamics are located above a critical phase transition and propagate in similar ways to aggressive wildfires. These findings have implications for the effectiveness of control measures and the mechanisms that ultimately limit the size of outbreaks.

  18. Climate, CO2 and human population impacts on global wildfire emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knorr, W.; Jiang, L.; Arneth, A.

    2016-01-01

    Wildfires are by far the largest contributor to global biomass burning and constitute a large global source of atmospheric traces gases and aerosols. Such emissions have a considerable impact on air quality and constitute a major health hazard. Biomass burning also influences the radiative balance of the atmosphere and is thus not only of societal, but also of significant scientific interest. There is a common perception that climate change will lead to an increase in emissions as hot and dry weather events that promote wildfire will become more common. However, even though a few studies have found that the inclusion of CO2 fertilisation of photosynthesis and changes in human population patterns will tend to somewhat lower predictions of future wildfire emissions, no such study has included full ensemble ranges of both climate predictions and population projections, including the effect of different degrees of urbanisation.

    Here, we present a series of 124 simulations with the LPJ-GUESS-SIMFIRE global dynamic vegetation-wildfire model, including a semi-empirical formulation for the prediction of burned area based on fire weather, fuel continuity and human population density. The simulations use Climate Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) climate predictions from eight Earth system models. These were combined with two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and five scenarios of future human population density based on the series of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) to assess the sensitivity of emissions to the effect of climate, CO2 and humans. In addition, two alternative parameterisations of the semi-empirical burned-area model were applied. Contrary to previous work, we find no clear future trend of global wildfire emissions for the moderate emissions and climate change scenario based on the RCP 4.5. Only historical population change introduces a decline by around 15 % since 1900. Future emissions could either increase for low population

  19. 78 FR 21340 - Information Collection: Annual Wildfire Summary Report

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-10

    ... Forest Service Information Collection: Annual Wildfire Summary Report AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA... a currently approved information collection; Annual Wildfire Summary Report. DATES: Comments must be... of the year, including holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Annual Wildfire Summary...

  20. Modeling Wildfire Incident Complexity Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Matthew P.

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire management in the United States and elsewhere is challenged by substantial uncertainty regarding the location and timing of fire events, the socioeconomic and ecological consequences of these events, and the costs of suppression. Escalating U.S. Forest Service suppression expenditures is of particular concern at a time of fiscal austerity as swelling fire management budgets lead to decreases for non-fire programs, and as the likelihood of disruptive within-season borrowing potentially increases. Thus there is a strong interest in better understanding factors influencing suppression decisions and in turn their influence on suppression costs. As a step in that direction, this paper presents a probabilistic analysis of geographic and temporal variation in incident management team response to wildfires. The specific focus is incident complexity dynamics through time for fires managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The modeling framework is based on the recognition that large wildfire management entails recurrent decisions across time in response to changing conditions, which can be represented as a stochastic dynamic system. Daily incident complexity dynamics are modeled according to a first-order Markov chain, with containment represented as an absorbing state. A statistically significant difference in complexity dynamics between Forest Service Regions is demonstrated. Incident complexity probability transition matrices and expected times until containment are presented at national and regional levels. Results of this analysis can help improve understanding of geographic variation in incident management and associated cost structures, and can be incorporated into future analyses examining the economic efficiency of wildfire management. PMID:23691014

  1. A spatial database of wildfires in the United States, 1992-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Short, K. C.

    2014-01-01

    The statistical analysis of wildfire activity is a critical component of national wildfire planning, operations, and research in the United States (US). However, there are multiple federal, state, and local entities with wildfire protection and reporting responsibilities in the US, and no single, unified system of wildfire record keeping exists. To conduct even the most rudimentary interagency analyses of wildfire numbers and area burned from the authoritative systems of record, one must harvest records from dozens of disparate databases with inconsistent information content. The onus is then on the user to check for and purge redundant records of the same fire (i.e., multijurisdictional incidents with responses reported by several agencies or departments) after pooling data from different sources. Here we describe our efforts to acquire, standardize, error-check, compile, scrub, and evaluate the completeness of US federal, state, and local wildfire records from 1992-2011 for the national, interagency Fire Program Analysis (FPA) application. The resulting FPA Fire-Occurrence Database (FPA FOD) includes nearly 1.6 million records from the 20 yr period, with values for at least the following core data elements: location, at least as precise as a Public Land Survey System section (2.6 km2 grid), discovery date, and final fire size. The FPA FOD is publicly available from the Research Data Archive of the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (doi:10.2737/RDS-2013-0009). While necessarily incomplete in some aspects, the database is intended to facilitate fairly high-resolution geospatial analysis of US wildfire activity over the past two decades, based on available information from the authoritative systems of record.

  2. A spatial database of wildfires in the United States, 1992-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Short, K. C.

    2013-07-01

    The statistical analysis of wildfire activity is a critical component of national wildfire planning, operations, and research in the United States (US). However, there are multiple federal, state, and local entities with wildfire protection and reporting responsibilities in the US, and no single, unified system of wildfire record-keeping exists. To conduct even the most rudimentary interagency analyses of wildfire numbers and area burned from the authoritative systems of record, one must harvest records from dozens of disparate databases with inconsistent information content. The onus is then on the user to check for and purge redundant records of the same fire (i.e. multijurisdictional incidents with responses reported by several agencies or departments) after pooling data from different sources. Here we describe our efforts to acquire, standardize, error-check, compile, scrub, and evaluate the completeness of US federal, state, and local wildfire records from 1992-2011 for the national, interagency Fire Program Analysis (FPA) application. The resulting FPA Fire-occurrence Database (FPA FOD) includes nearly 1.6 million records from the 20 yr period, with values for at least the following core data elements: location at least as precise as a Public Land Survey System section (2.6 km2 grid), discovery date, and final fire size. The FPA FOD is publicly available from the Research Data Archive of the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (doi:10.2737/RDS-2013-0009). While necessarily incomplete in some aspects, the database is intended to facilitate fairly high-resolution geospatial analysis of US wildfire activity over the past two decades, based on available information from the authoritative systems of record.

  3. The Effect of Wildfire on Soil Mercury Concentrations in Southern California Watersheds.

    PubMed

    Burke, Megan P; Hogue, Terri S; Ferreira, Marcia; Mendez, Carolina B; Navarro, Bridget; Lopez, Sonya; Jay, Jennifer A

    2010-10-01

    Mercury (Hg) stored in vegetation and soils is known to be released to the atmosphere during wildfires, increasing atmospheric stores and altering terrestrial budgets. Increased erosion and transport of sediments is well-documented in burned watersheds, both immediately post-fire and as the watershed recovers; however, understanding post-fire mobilization of soil Hg within burned watersheds remains elusive. The goal of the current study is to better understand the impact of wildfire on soil-bound Hg during the immediate post-fire period as well as during recovery, in order to assess the potential for sediment-driven transport to and within surface waters in burned watersheds. Soils were collected from three southern California watersheds of similar vegetation and soil characteristics that experienced wildfire. Sampling in one of these watersheds was extended for several seasons (1.5 years) in order to investigate temporal changes in soil Hg concentrations. Laboratory analysis included bulk soil total Hg concentrations and total organic carbon of burned and unburned samples. Soils were also fractionated into a subset of grain sizes with analysis of Hg on each fraction. Low Hg concentrations were observed in surface soils immediately post-fire. Accumulation of Hg coincident with moderate vegetative recovery was observed in the burned surface soils 1 year following the fire, and mobilization was also noted during the second winter (rainy) season. Hg concentrations were highest in the fine-grained fraction of unburned soils; however, in the burned soils, the distribution of soil-bound Hg was less influenced by grain size. The accelerated accumulation of Hg observed in the burned soils, along with the elevated risk of erosion, could result in increased delivery of organic- or particulate-bound Hg to surface waters in post-fire systems.

  4. The Effect of Wildfire on Soil Mercury Concentrations in Southern California Watersheds

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Marcia; Mendez, Carolina B.; Navarro, Bridget; Lopez, Sonya; Jay, Jennifer A.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) stored in vegetation and soils is known to be released to the atmosphere during wildfires, increasing atmospheric stores and altering terrestrial budgets. Increased erosion and transport of sediments is well-documented in burned watersheds, both immediately post-fire and as the watershed recovers; however, understanding post-fire mobilization of soil Hg within burned watersheds remains elusive. The goal of the current study is to better understand the impact of wildfire on soil-bound Hg during the immediate post-fire period as well as during recovery, in order to assess the potential for sediment-driven transport to and within surface waters in burned watersheds. Soils were collected from three southern California watersheds of similar vegetation and soil characteristics that experienced wildfire. Sampling in one of these watersheds was extended for several seasons (1.5 years) in order to investigate temporal changes in soil Hg concentrations. Laboratory analysis included bulk soil total Hg concentrations and total organic carbon of burned and unburned samples. Soils were also fractionated into a subset of grain sizes with analysis of Hg on each fraction. Low Hg concentrations were observed in surface soils immediately post-fire. Accumulation of Hg coincident with moderate vegetative recovery was observed in the burned surface soils 1 year following the fire, and mobilization was also noted during the second winter (rainy) season. Hg concentrations were highest in the fine-grained fraction of unburned soils; however, in the burned soils, the distribution of soil-bound Hg was less influenced by grain size. The accelerated accumulation of Hg observed in the burned soils, along with the elevated risk of erosion, could result in increased delivery of organic- or particulate-bound Hg to surface waters in post-fire systems. PMID:20936165

  5. Impacts of a Wildfire on Road Surface Erosion and Road-stream Connectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sosa-Perez, G.; MacDonald, L. H.

    2015-12-01

    Unpaved roads are a major hydrologic disturbance and source of sediment in forested watersheds. High- and moderate-severity wildfires should increase road sediment production due to the increased surface runoff from upslope, and increase road-stream connectivity due to the increased runoff and decrease in downslope surface roughness, but there has been no study of these interactions. Hence the goal of this study was to quantify how fire severity affects road surface erosion features and road-stream connectivity. Detailed data were collected one year after the High Park wildfire along 6.8 km of an unpaved road west of Fort Collins, Colorado. Road segments below areas burned at high and moderate severity had significantly more rills than segments below areas burned at low severity. Road segment slope was an increasingly important control on the proportion of segment length with rills with increasing burn severity, and this is consistent with the known increases in surface runoff. Flatter road segments acted as barriers that accumulated sediment eroded from the hillslopes above the road. All of the road segments in areas burned at high and moderate severity had drainage features that extended to a stream, and 78% of the segments in areas burned at low severity were connected. These exceptionally high rates of road-stream connectivity are attributed to the increased runoff from upslope, the concentration of that runoff by the road surface to a single drainage point, and the reduced infiltration and trapping capacity of the burned area below the road. The results show the need to either outslope the roads or increase the frequency of constructed drainage features after wildfires, particularly for the steeper road segments in areas burned at high or moderate severity.

  6. Succession Stages of Tundra Plant Communities Following Wildfire Disturbance in Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breen, A. L.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Jones, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid climate change is affecting climate-sensitive disturbance regimes throughout the world. In particular, the impacts of climate change on Arctic disturbance regimes are poorly understood because landscape-scale disturbances are infrequent or occur in remote localities. Wildfire in Arctic Alaska is presently limited by ignition source and favorable burn weather. With rapid climate change, a lengthening growing season, and subsequent increase in plant biomass and productivity, wildfire frequency and annual area burned in tundra ecosystems is expected to increase over the next century. Yet, post-fire tundra vegetation succession is inadequately characterized except at a few point locations. We identify succession stages of tussock tundra communities following wildfire using a chronosequence of 65 relevés in 10 tundra fire scars (1971-2011) and nearby unburned tundra from sites on the Seward Peninsula and northern foothills of the Brooks Range. We used the Braun-Blanquét approach to classify plant communities, and applied nonmetric multidimentional scaling (NMDS) to identify ecological gradients underlying community differentiation. The ordination revealed a clear differentiation between unburned and burned tundra communities. Ecological gradients, reflected by ordination axes, correspond to fire history (e.g., time since last fire, number of times burned, burn severity) and a complex productivity gradient. Post-fire species richness is less than unburned tundra; primarily reflected as a decrease in lichen species and turnover of bryophyte species immediately post-fire. Species richness of grasses increases post-fire and is greatest in communities that burned more than once in the past 30 years. Shrub cover and total aboveground biomass are greatest in repeat burn sites. We review and discuss our results focusing on the implications of a changing tundra fire regime, its effect on vegetation succession trajectories, and subsequent rates of carbon sequestration and

  7. Understanding the transmission of wildfire risk on a fire prone landscape - A Case study from Central Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ager, Alan; Barros, Ana; Day, Michelle; Preisler, Haiganoush; Evers, Cody

    2015-04-01

    We develop the idea of risk transmission from large wildfires and apply network analyses to understand its importance within the 3.2 million ha Fire-People-Forest study area in central Oregon, US. Historic wildfires within the study and elsewhere in the western US frequently burn over long distances (e.g., 20-50 km) through highly fragmented landscapes with respect to ownership, fuels, management intensity, population density, and ecological conditions. The collective arrangement of fuel loadings in concert with weather and suppression efforts ultimately determines containment and the resulting fire perimeter. While spatial interactions among land parcels in terms of fire spread and intensity have been frequently noted by fire managers, quantifying risk and exposure transmission is not well understood. In this paper we used simulation modeling to quantify wildfire transmission and built a transmission network among and within land owners and communities within the study area. The results suggested that 84% of the predicted area burned within the 25 communities in the study area was from simulated fires that ignited on federal lands. The wildland urban interface surrounding the communities was predicted to burn at a rate of 2 % per year, with 57% of the area burned from fires ignited on federal lands. The node degree for communities indicated that simulated fires originated on about 6 different landowners. Network analyses in general revealed independent variation in transmitted fire among landowners in terms of both node degree (diversity of landowners exchanging fire) and transmitted fire, indicating that both the spatial grain of land ownership and wildfire topology contribute to transmission among land parcels. We discuss how network analyses of wildfire transmission can inform fire management goals for creating fire adapted communities, conserving biodiversity, and resolving competing demands for fire-prone ecosystem services. We also discuss how biophysical

  8. Metagenomic assessment of the potential microbial nitrogen pathways in the rhizosphere of a mediterranean forest after a wildfire.

    PubMed

    Cobo-Díaz, José F; Fernández-González, Antonio J; Villadas, Pablo J; Robles, Ana B; Toro, Nicolás; Fernández-López, Manuel

    2015-05-01

    Wildfires are frequent in the forests of the Mediterranean Basin and have greatly influenced this ecosystem. Changes to the physical and chemical properties of the soil, due to fire and post-fire conditions, result in alterations of both the bacterial communities and the nitrogen cycle. We explored the effects of a holm oak forest wildfire on the rhizospheric bacterial communities involved in the nitrogen cycle. Metagenomic data of the genes involved in the nitrogen cycle showed that both the undisturbed and burned rhizospheres had a conservative nitrogen cycle with a larger number of sequences related to the nitrogen incorporation pathways and a lower number for nitrogen output. However, the burned rhizosphere showed a statistically significant increase in the number of sequences for nitrogen incorporation (allantoin utilization and nitrogen fixation) and a significantly lower number of sequences for denitrification and dissimilatory nitrite reductase subsystems, possibly in order to compensate for nitrogen loss from the soil after burning. The genetic potential for nitrogen incorporation into the ecosystem was assessed through the diversity of the nitrogenase reductase enzyme, which is encoded by the nifH gene. We found that nifH gene diversity and richness were lower in burned than in undisturbed rhizospheric soils. The structure of the bacterial communities involved in the nitrogen cycle showed a statistically significant increase of Actinobacteria and Firmicutes phyla after the wildfire. Both approaches showed the important role of gram-positive bacteria in the ecosystem after a wildfire.

  9. Evaluation of regionally-collected sideoats grama and big galleta grass for wildfire revegetation in the Eastern Upper Mojave Desert

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased wildfires in the western U.S. are due to the cyclic accumulation and burning of invasive annual plants such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and red brome (B. rubens), which reduces native rangeland species and results in servere economic losses and land degradation. Fire was not prevalent...

  10. Evaluation of regionally-collected sideoats grams and big galleta grass for wildfire revegetation in the Eastern Upper Mojave Desert

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased wildfires in the western U.S. are due to the cyclic accumulation and burning of invasive annual plants such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and red brome (B. rubens), which reduces native rangeland species and results in severe economic losses and land degradation. Fire was not prevalent ...

  11. Metagenomic assessment of the potential microbial nitrogen pathways in the rhizosphere of a mediterranean forest after a wildfire.

    PubMed

    Cobo-Díaz, José F; Fernández-González, Antonio J; Villadas, Pablo J; Robles, Ana B; Toro, Nicolás; Fernández-López, Manuel

    2015-05-01

    Wildfires are frequent in the forests of the Mediterranean Basin and have greatly influenced this ecosystem. Changes to the physical and chemical properties of the soil, due to fire and post-fire conditions, result in alterations of both the bacterial communities and the nitrogen cycle. We explored the effects of a holm oak forest wildfire on the rhizospheric bacterial communities involved in the nitrogen cycle. Metagenomic data of the genes involved in the nitrogen cycle showed that both the undisturbed and burned rhizospheres had a conservative nitrogen cycle with a larger number of sequences related to the nitrogen incorporation pathways and a lower number for nitrogen output. However, the burned rhizosphere showed a statistically significant increase in the number of sequences for nitrogen incorporation (allantoin utilization and nitrogen fixation) and a significantly lower number of sequences for denitrification and dissimilatory nitrite reductase subsystems, possibly in order to compensate for nitrogen loss from the soil after burning. The genetic potential for nitrogen incorporation into the ecosystem was assessed through the diversity of the nitrogenase reductase enzyme, which is encoded by the nifH gene. We found that nifH gene diversity and richness were lower in burned than in undisturbed rhizospheric soils. The structure of the bacterial communities involved in the nitrogen cycle showed a statistically significant increase of Actinobacteria and Firmicutes phyla after the wildfire. Both approaches showed the important role of gram-positive bacteria in the ecosystem after a wildfire. PMID:25732259

  12. Wildfires, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity in Tropical Dry Forest in India.

    PubMed

    Schmerbeck, Joachim; Fiener, Peter

    2015-08-01

    This review is intended to contribute to the understanding of the interlinkage between wildfire in India's tropical dry forest (TDF) and selected ecosystem services (ES), namely forest provisioning and water regulating services, as well as biodiversity. TDF covers approximately 146,000 km(2) (4.4%) of India, whereas according to the MODIS fire product about 2200 km(2) (1.4%) burns per year. As studies on wildfire effects upon ESs and biodiversity in Indian TDFs are rare we partly transferred findings from other (dry) forest areas to the environmental situation in India. In India (intentionally lit) wildfires have a very important connection to local livelihoods and the availability of non-wood forest products. Very important adverse long-term effects are the deterioration of forest ecosystems and soil degradation. The potential for TDF to regulate hydrological cycles is expected to be greater in the absence of fire than with it. A general judgment on the effect of fire on biodiversity is difficult as it depends on the community and species involved but a loss of biodiversity under regular burnings is apparent. Consequently, forest managers need sound knowledge regarding the interplay of wildfires and ecosystem behavior in general and more specific knowledge regarding the effects on taxa being considered for conservation efforts. Generally, much more research is needed to understand the trade-offs between the short-term benefits gained from forest provisioning services and long-term adverse effects. PMID:25900601

  13. Wildfires, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity in Tropical Dry Forest in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmerbeck, Joachim; Fiener, Peter

    2015-08-01

    This review is intended to contribute to the understanding of the interlinkage between wildfire in India's tropical dry forest (TDF) and selected ecosystem services (ES), namely forest provisioning and water regulating services, as well as biodiversity. TDF covers approximately 146,000 km2 (4.4 %) of India, whereas according to the MODIS fire product about 2200 km2 (1.4 %) burns per year. As studies on wildfire effects upon ESs and biodiversity in Indian TDFs are rare we partly transferred findings from other (dry) forest areas to the environmental situation in India. In India (intentionally lit) wildfires have a very important connection to local livelihoods and the availability of non-wood forest products. Very important adverse long-term effects are the deterioration of forest ecosystems and soil degradation. The potential for TDF to regulate hydrological cycles is expected to be greater in the absence of fire than with it. A general judgment on the effect of fire on biodiversity is difficult as it depends on the community and species involved but a loss of biodiversity under regular burnings is apparent. Consequently, forest managers need sound knowledge regarding the interplay of wildfires and ecosystem behavior in general and more specific knowledge regarding the effects on taxa being considered for conservation efforts. Generally, much more research is needed to understand the trade-offs between the short-term benefits gained from forest provisioning services and long-term adverse effects.

  14. Wildfires, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity in Tropical Dry Forest in India.

    PubMed

    Schmerbeck, Joachim; Fiener, Peter

    2015-08-01

    This review is intended to contribute to the understanding of the interlinkage between wildfire in India's tropical dry forest (TDF) and selected ecosystem services (ES), namely forest provisioning and water regulating services, as well as biodiversity. TDF covers approximately 146,000 km(2) (4.4%) of India, whereas according to the MODIS fire product about 2200 km(2) (1.4%) burns per year. As studies on wildfire effects upon ESs and biodiversity in Indian TDFs are rare we partly transferred findings from other (dry) forest areas to the environmental situation in India. In India (intentionally lit) wildfires have a very important connection to local livelihoods and the availability of non-wood forest products. Very important adverse long-term effects are the deterioration of forest ecosystems and soil degradation. The potential for TDF to regulate hydrological cycles is expected to be greater in the absence of fire than with it. A general judgment on the effect of fire on biodiversity is difficult as it depends on the community and species involved but a loss of biodiversity under regular burnings is apparent. Consequently, forest managers need sound knowledge regarding the interplay of wildfires and ecosystem behavior in general and more specific knowledge regarding the effects on taxa being considered for conservation efforts. Generally, much more research is needed to understand the trade-offs between the short-term benefits gained from forest provisioning services and long-term adverse effects.

  15. The 2007 southern California wildfires: Lessons in complexity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Safford, H.; Fotheringham, C.J.; Franklin, J.; Moritz, M.

    2009-01-01

    The 2007 wildfire season in southern California burned over 1,000,000 ac (400,000 ha) and included several megafires. We use the 2007 fires as a case study to draw three major lessons about wildfires and wildfire complexity in southern California. First, the great majority of large fires in southern California occur in the autumn under the influence of Santa Ana windstorms. These fires also cost the most to contain and cause the most damage to life and property, and the October 2007 fires were no exception because thousands of homes were lost and seven people were killed. Being pushed by wind gusts over 100 kph, young fuels presented little barrier to their spread as the 2007 fires reburned considerable portions of the area burned in the historic 2003 fire season. Adding to the size of these fires was the historic 2006-2007 drought that contributed to high dead fuel loads and long distance spotting. As in 2003, young chaparral stands and fuel treatments were not reliable barriers to fire in October 2007. Second, the Zaca Fire in July and August 2007 showed that other factors besides high winds can sometimes combine to create conditions for large fires in southern California. Spring and summer fires in southern California chaparral are usually easily contained because of higher fuel moisture and the general lack of high winds. However, the Zaca Fire burned in a remote wilderness area of rugged terrain that made access difficult. In addition, because of its remoteness, anthropogenic ignitions have been low and stand age and fuel loads were high. Coupled with this was severe drought that year that generated fuel moisture levels considerably below normal for early summer. A third lesson comes from 2007 conifer forest fires in the southern California mountains. In contrast to lower elevation chaparral, fire suppression has led to major increases in conifer forest fuels that can lead to unnaturally severe fires when ignitions escape control. The Slide and Grass Valley

  16. Wildfire Danger Potential in California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kafatos, M.; Myoung, B.; Kim, S. H.; Fujioka, F. M.; Kim, J.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfires are an important concern in California (CA) which is characterized by the semi-arid to arid climate and vegetation types. Highly variable winter precipitation and extended hot and dry warm season in the region challenge an effective strategic fire management. Climatologically, the fire season which is based on live fuel moisture (LFM) of generally below 80% in Los Angeles County spans 4 months from mid-July to mid-November, but it has lasted over 7 months in the past several years. This behavior is primarily due to the ongoing drought in CA during the last decade, which is responsible for frequent outbreaks of severe wildfires in the region. Despite their importance, scientific advances for the recent changes in wildfire risk and effective assessments of wildfire risk are lacking. In the present study, we show impacts of large-scale atmospheric circulations on an early start and then extended length of fire seasons. For example, the strong relationships of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) with springtime temperature and precipitation in the SWUS that was recently revealed by our team members have led to an examination of the possible impact of NAO on wildfire danger in the spring. Our results show that the abnormally warm and dry spring conditions associated with positive NAO phases can cause an early start of a fire season and high fire risks throughout the summer and fall. For an effective fire danger assessment, we have tested the capability of satellite vegetation indices (VIs) in replicating in situ LFM of Southern CA chaparral ecosystems by 1) comparing seasonal/interannual characteristics of in-situ LFM with VIs and 2) developing an empirical model function of LFM. Unlike previous studies attempting a point-to-point comparison, we attempt to examine the LFM relationship with VIs averaged over different areal coverage with chamise-dominant grids (i.e., 0.5 km to 25 km radius circles). Lastly, we discuss implications of the results for fire danger

  17. Wildfire Suppression Costs for Canada under a Changing Climate

    PubMed Central

    Stocks, Brian J.; Gauthier, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Climate-influenced changes in fire regimes in northern temperate and boreal regions will have both ecological and economic ramifications. We examine possible future wildfire area burned and suppression costs using a recently compiled historical (i.e., 1980–2009) fire management cost database for Canada and several Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate projections. Area burned was modelled as a function of a climate moisture index (CMI), and fire suppression costs then estimated as a function of area burned. Future estimates of area burned were generated from projections of the CMI under two emissions pathways for four General Circulation Models (GCMs); these estimates were constrained to ecologically reasonable values by incorporating a minimum fire return interval of 20 years. Total average annual national fire management costs are projected to increase to just under $1 billion (a 60% real increase from the 1980–2009 period) under the low greenhouse gas emissions pathway and $1.4 billion (119% real increase from the base period) under the high emissions pathway by the end of the century. For many provinces, annual costs that are currently considered extreme (i.e., occur once every ten years) are projected to become commonplace (i.e., occur once every two years or more often) as the century progresses. It is highly likely that evaluations of current wildland fire management paradigms will be necessary to avoid drastic and untenable cost increases as the century progresses. PMID:27513660

  18. Wildfire Suppression Costs for Canada under a Changing Climate.

    PubMed

    Hope, Emily S; McKenney, Daniel W; Pedlar, John H; Stocks, Brian J; Gauthier, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Climate-influenced changes in fire regimes in northern temperate and boreal regions will have both ecological and economic ramifications. We examine possible future wildfire area burned and suppression costs using a recently compiled historical (i.e., 1980-2009) fire management cost database for Canada and several Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate projections. Area burned was modelled as a function of a climate moisture index (CMI), and fire suppression costs then estimated as a function of area burned. Future estimates of area burned were generated from projections of the CMI under two emissions pathways for four General Circulation Models (GCMs); these estimates were constrained to ecologically reasonable values by incorporating a minimum fire return interval of 20 years. Total average annual national fire management costs are projected to increase to just under $1 billion (a 60% real increase from the 1980-2009 period) under the low greenhouse gas emissions pathway and $1.4 billion (119% real increase from the base period) under the high emissions pathway by the end of the century. For many provinces, annual costs that are currently considered extreme (i.e., occur once every ten years) are projected to become commonplace (i.e., occur once every two years or more often) as the century progresses. It is highly likely that evaluations of current wildland fire management paradigms will be necessary to avoid drastic and untenable cost increases as the century progresses. PMID:27513660

  19. Wildfire Suppression Costs for Canada under a Changing Climate.

    PubMed

    Hope, Emily S; McKenney, Daniel W; Pedlar, John H; Stocks, Brian J; Gauthier, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Climate-influenced changes in fire regimes in northern temperate and boreal regions will have both ecological and economic ramifications. We examine possible future wildfire area burned and suppression costs using a recently compiled historical (i.e., 1980-2009) fire management cost database for Canada and several Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate projections. Area burned was modelled as a function of a climate moisture index (CMI), and fire suppression costs then estimated as a function of area burned. Future estimates of area burned were generated from projections of the CMI under two emissions pathways for four General Circulation Models (GCMs); these estimates were constrained to ecologically reasonable values by incorporating a minimum fire return interval of 20 years. Total average annual national fire management costs are projected to increase to just under $1 billion (a 60% real increase from the 1980-2009 period) under the low greenhouse gas emissions pathway and $1.4 billion (119% real increase from the base period) under the high emissions pathway by the end of the century. For many provinces, annual costs that are currently considered extreme (i.e., occur once every ten years) are projected to become commonplace (i.e., occur once every two years or more often) as the century progresses. It is highly likely that evaluations of current wildland fire management paradigms will be necessary to avoid drastic and untenable cost increases as the century progresses.

  20. The Influence of Wildfire on Hillslope Geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rengers, F. K.; Inbar, A.; Sheridan, G. J.; Nyman, P.

    2014-12-01

    In southeastern Australia wildfire occurs regularly, resulting in increased hillslope erosion. However, post-wildfire erosion processes differ depending on hillslope aspect. Equatorial (north)-facing slopes are drier than polar (south)-facing slopes and experience overland flow erosion after wildfire. By contrast, overland flow is not an active process on polar-facing slopes, even after high-intensity wildfires. These differences in post-wildfire erosion processes are accompanied by observations that slope angle and curvature also differ by hillslope aspect. An airborne LiDAR dataset flown over our study area in the Kinglake National Park, Victoria shows that the mean slope angle of polar-facing slopes is nearly 5 degrees steeper than equatorial-facing slopes. We have sought to test the hypothesis that aspect differences in post-wildfire erosion processes are sufficient to create differences in hillslope geometry. In order to test this hypothesis, we use a simple 1D model that simulates hillslope evolution over thousands of years. We limit our model to low-drainage area hillslopes where debris-flows are unlikely to occur. Erosion is modeled as nonlinear diffusion regardless of aspect during non-wildfire model years. Wildfire is modeled by changing the erosional processes on each slope aspect to reflect the effects of post-wildfire erosion according to a wildfire recurrence interval. For two years following a model wildfire we allow overland flow erosion to erode equatorial-facing slopes, whereas polar-facing slopes erode according to nonlinear diffusion for only one year following a wildfire. The erosion parameters on the polar-facing slopes are changed during this period to reflect higher post-wildfire erosion. In addition to erosional processes, we use an exponential soil production law to simulate new soil formation every model year. Our preliminary results suggest that changes in erosional magnitude associated with the different wildfire erosional processes are

  1. Area burned in the western United States is unaffected by recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks.

    PubMed

    Hart, Sarah J; Schoennagel, Tania; Veblen, Thomas T; Chapman, Teresa B

    2015-04-01

    In the western United States, mountain pine beetles (MPBs) have killed pine trees across 71,000 km(2) of forest since the mid-1990s, leading to widespread concern that abundant dead fuels may increase area burned and exacerbate fire behavior. Although stand-level fire behavior models suggest that bark beetle-induced tree mortality increases flammability of stands by changing canopy and forest floor fuels, the actual effect of an MPB outbreak on subsequent wildfire activity remains widely debated. To address this knowledge gap, we superimposed areas burned on areas infested by MPBs for the three peak years of wildfire activity since 2002 across the western United States. Here, we show that the observed effect of MPB infestation on the area burned in years of extreme fire appears negligible at broad spatial extents. Contrary to the expectation of increased wildfire activity in recently infested red-stage stands, we found no difference between observed area and expected area burned in red-stage or subsequent gray-stage stands during three peak years of wildfire activity, which account for 46% of area burned during the 2002-2013 period. Although MPB infestation and fire activity both independently increased in conjunction with recent warming, our results demonstrate that the annual area burned in the western United States has not increased in direct response to bark beetle activity. Therefore, policy discussions should focus on societal adaptation to the effects of recent increases in wildfire activity related to increased drought severity. PMID:25831541

  2. Area burned in the western United States is unaffected by recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Sarah J.; Schoennagel, Tania; Veblen, Thomas T.; Chapman, Teresa B.

    2015-01-01

    In the western United States, mountain pine beetles (MPBs) have killed pine trees across 71,000 km2 of forest since the mid-1990s, leading to widespread concern that abundant dead fuels may increase area burned and exacerbate fire behavior. Although stand-level fire behavior models suggest that bark beetle-induced tree mortality increases flammability of stands by changing canopy and forest floor fuels, the actual effect of an MPB outbreak on subsequent wildfire activity remains widely debated. To address this knowledge gap, we superimposed areas burned on areas infested by MPBs for the three peak years of wildfire activity since 2002 across the western United States. Here, we show that the observed effect of MPB infestation on the area burned in years of extreme fire appears negligible at broad spatial extents. Contrary to the expectation of increased wildfire activity in recently infested red-stage stands, we found no difference between observed area and expected area burned in red-stage or subsequent gray-stage stands during three peak years of wildfire activity, which account for 46% of area burned during the 2002–2013 period. Although MPB infestation and fire activity both independently increased in conjunction with recent warming, our results demonstrate that the annual area burned in the western United States has not increased in direct response to bark beetle activity. Therefore, policy discussions should focus on societal adaptation to the effects of recent increases in wildfire activity related to increased drought severity. PMID:25831541

  3. Area burned in the western United States is unaffected by recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks.

    PubMed

    Hart, Sarah J; Schoennagel, Tania; Veblen, Thomas T; Chapman, Teresa B

    2015-04-01

    In the western United States, mountain pine beetles (MPBs) have killed pine trees across 71,000 km(2) of forest since the mid-1990s, leading to widespread concern that abundant dead fuels may increase area burned and exacerbate fire behavior. Although stand-level fire behavior models suggest that bark beetle-induced tree mortality increases flammability of stands by changing canopy and forest floor fuels, the actual effect of an MPB outbreak on subsequent wildfire activity remains widely debated. To address this knowledge gap, we superimposed areas burned on areas infested by MPBs for the three peak years of wildfire activity since 2002 across the western United States. Here, we show that the observed effect of MPB infestation on the area burned in years of extreme fire appears negligible at broad spatial extents. Contrary to the expectation of increased wildfire activity in recently infested red-stage stands, we found no difference between observed area and expected area burned in red-stage or subsequent gray-stage stands during three peak years of wildfire activity, which account for 46% of area burned during the 2002-2013 period. Although MPB infestation and fire activity both independently increased in conjunction with recent warming, our results demonstrate that the annual area burned in the western United States has not increased in direct response to bark beetle activity. Therefore, policy discussions should focus on societal adaptation to the effects of recent increases in wildfire activity related to increased drought severity.

  4. Automated Wildfire Detection Through Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Jerry; Borne, Kirk; Thomas, Brian; Huang, Zhenping; Chi, Yuechen

    2005-01-01

    Wildfires have a profound impact upon the biosphere and our society in general. They cause loss of life, destruction of personal property and natural resources and alter the chemistry of the atmosphere. In response to the concern over the consequences of wildland fire and to support the fire management community, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) located in Camp Springs, Maryland gradually developed an operational system to routinely monitor wildland fire by satellite observations. The Hazard Mapping System, as it is known today, allows a team of trained fire analysts to examine and integrate, on a daily basis, remote sensing data from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite sensors and generate a 24 hour fire product for the conterminous United States. Although assisted by automated fire detection algorithms, N O M has not been able to eliminate the human element from their fire detection procedures. As a consequence, the manually intensive effort has prevented NOAA from transitioning to a global fire product as urged particularly by climate modelers. NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland is helping N O M more fully automate the Hazard Mapping System by training neural networks to mimic the decision-making process of the frre analyst team as well as the automated algorithms.

  5. Modeling post-wildfire fluvial incision and terrace formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rengers, F. K.; Tucker, G. E.

    2013-12-01

    Wildfires often lead to rapid erosion, sedimentation, and morphologic change. One of the challenges in developing quantitative models of post-fire landscape dynamics is a lack of high-quality datasets that document fluvial system evolution in the years to decades following a destructive fire. This study takes advantage of a natural experiment in post-fire fluvial incision to explore how the magnitude and timing of large flow events following a wildfire can change fluvial channel patterns. The study site is the Spring Creek watershed located in the foothills of central Colorado approximately 26 miles southwest of Denver, Colorado. The site burned during the Buffalo Creek wildfire, which was contained in May 1996. Within the Spring Creek watershed, 79% of the basin was burned and 63% of the burned area was considered high severity (Moody and Martin, 2001). In July 1996 a large rain storm hit the burned watershed and 110 mm of rain fell in one hour (Jarrett, 2001). This storm was larger than the estimated 100-year rainfall intensity of 60 mm/hr. Due to the increased surface erodibility after the wildfire, rapid erosion occurred within the watershed, while the main valley of Spring Creek aggraded with up to 2 m of sediment after this storm. Spring Creek has been incising through this post-wildfire sediment since the 1996 storm, and the terraces from this initial storm are still prevalent and identifiable along the valley. Repeated measurements of valley cross-sections since 1996 provide a comprehensive dataset for testing models of fluvial-system evolution on a decadal time scale. We hypothesize that the current channel pattern results from the specific sequence of rain events that occurred within the four years after the initial 1996 storm filled the valley with sediment. This hypothesis was tested using a two-dimensional coupled model of shallow-water flow, sediment transport, and topographic evolution. Discharge data were obtained from a stream gage installed at

  6. Sediment availability on burned hillslopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyman, Petter; Sheridan, Gary J.; Moody, John A.; Smith, Hugh G.; Noske, Philip J.; Lane, Patrick N. J.

    2013-12-01

    describes the inherent resistance of soil to erosion. Hillslope erosion models typically consider erodibility to be constant with depth. This may not be the case after wildfire because erodibility is partly determined by the availability of noncohesive soil and ash at the surface. This study quantifies erodibility of burned soils using methods that explicitly capture variations in soil properties with depth. Flume experiments on intact cores from three sites in western United States showed that erodibility of fire-affected soil was highest at the soil surface and declined exponentially within the top 20 mm of the soil profile, with root density and soil depth accounting for 62% of the variation. Variation in erodibility with depth resulted in transient sediment flux during erosion experiments on bounded field plots. Material that contributed to transient flux was conceptualized as a layer of noncohesive material of variable depth (dnc). This depth was related to shear strength measurements and sampled spatially to obtain the probability distribution of noncohesive material as a function of depth below the surface. After wildfire in southeast Australia, the initial dnc ranged from 7.5 to 9.1 mm, which equated to 97-117 Mg ha-1 of noncohesive material. The depth decreased exponentially with time since wildfire to 0.4 mm (or < 5 Mg ha-1) after 3 years of recovery. The results are organized into a framework for modeling fire effects on erodibility as a function of the production and depletion of the noncohesive layer overlying a cohesive layer.

  7. Temporal variations of disinfection byproduct precursors in wildfire detritus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun-Jian; Dahlgren, Randy A; Erşan, Mahmut S; Karanfil, Tanju; Chow, Alex T

    2016-08-01

    The Rim Fire ignited on August 17, 2013 and became the third largest wildfire in California history. The fire consumed 104,131 ha of forested watersheds that were the drinking water source for 2.6 million residents in the San Francisco Bay area. To understand temporal variations in dissolved organic matter (DOM) after the wildfire and its potential impacts on disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation in source water supply, we collected the 0-5 cm ash/soil layer with surface deposits of white ash (high burn severity) and black ash (moderate burn severity) within the Rim Fire perimeter in Oct 2013 (pre-rainfall) for five sequential extractions, and in Dec 2013 (∼87 mm cumulative precipitation) and Aug 2014 (∼617 mm cumulative precipitation) for a single water extraction. Water-extractable DOM was characterized by absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy and DBP formation tests. Both increasing cumulative precipitation in the field or number of extractions in the lab resulted in a significant decrease in specific conductivity, dissolved organic carbon, and DBP formation potential, but an increase in DOM aromaticity (reflected by specific UV absorbance). However, the lab sequential leaching failed to capture the increase of the NOx(-)-N/NH4(+)-N ratio and the decrease in pH and dissolved organic carbon/nitrogen ratio of ash/soil extracts from Oct 2013 to Aug 2014. Increasing cumulative precipitation, inferring an increase in leaching after fire, led to an increase in DOM reactivity to form trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, and chloral hydrate, but not for haloketones, haloacetonitrile, or N-nitrosodimethylamine, which were more related to the original burn severity. This study highlights that fire-affected DBP precursors for different DBP species have distinct temporal variation possibly due to their various sensitivity to biogeochemical alterations.

  8. Water resources planning for a river basin with recurrent wildfires.

    PubMed

    Santos, R M B; Sanches Fernandes, L F; Pereira, M G; Cortes, R M V; Pacheco, F A L

    2015-09-01

    Situated in the north of Portugal, the Beça River basin is subject to recurrent wildfires, which produce serious consequences on soil erosion and nutrient exports, namely by deteriorating the water quality in the basin. In the present study, the ECO Lab tool embedded in the Mike Hydro Basin software was used for the evaluation of river water quality, in particular the dissolved concentration of phosphorus in the period 1990-2013. The phosphorus concentrations are influenced by the burned area and the river flow discharge, but the hydrologic conditions prevail: in a wet year (2000, 16.3 km(2) of burned area) with an average flow of 16.4 m(3)·s(-1) the maximum phosphorus concentration was as low as 0.02 mg·L(-1), while in a dry year (2005, 24.4 km(2) of burned area) with an average flow of 2 m(3)·s(-1) the maximum concentration was as high as 0.57 mg·L(-1). Phosphorus concentrations in the water bodies exceeded the bounds of good ecological status in 2005 and between 2009 and 2012, water for human consumption in 2009 and water for multiple uses in 2010. The River Covas, a right margin tributary of Beça River, is the most appropriate stream as regards the use of water for human consumption, because it presents the biggest water potential with the best water quality. Since wildfires in the basin result essentially from natural causes and climate change forecasts indicate an increase in their frequency and intensity in the near future, forestry measures are proposed to include as a priority the conversion of stands of maritime pine in mixed stands of conifer and hardwood species.

  9. Temporal variations of disinfection byproduct precursors in wildfire detritus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun-Jian; Dahlgren, Randy A; Erşan, Mahmut S; Karanfil, Tanju; Chow, Alex T

    2016-08-01

    The Rim Fire ignited on August 17, 2013 and became the third largest wildfire in California history. The fire consumed 104,131 ha of forested watersheds that were the drinking water source for 2.6 million residents in the San Francisco Bay area. To understand temporal variations in dissolved organic matter (DOM) after the wildfire and its potential impacts on disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation in source water supply, we collected the 0-5 cm ash/soil layer with surface deposits of white ash (high burn severity) and black ash (moderate burn severity) within the Rim Fire perimeter in Oct 2013 (pre-rainfall) for five sequential extractions, and in Dec 2013 (∼87 mm cumulative precipitation) and Aug 2014 (∼617 mm cumulative precipitation) for a single water extraction. Water-extractable DOM was characterized by absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy and DBP formation tests. Both increasing cumulative precipitation in the field or number of extractions in the lab resulted in a significant decrease in specific conductivity, dissolved organic carbon, and DBP formation potential, but an increase in DOM aromaticity (reflected by specific UV absorbance). However, the lab sequential leaching failed to capture the increase of the NOx(-)-N/NH4(+)-N ratio and the decrease in pH and dissolved organic carbon/nitrogen ratio of ash/soil extracts from Oct 2013 to Aug 2014. Increasing cumulative precipitation, inferring an increase in leaching after fire, led to an increase in DOM reactivity to form trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, and chloral hydrate, but not for haloketones, haloacetonitrile, or N-nitrosodimethylamine, which were more related to the original burn severity. This study highlights that fire-affected DBP precursors for different DBP species have distinct temporal variation possibly due to their various sensitivity to biogeochemical alterations. PMID:27135374

  10. Burns (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... degree burns damage the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and cause pain, redness and swelling (erythema). Second degree burns damage the epidermis and the inner layer, the dermis, causing erythema ...

  11. Lightning burns.

    PubMed

    Russell, Katie W; Cochran, Amalia L; Mehta, Sagar T; Morris, Stephen E; McDevitt, Marion C

    2014-01-01

    We present the case of a lightning-strike victim. This case illustrates the importance of in-field care, appropriate referral to a burn center, and the tendency of lightning burns to progress to full-thickness injury.

  12. Housing arrangement and location determine the likelihood of housing loss due to wildfire.

    PubMed

    Syphard, Alexandra D; Keeley, Jon E; Massada, Avi Bar; Brennan, Teresa J; Radeloff, Volker C

    2012-01-01

    Surging wildfires across the globe are contributing to escalating residential losses and have major social, economic, and ecological consequences. The highest losses in the U.S. occur in southern California, where nearly 1000 homes per year have been destroyed by wildfires since 2000. Wildfire risk reduction efforts focus primarily on fuel reduction and, to a lesser degree, on house characteristics and homeowner responsibility. However, the extent to which land use planning could alleviate wildfire risk has been largely missing from the debate despite large numbers of homes being placed in the most hazardous parts of the landscape. Our goal was to examine how housing location and arrangement affects the likelihood that a home will be lost when a wildfire occurs. We developed an extensive geographic dataset of structure locations, including more than 5500 structures that were destroyed or damaged by wildfire since 2001, and identified the main contributors to property loss in two extensive, fire-prone regions in southern California. The arrangement and location of structures strongly affected their susceptibility to wildfire, with property loss most likely at low to intermediate structure densities and in areas with a history of frequent fire. Rates of structure loss were higher when structures were surrounded by wildland vegetation, but were generally higher in herbaceous fuel types than in higher fuel-volume woody types. Empirically based maps developed using housing pattern and location performed better in distinguishing hazardous from non-hazardous areas than maps based on fuel distribution. The strong importance of housing arrangement and location indicate that land use planning may be a critical tool for reducing fire risk, but it will require reliable delineations of the most hazardous locations.

  13. Housing arrangement and location determine the likelihood of housing loss due to wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Syphard, Alexandra D.; Keeley, Jon E.; Massada, Avi Bar; Brennan, Teresa J.; Radeloff, Volker C.

    2012-01-01

    Surging wildfires across the globe are contributing to escalating residential losses and have major social, economic, and ecological consequences. The highest losses in the U.S. occur in southern California, where nearly 1000 homes per year have been destroyed by wildfires since 2000. Wildfire risk reduction efforts focus primarily on fuel reduction and, to a lesser degree, on house characteristics and homeowner responsibility. However, the extent to which land use planning could alleviate wildfire risk has been largely missing from the debate despite large numbers of homes being placed in the most hazardous parts of the landscape. Our goal was to examine how housing location and arrangement affects the likelihood that a home will be lost when a wildfire occurs. We developed an extensive geographic dataset of structure locations, including more than 5500 structures that were destroyed or damaged by wildfire since 2001, and identified the main contributors to property loss in two extensive, fire-prone regions in southern California. The arrangement and location of structures strongly affected their susceptibility to wildfire, with property loss most likely at low to intermediate structure densities and in areas with a history of frequent fire. Rates of structure loss were higher when structures were surrounded by wildland vegetation, but were generally higher in herbaceous fuel types than in higher fuel-volume woody types. Empirically based maps developed using housing pattern and location performed better in distinguishing hazardous from non-hazardous areas than maps based on fuel distribution. The strong importance of housing arrangement and location indicate that land use planning may be a critical tool for reducing fire risk, but it will require reliable delineations of the most hazardous locations.

  14. Housing Arrangement and Location Determine the Likelihood of Housing Loss Due to Wildfire

    PubMed Central

    Syphard, Alexandra D.; Keeley, Jon E.; Massada, Avi Bar; Brennan, Teresa J.; Radeloff, Volker C.

    2012-01-01

    Surging wildfires across the globe are contributing to escalating residential losses and have major social, economic, and ecological consequences. The highest losses in the U.S. occur in southern California, where nearly 1000 homes per year have been destroyed by wildfires since 2000. Wildfire risk reduction efforts focus primarily on fuel reduction and, to a lesser degree, on house characteristics and homeowner responsibility. However, the extent to which land use planning could alleviate wildfire risk has been largely missing from the debate despite large numbers of homes being placed in the most hazardous parts of the landscape. Our goal was to examine how housing location and arrangement affects the likelihood that a home will be lost when a wildfire occurs. We developed an extensive geographic dataset of structure locations, including more than 5500 structures that were destroyed or damaged by wildfire since 2001, and identified the main contributors to property loss in two extensive, fire-prone regions in southern California. The arrangement and location of structures strongly affected their susceptibility to wildfire, with property loss most likely at low to intermediate structure densities and in areas with a history of frequent fire. Rates of structure loss were higher when structures were surrounded by wildland vegetation, but were generally higher in herbaceous fuel types than in higher fuel-volume woody types. Empirically based maps developed using housing pattern and location performed better in distinguishing hazardous from non-hazardous areas than maps based on fuel distribution. The strong importance of housing arrangement and location indicate that land use planning may be a critical tool for reducing fire risk, but it will require reliable delineations of the most hazardous locations. PMID:22470499

  15. Modeling climate-wildfire relationships in Southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Y.; Randerson, J. T.; Goulden, M.; Faivre, N. R.; Capps, S. B.; Hall, A. D.

    2012-12-01

    Southern California has experienced a series of extraordinarily large and destructive fires over the past decade. Whether fire weather or fuels are the dominant controls for Southern California's fires is still an on-going debate. We here consider the larger picture of wildfire for the entire region and for the past 50 years of fire history. The data used for statistical analysis include monthly precipitation and temperature from PRISM, daily relative humidity and wind speed from a multi-decade reconstruction of climate with MM5 from 1959 to 2007, and California's Fire and Resource Assessment Program (FRAP) historical fire perimeters. 57% of fires occurred in summer (JJA), accounting for 38% of burned area on average. The cumulative precipitation from three previous water years is highly correlated with the number of fires in summer. Relative humidity and temperature, however, explain the most interannual variations in summer burned area. About 49% of burned areas occurred during Santa Ana (SA) events, among which 92% occurred in fall from September to November. Relative humidity during Santa Ana events controls the interannual SA-associated burned areas; number of Santa Ana days and wind speed play additional roles. We built empirical models for both number of fires and burned areas for non-SA and SA fires in summer and fall, respectively. The correlation coefficients between the predicted number of fires and the observations are approximately 0.7. The performance of the statistical model for the burned area is slightly lower. Our results on the contemporary relationships between fire and climate will reduce the uncertainty of predictions of climate change impacts on future fire occurrence and severity.

  16. Big Sagebrush Seed Bank Densities Following Wildfires

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Big sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) is a critical shrub to such sagebrush obligate species as sage grouse, (Centocercus urophasianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Big sagebrush do not sprout after wildfires wildfires and big sagebrush seed is generally sho...

  17. Synoptic backgrounds of the widest wildfire in Mazandaran Province of Iran during December 11-13, 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghavidel, Yousef; Farajzadeh, Manuchehr; Khaleghi Babaei, Meysam

    2016-02-01

    In this paper, atmospheric origins of the widest wildfire in Mazandaran province on 11-13th of December, 2010 have been investigated. Data sets of this research include maximum daily temperature (MDT), minimum relative humidity (MRH) of terrestrial stations, dynamic and thermodynamic features of the atmosphere, Gridded data sets of Self-Calibrated Palmer drought severity index (SCPDSI) and global drought dataset standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and data related to the time and the extent of the wildfire. The ``environmental to circulation'' approach to synoptic classification has been used to investigate relationships between local-scale surface environment (wildfire) and the synoptic-scale atmospheric circulation conditions. Results of study show that during the 3-day wide wildfire, the average of MDT and the MRH was significantly different from the long-term average. During the aforementioned wildfire, the average of MDT in Mazandaran province was 26 °C and the average of MRH was reported 35 %. The long-term average of MDT and the MRH in Mazandaran province during 3 days of wildfire was 12.3 °C and 68 %, respectively. Therefore, the MDT has a positive abnormality of 13.7 °C and the MRH has a negative abnormality of 33 %. In addition, monthly SCPDSI and SPEI indicated severe drought conditions at December 2010 in Mazandaran. Analysis of SLP maps shows that during the 3-day fire, a pressure center of 1110 hPa on Persian Gulf and a very low-pressure center on Turkey and Asia Minor were created. Normally, this event has caused the pressure gradient and warm and dry air advection from Arabian Peninsula to higher longitudes, particularly Mazandaran province. Consequently, the MDT increased and the wildfire of Mazandaran forest took place in an area of 220 ha. Zonal wind maps signify the weakness of Zonal wind and meridional wind maps show the southern direction of meridional wind flow during the wide wildfire. Moreover, Omega maps prove

  18. Interacting disturbances: wildfire severity affected by stage of forest disease invasion.

    PubMed

    Metz, Margaret R; Frangioso, Kerri M; Meentemeyer, Ross K; Rizzo, David M

    2011-03-01

    Sudden oak death (SOD) is an emerging forest disease causing extensive tree mortality in coastal California forests. Recent California wildfires provided an opportunity to test a major assumption underlying discussions of SOD and land management: SOD mortality will increase fire severity. We examined prefire fuels from host species in a forest monitoring plot network in Big Sur, California (USA), to understand the interactions between disease-caused mortality and wildfire severity during the 2008 Basin Complex wildfire. Detailed measurements of standing dead woody stems and downed woody debris 1-2 years prior to the Basin fire provided a rare picture of the increased fuels attributable to SOD mortality. Despite great differences in host fuel abundance, we found no significant difference in burn severity between infested and uninfested plots. Instead, the relationship between SOD and fire reflected the changing nature of the disease impacts over time. Increased SOD mortality contributed to overstory burn severity only in areas where the pathogen had recently invaded. Where longer-term disease establishment allowed dead material to fall and accumulate, increasing log volumes led to increased substrate burn severity. These patterns help inform forest management decisions regarding fire, both in Big Sur and in other areas of California as the pathogen continues to expand throughout coastal forests.

  19. Hydrologic Vulnerability of Western US Rangelands in the Wake of Woodland Encroachment and Increasing Wildfire Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, C. J.; Pierson, F. B.; Al-Hamdan, O. Z.; Kormos, P. R.

    2013-12-01

    Pinyon and juniper woodlands have dramatically increased their range in the past 150 years and currently occupy more than 30 million ha of the western US. Range expansion has primarily occurred through encroachment into sagebrush rangelands. Woodland expansion and infill on western rangelands have altered the ecological structure and function of these ecosystems and have made much of the western US prone to large severe wildfires. Early-succession woodlands are now burning in large, high-severity wildfires due to heavy woody-fuel loading and extensive horizontal-to-vertical fuel connectivity. Tree infill on late-succession woodlands coupled with extreme fire weather has increased the occurrence of large, high-severity woodland fires in recent decades. We investigated the effects of woodland encroachment and burning on hydrologic vulnerability at multiple woodlands and at a sagebrush rangeland in the early stages of woodland encroachment. Artificial rainfall and overland flow simulations were paired with vegetation and soil measures to evaluate ecohydrologic ramifications of woodland encroachment and burning at multiple spatial scales and over time. Our results provide insight into the ecohydrologic consequences of landscape-scale conversion of sagebrush rangelands to woodlands and the effects of increasing wildfire across this domain in the western US.

  20. Wildfire impacts on soil-water retention in the Colorado Front Range, United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebel, Brian A.

    2012-12-01

    This work examined the plot-scale differences in soil-water retention caused by wildfire in the area of the 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire in the Colorado Front Range, United States. We measured soil-water retention curves on intact cores and repacked samples, soil particle-size distributions, and organic matter content. Estimates were also made of plant-available water based on the soil-water retention curves. Parameters for use in soil-hydraulic property models were estimated; these parameters can be used in unsaturated flow modeling for comparing burned and unburned watersheds. The primary driver for measured differences in soil-water retention in burned and unburned soils was organic matter content and not soil-particle size distribution. The tendency for unburned south-facing soils to have greater organic matter content than unburned north-facing soils in this field area may explain why unburned south-facing soils had greater soil-water retention than unburned north-facing soils. Our results suggest that high-severity wildfire can "homogenize" soil-water retention across the landscape by erasing soil-water retention differences resulting from organic matter content, which for this site may be affected by slope aspect. This homogenization could have important implications for ecohydrology and plant succession/recovery in burned areas, which could be a factor in dictating the window of vulnerability of the landscape to flash floods and erosion that are a common consequence of wildfire.

  1. Magnetic susceptibility mapping of fly ash in soil samples near a coal-burning power plant in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elhelou, O.; Richter, C.

    2015-12-01

    Atmospheric deposition of pollutants is a major health and environmental concern. In a 2010 study, the CATF attributed over 13,000 deaths each year to fly ash and other fine particles emitted by U.S. coal-burning power plants. The magnetic properties of fly ash allows for mapping an area suspect of PM pollution faster and more efficiently than by conducting chemical analysis as the former alternative. The objective of this study is to detect the presence of magnetic particles related to the migration of fly ash from a nearby coal power plant over parts of Pointe Coupee Parish, LA. This is based on the idea that the fly ash that is released into the atmosphere during the coal burning process contains heavy metals and magnetic particles in the form of ferrospheres, which can be used to trace back to the source. Maps of the top and sub soil were generated to differentiate the magnetic susceptibility values of the heavy metals potentially attributed to the migration and settling of fly ash onto the surface from any pre-existing or naturally occurring heavy metals in the sub soil. A 60 km2 area in Pointe Coupee Parish was investigated in approximately 0.5 km2 subsets. The area in Pointe Coupee Parish, LA was selected because land use is predominantly rural with the Big Cajun II power plant as the main contributor for air borne contaminants. Samples of fly ash obtained directly from the source below one of the power plant's precipitators were also analyzed to verify the field and laboratory analysis. Contour maps representing the spatial distribution of fly ash over Pointe Coupee, LA, along with histograms of magnetic susceptibility values, and chemical analysis all indicate a correlation between the proximity to the power plant and the predominant wind direction. Acquisition curves of the isothermal remnant magnetization demonstrate the presence of predominantly low coercivity minerals (magnetite) with a small amount of a high-coercivity phase. The microstructure of the

  2. Wildfire Disturbance and Sediment Transfers over Millennial Time Scales: A Numerical Modelling Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Y.

    2003-12-01

    Wildfire may lead to accelerated soil erosion, debris flow and shallow landsliding activity in the years following disturbance. This study focuses on coastal drainage basins in British Columbia over millennial time scales, for which accelerated rates of shallow landsliding following wildfire may be of particular significance. An algorithm for wildfire occurrence, based on lake and sediment charcoal studies undertaken in coastal British Columbia and western Washington over millennial time scales (for example, Gavin et al., 2003), is incorporated into a numerical model of sediment routing over these same time scales. A stochastic rule set for wildfire frequency, based on a Weibull distribution of fire return intervals, assigns years of fire occurrence in the model. In terms of location, south-facing aspects are assigned a 25 times greater susceptibility to wildfire than north-facing aspects. As a first-order approximation, it is supposed that loss of tree root strength resulting from stand-replacing wildfires is comparable in its effects to clearcut logging. Therefore, documentation of increased shallow landslide activity associated with logging is used to adjust landsliding transport equations for the years following wildfire disturbance. Thereafter, landsliding rates are returned to pre-disturbance values. Fire return intervals, particularly those on north-facing aspects, can be relatively long in coastal British Columbia when compared to return intervals typically found in drier mountain ranges. This study investigates the degree to which wildfire disturbance affects sediment routing and delivery to channels over millennial time scales in coastal British Columbia. Sensitivity to model parameters is evaluated. Further investigations of wildfire effects on geomorphic process operation will lead to improved understanding of natural disturbance regimes to which ecosystems adjust over both the short and long term. Such information can be used to evaluate possible

  3. Emissions of Black Carbon Aerosols from Alaskan Boreal Forest Wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mouteva, G.; Fahrni, S. M.; Rogers, B. M.; Wiggins, E. B.; Santos, G.; Czimczik, C. I.; Randerson, J. T.

    2014-12-01

    Boreal wildfires are a major source of carbonaceous aerosols. Emissions from wildfires in Alaska represent ~ 33% of all open biomass combustion emissions of black carbon (BC) in the United States. BC contributes to atmospheric warming and accelerates melting of ice and snow. With fire frequency and burned area projected to increase in boreal regions, BC has the potential to become an important positive feedback to climate change. Quantifying the emissions, constraining the sources and better understanding the transportation patterns of BC to the polar regions are therefore critical for constraining the strength of this feedback. We present results from direct measurements of BC from wildfires in Alaska during the summer of 2013 collected as a part of NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) campaign. Fine aerosol particulate matter (PM2.5) was collected at two locations: Caribou-Poker Creek Research Watershed and Delta Junction Agricultural and Forestry Experimental Site. Using a Sunset OCEC analyzer, we separated BC from organic carbon aerosols, measured concentrations and analyzed the radiocarbon (14C) content with accelerator mass spectrometry. We also analyzed the total carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) elemental and stable isotope composition of the bulk PM2.5 with EA-IRMS. We compared the temporal dynamics of BC concentrations and isotopic composition with active fire/thermal anomaly information from MODIS. Our results show that boreal forest fire emissions in interior Alaska increased BC concentrations by up to an order of magnitude above background levels. The mean Δ14C value of fire-emitted BC was 120‰ with a range of +99‰ to +149‰ after correcting for contributions from background BC. This range was in good agreement with measurements of the depth of burn in soil organic carbon layers from interior wildland fires, and Δ14C profiles. High fire periods also corresponded to elevated C:N ratios. The δ15N of the aerosols was

  4. VOC emissions of smouldering combustion from Mediterranean wildfires in central Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evtyugina, Margarita; Calvo, Ana Isabel; Nunes, Teresa; Alves, Célia; Fernandes, Ana Patrícia; Tarelho, Luís; Vicente, Ana; Pio, Casimiro

    2013-01-01

    Emissions of trace gases and C5-C10 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from Mediterranean wildfires occurring in Portugal in summer 2010 were studied. Fire smoke was collected in Tedlar bags and analysed for CO, CO2, total hydrocarbons (THC) and VOCs. The CO, CO2 and THC emission factors (EFs) were 206 ± 79, 1377 ± 142 and 8.1 ± 9 g kg-1 biomass burned (dry basis), respectively. VOC emissions from Mediterranean wildfires were reported for the first time. Aromatic hydrocarbons were major components of the identified VOC emissions. Among them, benzene and toluene were dominant compounds with EFs averaging 0.747 ± 0.303 and 0.567 ± 0.422 g kg-1 biomass burned (dry basis), respectively. Considerable amounts of oxygenated organic volatile compounds (OVOCs) and isoprenoids were detected. 2-Furaldehyde and hexanal were the most abundant measured OVOCs with EFs of 0.337 ± 0.259 and 0.088 ± 0.039 g kg-1 biomass burned (dry basis), respectively. The isoprenoid emissions were dominated by isoprene (EF = 0.207 ± 0.195 g kg-1 dry biomass burned) and α-pinene (EF = 0.112 ± 0.093 g kg-1 dry biomass burned). Emission data obtained in this work are useful for validating and improving emission inventories, as well for carrying out modelling studies to assess the effects of vegetation fires on air pollution and tropospheric chemistry.

  5. Multivariate statistical analysis of wildfires in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Ricardo; Caramelo, Liliana; Pereira, Mário

    2013-04-01

    Several studies demonstrate that wildfires in Portugal present high temporal and spatial variability as well as cluster behavior (Pereira et al., 2005, 2011). This study aims to contribute to the characterization of the fire regime in Portugal with the multivariate statistical analysis of the time series of number of fires and area burned in Portugal during the 1980 - 2009 period. The data used in the analysis is an extended version of the Rural Fire Portuguese Database (PRFD) (Pereira et al, 2011), provided by the National Forest Authority (Autoridade Florestal Nacional, AFN), the Portuguese Forest Service, which includes information for more than 500,000 fire records. There are many multiple advanced techniques for examining the relationships among multiple time series at the same time (e.g., canonical correlation analysis, principal components analysis, factor analysis, path analysis, multiple analyses of variance, clustering systems). This study compares and discusses the results obtained with these different techniques. Pereira, M.G., Trigo, R.M., DaCamara, C.C., Pereira, J.M.C., Leite, S.M., 2005: "Synoptic patterns associated with large summer forest fires in Portugal". Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 129, 11-25. Pereira, M. G., Malamud, B. D., Trigo, R. M., and Alves, P. I.: The history and characteristics of the 1980-2005 Portuguese rural fire database, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 3343-3358, doi:10.5194/nhess-11-3343-2011, 2011 This work is supported by European Union Funds (FEDER/COMPETE - Operational Competitiveness Programme) and by national funds (FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) under the project FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-022692, the project FLAIR (PTDC/AAC-AMB/104702/2008) and the EU 7th Framework Program through FUME (contract number 243888).

  6. Geothermal, Geochemical and Geomagnetic Mapping Of the Burning Coal Seam in Fire- Zone 18 of the Coal Mining Area Wuda, Inner Mongolia, PR China.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessels, W.; Han, J.; Halisch, M.; Lindner, H.; Rueter, H.; Wuttke, M. W.

    2008-12-01

    Spontaneous combustion of coal has become a world wide problem caused by and affecting technical operations in coal mining areas. The localization of the burning centre is a prerequisite for any planning of fire fighting operations. In the German - Chinese coal fire project sponsored by the German Ministry of Science and Technologies (Grant No. 0330490K) the so called fire zone 18 of the coal mining area of Wuda (InnerMongolia, PR China) serves as a test area for geophysical measurements. For the geothermal and geochemical mapping 25 up to 1m deep boreholes with a diameter of approx. 30 mm are distributed over the particular fire-zone with an extension of 320 × 180 m2. To avoid the highly dynamic gas flow processes in fire induced fractures caused by weather conditions, all boreholes were situated in the undisturbed rock compartments. In these boreholes, plastic tubes of 12 mm diameter provide access to the borehole ground filled with highly permeable gravel. The boreholes are otherwise sealed to the atmosphere by clay. The geothermal observations consist of measurements of temperature profiles in the boreholes and thermal conductivity measurement on rock samples in the lab. For depths greater then 0.2 m diurnal variations in the temperature gradient were neglected. The derived heat flow with maximum values of 80 W/m2 is more then three orders of magnitude higher than the natural undisturbed heat flow. The high heat flow suggests that the dominant heat transport is gas convection through the system of porous rock and fractures. Any temperature anomaly caused by the burning coal in a depth of more than 18 m would need years to reach the surface by a heat transport restricted to conduction. The geochemical soil gas probing is performed by gas extraction from the boreholes. Measured are the concentrations of O2, CO, CO2, H2S and CH4. The O2 deficit in the soil air and the concentrations of the other combustion products compared to the concentrations in the free

  7. Effects of Metals Associated with Wildfire Ash on Water Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerrato, J.; Clark, A.; Correa, N.; Ali, A.; Blake, J.; Bixby, R.

    2015-12-01

    The forests of the western United States are impacted dramatically by climate change and have suffered from large-scale increases in wildfire activity. This rise in wildfires introduces additional ash to ecosystems and can represent a serious and ongoing threat to water quality in streams and rivers from storm event runoff in burn areas. The effect of metals associated with wildfire ash (from wood collected from the Valles Caldera National Preserve, Jemez Mountains, New Mexico) on solution pH and dissolved oxygen was assessed through a series of laboratory experiments. Microscopy and spectroscopy analyses were conducted to characterize the elemental content and oxidation state of metals in unreacted and reacted ash. Certain metals (e.g., Ca, K, Al, Mg) were detected in ash from ponderosa pine, one of the dominant species in the Valles Caldera, with mean concentrations ranging from 400-1750 mg kg-1. Other metals (e.g., Na, Fe, Mn, V, Zn, Ni) were present at lower mean concentrations ranging from 12-210 mg kg-1. The initial pH after conducting batch experiments reacting ash with water started at 9.9 and the alkalinity of the water was 110 mg L-1 as CaCO3. Solution pH decreased to 8.0 after 48 hours of reaction, which is almost a delta of two pH units. Dissolved oxygen concentrations decreased by 2 mg L-1 over the course of 12 hours before the rate of reaeration surpassed the rate of consumption. This presentation will discuss how redox-active metals, such as Fe and Mn, could contribute to the increased dissolved oxygen demand and fluctuation of the oxidation/reduction potential in the system.

  8. Mapping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kinney, Douglas M.; McIntosh, Willard L.

    1978-01-01

    Geologic mapping in the United States increased by about one-quarter in the past year. Examinations of mapping trends were in the following categories: (1) Mapping at scales of 1:100, 000; (2) Metric-scale base maps; (3) International mapping, and (4) Planetary mapping. (MA)

  9. Integrated wildfire risk assessment: framework development and application on the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana, USA.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Matthew P; Scott, Joe; Helmbrecht, Don; Calkin, Dave E

    2013-04-01

    The financial, socioeconomic, and ecological impacts of wildfire continue to challenge federal land management agencies in the United States. In recent years, policymakers and managers have increasingly turned to the field of risk analysis to better manage wildfires and to mitigate losses to highly valued resources and assets (HVRAs). Assessing wildfire risk entails the interaction of multiple components, including integrating wildfire simulation outputs with geospatial identification of HVRAs and the characterization of fire effects to HVRAs. We present an integrated and systematic risk assessment framework that entails 3 primary analytical components: 1) stochastic wildfire simulation and burn probability modeling to characterize wildfire hazard, 2) expert-based modeling to characterize fire effects, and 3) multicriteria decision analysis to characterize preference structures across at-risk HVRAs. We demonstrate application of this framework for a wildfire risk assessment performed on the Little Belts Assessment Area within the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana, United States. We devote particular attention to our approach to eliciting and encapsulating expert judgment, in which we: 1) adhered to a structured process for using expert judgment in ecological risk assessment, 2) used as our expert base local resource scientists and fire/fuels specialists who have a direct connection to the specific landscape and HVRAs in question, and 3) introduced multivariate response functions to characterize fire effects to HVRAs that consider biophysical variables beyond fire behavior. We anticipate that this work will further the state of wildfire risk science and will lead to additional application of risk assessment to inform land management planning.

  10. The key host for an invasive forest pathogen also facilitates the pathogen's survival of wildfire in California forests.

    PubMed

    Beh, Maia M; Metz, Margaret R; Frangioso, Kerri M; Rizzo, David M

    2012-12-01

    The first wildfires in sudden oak death-impacted forests occurred in 2008 in the Big Sur region of California, creating the rare opportunity to study the interaction between an invasive forest pathogen and a historically recurring disturbance. To determine whether and how the sudden oak death pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, survived the wildfires, we completed intensive vegetation-based surveys in forest plots that were known to be infested before the wildfires. We then used 24 plot-based variables as predictors of P. ramorum recovery following the wildfires. The likelihood of recovering P. ramorum from burned plots was lower than in unburned plots both 1 and 2 yr following the fires. Post-fire recovery of P. ramorum in burned plots was positively correlated with the number of pre-fire symptomatic California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica), the key sporulating host for this pathogen, and negatively correlated with post-fire bay laurel mortality levels. Patchy burn patterns that left green, P. ramorum-infected bay laurel amidst the charred landscape may have allowed these trees to serve as inoculum reservoirs that could lead to the infection of newly sprouting vegetation, further highlighting the importance of bay laurel in the sudden oak death disease cycle.

  11. Comparison of Piedmont Clay Complexity and Carbon and Nitrogen Release at Various Temperature Intensities through Simulated Wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, T.; Werts, S. P.

    2014-12-01

    Past research indicates that clay chemistry of soil can be altered below ground following a wildfire. Higher intensity burns can alter the pre-existing clay types and transform it into another. By contemplating the composition of a soil before a wildfire starts, it is possible to determine the outcomes and negative impacts of the burned soil at various temperatures, including possible emissions of carbon and nitrogen. Through evaluating different soil samples using the Rigaku Miniflex 600 XRD powder x-ray diffractometer, the clay composition of each sample was determined to be either in the kaolinite grouping, which is a less complex structure, or in the smectite, mica, or vermiculite groupings, which are more complex structures. After examination of field data using the Costech Elemental Combustion System for elemental analysis, a trend was found that as clay complexity increases in the individual horizons, the release of carbon and nitrogen from the soil also increases versus the other less complex horizons. It can be suggested that areas holding more complex clay mineral structures have the capacity to release more carbon and nitrogen into the atmosphere when burned at higher temperatures and intensities. Using this information, it is possible to indicate those areas holding more complex clay minerals and put further protection or emphasis on ensuring their exposure to wildfire is lessened. In turn, this will reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gases released into the surrounding environment in the event of future uncontrolled wildfires.

  12. Changes in Carbon Pools Influenced by Changes in Physiography a Decade Following Wildfire in Black Spruce Forests of Interior Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houle, G. P.; Kane, E. S.; Turetsky, M. R.; Kasischke, E. S.

    2015-12-01

    Topography and parent material (PM) texture control site drainage owing to changes in water holding capacity, infiltration, and insolation. In turn, these factors also affect fire regime. However, the interactive effects of site physiography, edaphic controls, and wildfire severity on ecosystem carbon accrual after wildfire are poorly understood. Throughout the summer of 2004 an area the size of Massachusetts burned in interior Alaska, and several studies were initiated to investigate the controls on organic layer consumption. In this study we resampled organic layer depths, below ground carbon stocks, and site revegetation from 38 burned black spruce sites from the 2004 wildfires. We collected ten year post-fire measurements of soil and woody-debris pools with the goal of understanding effects of landscape position, site physiography (topography/aspect and parent material soil texture), and fire severity (burn depth) on changes in carbon accumulation following wildfire. We also measured seedling recruitment to ascertain changes in post-fire succession and how this might affect trajectories of ecosystem carbon storage in the future.

  13. Airborne measurements and emission estimates of greenhouse gases and other trace constituents from the 2013 California Yosemite Rim wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yates, E. L.; Iraci, L. T.; Singh, H. B.; Tanaka, T.; Roby, M. C.; Hamill, P.; Clements, C. B.; Lareau, N.; Contezac, J.; Blake, D. R.; Simpson, I. J.; Wisthaler, A.; Mikoviny, T.; Diskin, G. S.; Beyersdorf, A. J.; Choi, Y.; Ryerson, T. B.; Jimenez, J. L.; Campuzano-Jost, P.; Loewenstein, M.; Gore, W.

    2016-02-01

    This paper presents airborne measurements of multiple atmospheric trace constituents including greenhouse gases (such as CO2, CH4, O3) and biomass burning tracers (such as CO, CH3CN) downwind of an exceptionally large wildfire. In summer 2013, the Rim wildfire, ignited just west of the Yosemite National Park, California, and burned over 250,000 acres of the forest during the 2-month period (17 August to 24 October) before it was extinguished. The Rim wildfire plume was intercepted by flights carried out by the NASA Ames Alpha Jet Atmospheric eXperiment (AJAX) on 29 August and the NASA DC-8, as part of SEAC4RS (Studies of Emissions, Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys), on 26 and 27 August during its intense, primary burning period. AJAX revisited the wildfire on 10 September when the conditions were increasingly smoldering, with slower growth. The more extensive payload of the DC-8 helped to bridge key measurements that were not available as part of AJAX (e. g. CO). Data analyses are presented in terms of emission ratios (ER), emission factors (EF) and combustion efficiency and are compared with previous wildfire studies. ERs were 8.0 ppb CH4 (ppm CO2)-1 on 26 August, 6.5 ppb CH4 (ppm CO2)-1 on 29 August and 18.3 ppb CH4 (ppm CO2)-1 on 10 September 2013. The increase in CH4 ER from 6.5 to 8.0 ppb CH4 (ppm CO2)-1 during the primary burning period to 18.3 ppb CH4 (ppm CO2)-1 during the fire's slower growth period likely indicates enhanced CH4 emissions from increased smoldering combustion relative to flaming combustion. Given the magnitude of the Rim wildfire, the impacts it had on regional air quality and the limited sampling of wildfire emissions in the western United States to date, this study provides a valuable dataset to support forestry and regional air quality management, including observations of ERs of a wide number of species from the Rim wildfire.

  14. Airborne Measurements and Emission Estimates of Greenhouse Gases and Other Trace Constituents From the 2013 California Yosemite Rim Wildfire

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yates, E. L.; Iraci, L. T.; Singh, H. B.; Tanaka, T.; Roby, M. C.; Hamill, P.; Clements, C. B.; Lareau, N.; Contezac, J.; Blake, D. R.; Simpson, I. J.; Wisthaler, A.; Mikoviny, T.; Diskin, G. S.; Beyersdorf, A. J.; Choi, Y.; Ryerson, T. B.; Jimenez, J. L.; Campuzano-Jost, P.; Loewenstein, M.; Gore, W.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents airborne measurements of multiple atmospheric trace constituents including greenhouse gases (such as CO2, CH4, O3) and biomass burning tracers (such as CO, CH3CN) downwind of an exceptionally large wildfire. In summer 2013, the Rim wildfire, ignited just west of the Yosemite National Park, California, and burned over 250,000 acres of the forest during the 2-month period (17 August to 24 October) before it was extinguished. The Rim wildfire plume was intercepted by flights carried out by the NASA Ames Alpha Jet Atmospheric eXperiment (AJAX) on 29 August and the NASA DC-8, as part of SEAC4RS (Studies of Emissions, Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys), on 26 and 27 August during its intense, primary burning period. AJAX revisited the wildfire on 10 September when the conditions were increasingly smoldering, with slower growth. The more extensive payload of the DC-8 helped to bridge key measurements that were not available as part of AJAX (e. g. CO). Data analyses are presented in terms of emission ratios (ER), emission factors (EF) and combustion efficiency and are compared with previous wildfire studies. ERs were 8.0 ppb CH4/(ppm CO2) on 26 August, 6.5 ppb CH4 (ppm CO2)1 on 29 August and 18.3 ppb CH4 (ppm CO2)1 on 10 September 2013. The increase in CH4 ER from 6.5 to 8.0 ppb CH4/(ppm CO2) during the primary burning period to 18.3 ppb CH4/(ppm CO2) during the fire's slower growth period likely indicates enhanced CH4 emissions from