Browse present and past projects.

Displaying 1 - 25 of 145
Living things change constantly, as do communities of living things. In a forest, where individual trees can live for centuries and new plants replace old plants, it is not easy to visualize the changes that occur over time. This photoseries… more

Experiments to Improve Agricultural Smoke Decision Support Tools Agriculture is a vital part of the Northwest’s economy and is critical to the region’s rural communities. The production cycle of cereal crops and grasses, which are important… more
Contact(s): Shawn Urbanski

Wildland fires produce significant air pollution and real-time measurements of these pollutants are critical for mitigating the human health impacts of smoke. With climate change increasing the severity of the western U.S. wildfire season, there is… more
Contact(s): Shawn Urbanski

Linking Field-based and Experimental Methods to Quantify, Predict, and Manage Fire Effects on Cultural Resources (Update) ArcBurn is an experimental fire archaeology project funded by the Joint Fire Science Program, and is a collaborative effort… more
Contact(s): Jim Reardon

Vegetation and fuel management planning is a complex problem that requires advanced vegetation and fire behavior modeling and intensive spatial data analyses. Both the benefits and potential impacts of proposed treatments must be clearly… more
Contact(s): Alan Ager, Michelle Day

The first comprehensive assessment of where public wildlands in the Western US potentially contribute wildfire exposure to communities. Predicting wildfire disasters presents a major challenge to the field of risk science, especially when fires are… more
Contact(s): Alan Ager, Michelle Day

Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins; MPB) is an aggressive bark beetle that attacks numerous Pinus spp. and causes extensive mortality in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Douglas ex Loudon; LPP) forests in the western United States… more
Contact(s): Sharon Hood

Image The BehavePlus fire modeling system is a Windows®-based computer program that can be used for any fire management application that needs to calculate fire behavior. It uses specified fuel and… more
Contact(s): Faith Ann Heinsch

Airborne Experiments to Characterize the Emissions of Biomass Burning in Mexico Biomass burning is the largest source of primary, fine carbonaceous particles and the second largest source of trace gases in the global atmosphere. Emissions from… more

Northern Eurasia covers 20% of the global land mass and contains 70% of the boreal forest. During certain times of the year, black carbon (BC) in smoke plumes at high latitudes may be transported and deposited on Arctic ice, thereby accelerating ice… more
Contact(s): Wei Min Hao

Many scientists from the Fire, Fuel, and Smoke program are intimately involved with various aspects of fire management, including both prescribed fires and wildfires. Not only do these activities provide operational experience and the opportunity to… more

Understanding Burning Rate and Residence Time of Porous Fuel Beds Using Wood Cribs The fire spread process is fundamentally a series of ignitions, where a parcel of fuel ignites and burns at a particular rate, heating the neighboring fuel parcel… more
Contact(s): Sara McAllister

An extensive exploration of field, analysis, and modeling methods to describe and quantify fuels for operational fire management. This study will develop, evaluate, and compare methods or approaches to measure canopy fuels characteristics and… more
Contact(s): Russell Parsons

Video and educational lesson about how and why the Pikunii (one branch of the Blackfeet Nation) people transported fire from one camp to another as they traveled along historical migration routes. This activity includes a complete lesson plan,… more
Contact(s): Ilana Abrahamson

Wildland fire management teams can be faced with the potential for fires to damage power transmission or telecommunication lines. The damage can be severe enough to cause failure of the system which can have critical implications to public safety.… more
Contact(s): Jason Forthofer

Wildfires occur at the intersection of dry weather, available fuel, and ignition sources. Weather is the most variable and largest driver of regional burned area. Temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, and wind speed independently influence… more
Contact(s): Matt Jolly

Research conducted at the Missoula Fire Lab has found that the amount of radiant heat in wildland fires is not sufficient to ignite fine fuel particles such as needles and grasses.  These fine fuels are highly efficient at convective heat transfer,… more
Contact(s): Sara McAllister

Whitebark pine has been rapidly declining on many National Forests in the northwestern United States over the last three decades because of blister rust infections and mountain pine beetle outbreaks, which have been exacerbated by recent warmer… more
Contact(s): Sarah Flanary

May 8, 2024 Update: Interact with the machine learning (ML) version (version R2V4) of the new Fire Spread Model. Project Goals A major challenge for wildfire modelling is the ability to span the range of scales of fire phenomena. Fuel particle… more
Contact(s): Mark Finney

Considerable effort is expended to determine fuel loadings and to map those loadings across the landscape, yet there is little or no work being done to determine how to incorporate those measurements into the next generation of fire behavior models… more

Predicting Post-fire Douglas-fir Beetle Attacks and Tree Mortality in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Tree mortality following fire is influenced by multiple factors. Many coniferous species have life history traits and characteristics that can… more
Contact(s): Sharon Hood

Mapping Potential Dry Lightning Strikes Dry lightning refers to strikes that produce 0.10 inch or less of rainfall nearby (or 0.25 inch east of the Mississippi River). This kind of lightning storm occurs frequently in the western U.S. during the… more
Contact(s): Paul Sopko

Prescribed Burning: Can We Do It Without Killing the Trees We Are Trying to Save? The use of prescribed fire has become a major tool for restoring fire-dependent ecosystem health throughout the west and use will likely increase in the future.… more
Contact(s): Sharon Hood

Synthesis of Wildland Fire Emission Factors Smoke from wildland fires is a rich and complex mixture of gases and aerosols. Over 200 gas compounds have been identified in biomass smoke and wildland fires are a significant source of carbonaceous… more
Contact(s): Shawn Urbanski

Increasingly intense fire seasons, rapidly changing ecosystems, and an expanding wildland-urban interface all increase the hazard that fires pose to communities, watersheds, and ecosystems. Fuel treatments offer managers an opportunity to… more