Utah Fire History

Fire regimes & forest structure of Utah & eastern Nevada: A multi-scale history from tree rings

Before this project, Utah and eastern Nevada lacked dendrochronologically crossdated, site-specific fire and vegetation histories that provide crucial information for scientifically based fire, land, and natural resource management.

Historical data are increasingly viewed as essential to assess the need for active management of different vegetation types and for justifying management actions within agencies and to the public. Fire regimes vary across space and through time in response to factors such as vegetation types, landscape physiography, and longer-term climate change. While 20th century records can help us understand the effects of recent fire exclusion on factors such as forest and fuel structure, we must look over longer time scales to better understand the influence of various forcings, such as climate changes and human land use, on fire occurrence and behavior. For further reading and understanding please see Fire Regimes and Forest Structure of Utah and Eastern Nevada: A Multi-Scaled History from Tree Rings.

Image: Locations of sites where we reconstructed fire history from tree rings for this project.


Locations of sites where we reconstructed fire history from tree rings for this project.

Select Publications & Products

The Utah Fire History website.

Brown, P.M., E.K. Heyerdahl, S.G. Kitchen, and M.H. Weber. 2008. Climate effects on historical fires (1630-1900) in Utah. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 17:28-39.

Heyerdahl, E.K., P.M. Brown, S.G. Kitchen, and M.H.Weber. 2011. Multicentury fire and forest histories at nineteen sites in Utah and eastern Nevada. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-261WWW. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 192 p.