Crown fire ariel photo courtesy of Paul Duffy (left). Map of Alaska fire history 1942-2007 (middle) courtesy of the Alaska Fire Service GIS Group. Click here
larger resolution map. Post-fire forest succession photo courtesy of Paul Duffy (right).
Forest Impacts & Wild Fire
Related ACCAP Research Projects
Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Forested Ecosystems of Alaska
ACCAP and the Scenarios Network for Alaska Planning have partnered with the Pacific Northwest Research Station to assess the climate change impacts on forested ecosystems in all regions of Alaska. Stakeholder involvement is a significant component of this project. This assessment will include identifying historical long-term datasets, determining key current patterns and processes that are important to stakeholders, and projecting those key patterns and processes into the future under various climate change scenarios. Specific components are to review and synthesize existing knowledge, provide a baseline and scenarios of change, and identify data gaps and uncertainties.
Evaluation of Fire Forecast Products to Enhance U.S. Drought Preparedness and Response
As the scientific community clarifies its understanding of how climate and wildfire interact, an increasing amount of effort and resources are being spent to deliver this science to the US wildfire community. One model that has shown great promise consists of the National Seasonal Assessment workshops (NSAW, click here for the 2009 report) and the Significant Fire Potential Outlooks produced during these annual workshops and monthly conference calls. However, it is not well documented who uses these outlooks, how they use them, or if the outlooks provide any economic benefit. This cross-RISA (CLIMAS, CAP, ACCAP) drought project will assess the impact the NSAW seasonal and monthly fire outlooks have on decision makers across the
agencies who collaborate to plan for and manage wildfires in the Western U.S. This project will evaluate
who is using these outlooks and how they are being used in order to: 1) provide immediate (next year)
input into the production and distribution of these products and 2) begin to build a seasonal fire decision
analysis framework to help identify where additional resources are most efficiently spent by better
understanding and quantifying uncertainties in current decision making.
Improving Seasonal Fire Predictions and Information Services in Alaska for Regional and National Fire Resource Planning
Predictive capacity for Alaska fire falls behind what is available in the lower 48 states. Increases in wildfire frequency, severity, duration, and total area burned are among the most significant expected ecological effects of climate warming. Two of the three most extensive wildfire seasons in Alaska’s 50-year record occurred in 2004 and 2005 and 60% of the largest fire years have occurred since 1990 (Kasischke et al. 2006). Designed in close collaboration with fire managers from a range of state and federal agencies participating in the Alaska WildlandFire Coordination Group, this project takes advantage of the strong weather/fire link in Alaska to produce estimates for the severity of the 2009 - 2011 fire seasons. In collaboration with CLIMAS, we are presently utilizing these results to draft a web-based decision-support tool that will help Alaska fire mangers adapt to a changing climate in their suppression and natural resource planning.
Related ACCAP Webinars
May 19, 2009
EXPERIMENTAL FORECAST OF AREA BURNED FOR INTERIOR ALASKA
Paul Duffy, Neptune Inc.
2004 and 2005 were the largest fires years on record in Alaska. Climate change is expected to bring warmer temperatures and therefore greater drying and and more frequent extreme fire years in the future. The Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy is testing a new pilot website to forecast area burned for Interior Alaska, based on a gradient boosting model that takes advantage of strong linkages between teleconnection indices, weather, and fire in Alaska. In this webinar, we showcase this web-tool to learn more about how the forecasts are created and how you can stay up to date this summer on the fire forecast in Alaska.
Presentation/Slides: Early Season Forecasting of Fire Activity in Alaska
Webinar Summary: Early Season Forecasting of Fire Activity in Alaska
Read the Anchorage KTUU Channel 2 TV transcript or view the newscast (7:20-8:00)
August 21, 2007
Listen to the webinar Podcast
FIRE AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN ALASKA
Paul Duffy & T. Scott Rupp, University of Alaska
2004 and 2005 were two of the three most extreme fire seasons in Alaska's fifty year fire record. Models project more frequent occurence of extreme fire seasons with climate change. This is a discussion of how climate change can be expected to impact the fire regime in Alaska, what information gaps still exist, and what implications this might have for communities in Alaska.
Presentation/Slides: Fire and Climate Change in Alaska
Webinar Summary: Fire and Climate Change in Alaska Webinar Summary (.pdf)
Links and Resources
2009 Experimental Forecast of Area Burned for Interior Alaska (This link will load a little slowly in a new window) The purpose of this experimental forecast is to provide managers with a forecast of the area burned in Interior Alaska for the upcoming fire season. This product doesprovide a forecast of the magnitude of the upcoming fire season for interior Alaska as a whole and gives an estimate of certainty associated with the forecast. This product does not make predictions about the regions within Interior Alaska where fires will occur or about about what time of the season fires will occur
Alaska Fire Consortium Contains information on upcoming and past events and links to the consortium partners. The focus of the consortium is to communicate the results of existing and on-going northern latitude and boreal forest fire science to land and fire managers, and to work with land and fire managers to optimize modes and methods of fire science communication so that the information is both useful and usable.
Alaska Inter-agency Fire Coordination Center (AICC) Includes daily situation reports and news for Alaska wildfires. AICC serves as the focal point for initial attack resource coordination, logistics support, and predictive services for all state and federal agencies involved in wildland fire management and suppression in Alaska.
Maps from AICC An arcIMS map server with interactive, multi-layered Alaska wildfire maps, also available in Google Earth format. A GIS tutorial is available for users that are unfamiliar with program features.
MODIS Active Wildfire Mapping Program Updated daily during the fire season, USDA Forest Service (USFS) Remote Sensing Applications Center maps show active and previously burned areas in Alaska, Available in .jpeg and .pdf format.
National Inter-agency Coordination Center (NICC) This product provides a monthly outlook and 3-month seasonal trend forecast of significant fire potential for the U.S.
NOAA OSEI Alaska Wildfire Remote Sensing Photos Includes multichannel color composite imagery and grayscale imagery of wildfire, smoke, and hotspot events in Alaska. Images are updated regularly and include archives back to 1999.
Pacific Northwest Research Station This US Forest Service research station provides scientific information to land managers, policymakers, and citizens. Research information and decision support tools are available for fire research, climate change, invasive species, old-growth forests, planning applications, post-fire forest management and silvicultural experiments.