Finding the Best Science Available on Fire Ecology and Fire Regimes in Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Woodland Ecosystems

Robin Innes and Ilana Abrahamson
US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station
November 15, 2016 at 1pm Central

Managers and planners need scientifically sound information on historical fire regimes and contemporary changes in fuels and fire regimes in tallgrass prairie and oak woodland ecosystems to make informed management decisions. To address this need, two new fire regime publications—Fire Regime Reports and Fire Regime Syntheses—are now available and spatially searchable in the recently updated user interface for the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS, FEIS staff defined 185 fire regimes by grouping the ~2,500 Biophysical Settings (BpS) models produced by LANDFIRE ( according to similarities in vegetation, modeled fire-return intervals and fire severities, and geographic location. Fire Regime Reports are brief summaries of these models, while Fire Regime Syntheses add comprehensive, thoroughly documented reviews of the scientific literature to information in the Fire Regime Reports. Fire Regime Syntheses provide managers with the best science available on historical fire frequency, spatial pattern, extent, and seasonality; historical ignition sources; and typical patterns of fire intensity and severity. They also provide information on contemporary changes in fuels, especially in relation to their potential to influence fire regimes, and identify regions and plant communities lacking fire history data. Together, these publications help managers develop plans and make informed decisions about local management of fire and fuels. In the updated user interface, they are easy to access using a variety of search criteria, including plant community type and map location, and they are linked to nearly 1,100 FEIS Species Reviews.



Archived Webinar - State Fire Needs Assessments and LANDFIRE: A Case Study

A recording of this 43 minute presentation is available to stream or download from our Vimeo page

State Fire Needs Assessments and LANDFIRE: A Case Study

Sarah Hagen, TNC-LANDFIRE spatial analyst, discussed a statewide assessment of vegetation and prescribed fire management in Illinois.

View or download a copy of the Illinois Fire Needs Assessment (published Feb. 2016).

Check out LANDFIRE's Youtube channel - LANDFIREvideo - where you can stream a recording of this webinar, view other recordings and videos, and subscribe to the channel.



Archived Webinar - National Weather Service Fire Weather Forecasts and Parameters

A recording of this 55 minute presentation is available to stream or download from our Vimeo page.

National Weather Service Fire Weather Forecasts and Parameters

Casey Sullivan, Forecaster/Meteorologist
National Weather Service, Chicago/Romeoville office
February 23, 2016  1pm CT

Get the latest updates on the fire weather forecast. This webinar will include an overview of the various forecasts available and the parameters used by the National Weather Service, with a brief discussion of some of the more critical parameters.


Archived Webinar - What Are Our Windows of Opportunity: Understanding Weather Suitability for Prescribed Burns

A recording of this 60 minute presentation can be streamed or downloaded from our Vimeo page.

What Are Our Windows of Opportunity: Understanding Weather Suitability for Prescribed Burns 

Jed Meunier, Research Ecologist
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
February 16, 2016  1pm CT

Interest in the timing of prescribed fire is growing throughout the region with prescribed fire as an increasingly important tool to meet a wide array of land management objectives. In Wisconsin, the majority of prescribed burns occur within a relatively short time period in spring. However, projections of greater variability in both precipitation and drought for this region have the potential to complicate prescribed burn planning. Average precipitation in the Great Lakes region, for example, is projected to increase in both winter and spring with greater intensity and frequency of heavy precipitation events while at the same time summer moisture limitations will likely become more common. It may become increasingly difficult to implement prescribed fires within suitable prescription ‘windows’ (e.g. ranges of relative humidity, wind, temperature, antecedent moisture, etc.). In recognizing this, we have assessed barriers to prescribed burning generally for 58 burn coordinators in southern Wisconsin and have evaluated suitable burn ‘windows’ by season. We have also compared burn ‘windows’ to conditions when burns were conducted on state lands for the past 10 years. In addition to current land management issues, we have attempted to evaluate our results within a historical fire framework.


A recording of this webinar is now available to stream from the Lake States Fire Science Consortium Adobe Connect site.

Past fire and present-day mesophication: Implications for oak ecosystem restoration 
Greg Nowacki, Regional Ecologist
US Forest Service
October 15, 2015

Thanks to our co-sponsors -- the Society for Ecological Restoration Midwest/Great Lakes Chapter and the Lake States Fire Science Consortium -- and especially to everyone who joined us for this webinar.