This brief is based on a synthesis that covers recent research documenting effects of introducing fire in fire suppressed forests, provides necessary background information to understand the breadth of the problem, provides realistic management solutions to reduce impacts and defines monitoring techniques to identify treatment effects.Read More
The WUI is often synonymous with fire risk to buildings, but this research suggests that this is not the case in all fire-prone states. While fire outreach was often present near areas where buildings are destroyed by wildfire, many communities are established after major fires.Read More
To revegetate disturbed desert lands, practitioners often reestablish fertile islands as a first step in restoring native plants and associated fauna on disturbed desert sites. This research brief discusses the pros and cons of this approach considering native and non-native species.Read More
Dr. Biswell's influence on the development of prescribed burning in California was paramount in so many of our actions today. Here’s a throwback to his work, where he leads a prescribed fire and discussion in Southern California in May 1983.Read More
The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is the area where houses and wildland vegetation meet or intermingle, and where wildfire problems are most pronounced. Here we report that the WUI in the United States grew rapidly from 1990 to 2010 in terms of both number of new houses (from 30.8 to 43.4 million; 41% growth) and land area (from 581,000 to 770,000 km2; 33% growth), making it the fastest-growing land use type in the conterminous United States. The vast majority of new WUI areas were the result of new housing (97%), not related to an increase in wildland vegetation. Within the perimeter of recent wildfires (1990–2015), there were 286,000 houses in 2010, compared with 177,000 in 1990. Furthermore, WUI growth often results in more wildfire ignitions, putting more lives and houses at risk. Wildfire problems will not abate if recent housing growth trends continue.
In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers with the Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Geological Survey showed that, across the U.S. on landscapes dominated by humans, climate has played a relatively small role in determining wildfire activity.Read More
This brief describes potential effects of two fuel treatment types for Northern California chaparral. Different scenarios involving prescribed fire, mastication and season (fall, winter, or spring) were explored to determine effects on chaparral and findings include recommendations on when and how to use treatments where necessary.Read More
This brief describes the advantages and evolution of postfire epicormic resprouting, where trees resprout from the trunk or stem of trees. This form of resprouting is more rare than resprouting from the base of plants and occurs in Australia and South Africa, as well as in California, the Mediterranean Basin and the Canary Islands in the northern hemisphere.Read More