P1.15 Climate in the context of Wildland Fire Use: Windows of opportunity

Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Wingwood (Atlantic Oakes Resort)
Crystal A. Kolden, DRI, Reno, NV; and T. J. Brown

Wildland Fire Use (WFU) is a tool utilized by fire managers to promote resource benefits from naturally occurring lightning-ignited wildfires. While WFU has been in use for nearly 40 years, only recently has it expanded beyond a few select national parks and wilderness areas. With an expanded area approved for WFU, the question begs: How does climate impact usage of the WFU tool? A dual approach was taken to answer this question. Since WFU is a management decision not to suppress a fire, we surveyed 31 WFU managers in the U.S.A. to determine how climate information is utilized in their decision-making process for a WFU incident. Additionally, we assessed drought and teleconnections indices for correlations to historic WFU occurrence to determine how climate has impacted WFU in the past. We found that fire managers are utilizing climate information extensively in their WFU decision-making, and would like to have more climate information available for their specific needs. This supports our findings that historic WFU is well-correlated to climate trends.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner