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Webinar titles by topic

Fuel treatments and management

Mixed Conifer Fuels Treatment Practices Guide for Mixed Conifer Forests

Date: June 29th, 2011
Presenter: Alexander Evans, Research Director, Forest Guild
Dr. Zander Evans, the Research Director of the Forest Guild, presents on his Joint Fire Sciences Program-funded report on fuels treatment practices. The report focuses on the mixed conifer ecosystems of California, the central and southern Rockies, and the Southwest. The first half of his presentation reviews the historic conditions, past land use, natural fire regimes, impacts of altered fire regimes, and future prospects (given climate change) of mixed conifer forests. The second half of the presentation addresses fuels treatment objectives, techniques, barriers, and successes across a range of ownerships, and draws on the experiences of 75 interviewed managers and experts who work in mixed conferecosystems.

Evaluating the effectiveness of planned and completed landscape fuel treatments at reducing modeled landscape-level fire behavior in the Sierra Nevada.

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October 6th, 2011 Brandon M. Collins, US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station
Brandon Collins examines the effectiveness of planned and completed on-the-ground fuel treatments at reducing extreme fire behavior at multiple sites in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Collins also covers some of the limitations and common difficulties encountered modeling fires at the landscape scale.

GTR 220: Integrating wildlife habitat and forest resilience with fuels reduction - Ecosystem management  concepts for mixed-conifer forests

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Date: October 27th, 2011
Presenter: Malcolm North, US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences
Malcolm North covers the background and motivation for creating the USFS General Technical Report 220 before explaining the justifications and applications of the treatment guidelines included in the report.

Making fuels management compatible with restoration objectives in an  age of global change: case studies from the US Mediterranean-climate zone

Date: May 16th, 2012
Presenter: Hugh Safford, USDA Forest Service, Regional Ecologist, Pacific  Southwest Region
Current and projected future trends in fire activity and climate suggest that fire frequency and area burned will increase in most of the world's Mediterranean-climate regions. A major focus of fire protection must be ante facto reduction of combustible fuels, but a major concern is the environmental and ecological impacts of such work. A general fire regime framework can be a useful lens through which to view the relationship between fuel reduction and ecological impact. Fuel reduction work in ecosystems typified by fire regimes characterized by frequent, low or moderate severity fires (e.g. yellow pine, mixed conifer) can be readily accomplished in a restorative framework. On the other hand, fuel reduction in ecosystems supporting "climate- or ignition-limited" fire regimes characterized by less frequent, high severity fires (chaparral, serotinous conifers, wet subalpine forests) is more likely to produce outcomes that are ecologically undesirable. In both fire regime types, successful integration of fuel reduction and ecological restoration requires a marriage between science and application, and strong collaborative frameworks that integrate public and private concerns, and ecological, social, and economic perspectives.

Using fire to increase the scale, benefits, and pace of forest management 

Date: April 23rd, 2013
Presenter:  Malcolm North, US Forest Service PSW Research Station and UC Davis.
The current pace and scale of fuels treatment is a fraction of whats  needed to effectively reduce fire hazard in California.  With the Forest  Service implementing a new planning rule and starting to revise plans  for the 155 National Forests, new strategies need to be considered for  fundamentally changing current approaches to fire.  This talk suggests  making much wider use of managed fire, discusses current obstacles to  its use and examines some possible remedies.

Restoration release of overtopped Oregon white oaks increases 10-year growth and acorn production

Date:  April 30th, 2013
Presenter: Connie Harrington, USFS PNW Research Station
This presentation covers oak recovery thresholds and oak response to conifer removal treatments. Dr. Harrington presents results from a 10-year study of Oregon white oak responses to restoration release treatments, information about tree growth under different restoration scenarios, and management implications.

Effectiveness and longevity of fuel treatments in coniferous forests across California

Date:  May 16th, 2013
Presenters: Nicole Vaillant, USFS-WWETAC; Erin Noonan-Wright USFS-Wildland Fire Management RDA; and Carol Ewell, Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team (AMSET). 
Description: The longevity of fuel treatment effectiveness to alter potential fire behavior is a critical question for managers preparing plans for fuel reduction, prescribed burning, fire management, and forest thinning. The presenters share findings from a region-wide fuel treatment effectiveness monitoring study that was initiated in 2001 across many National Forests in California, and include site specific data for pre-treatment and up to 10 years post-treatment in conifer dominated systems treated with either prescribed fire or mechanical methods. They present information pertaining to treatment effects on fuel loads, forest stand structure, and potential fire behavior over time.


Rim Fire: Vegetation Resiliency Project For the Stanislaus National Forest

Date: December 10th, 2013

Presenters: Becky Estes, Shelly Crook, Carol Ewell, and Ben Newburn (all USDA Forest Service)


This webinar presents information gathered by a team tasked with designing and describing the desired fire management and fuel treatment goals within the Rim Fire. This report described a foundation-type framework for fire and fuel management activities, consistent with the STF Forest Plan and the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment (SNFPA), to guide upcoming fuel removal, reforestation, and other post-Rim Fire ecosystem restoration activities on the landscape. This strategy was focused on working toward desired conditions that are 1) resilient to the predictable occurrence of future fires, 2) provides sustainable habitat for native biotic communities and species, 3) minimizes the potential for large scale impacts to local communities, watersheds, and ecosystems by restoring a more natural mosaic of fire occurrence and 4) is implementable given the limited resources available to the Forest.


Modeling Black-backed Woodpecker habitat suitability and prioritizing stands for retention at the Rim Fire

Date: March 4th, 2014

Presenters: Rodney Siegel, Executive Director and research scientist at The Institute for Bird Populations, and Morgan Tingley, Researcher at Princeton University.

Description: Black-backed Woodpeckers colonize and occupy recently burned conifer forests across much of California. Burned forests selected by Black-backed Woodpeckers are often targeted with salvage logging or other management strategies involving removal of snags. We used results from two Black-backed Woodpecker studies we conducted across ten National Forests in California to develop a habitat suitability model that predicts Black-backed Woodpecker pair density in recently burned forests, and then we applied the model to the area burned by the Rim Fire on Stanislaus National Forest. Our aim was to provide a tool allowing land managers to a) make forest management decisions while accounting for the expected affects on Black-backed Woodpeckers, and b) identify for possible retention the particular forest stands that would be most valuable to Black-backed Woodpeckers. Although we focused on the Rim fire, our model can be applied similarly to assist with post-fire planning efforts at other fires throughout Black-backed Woodpecker’s range in California.


Assessing effects of fuels treatments and wildfire on California spotted owls in the northern Sierra Nevada

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Date: April 25th, 2012
Presenter: John Keane, USDA Forest Service, PSW Research Ecologist, Terrestrial Ecology Program
John Keane presents on his recent research investigating the effects of fuels treatments and wildfires on California spotted owls and their habitat. This research has been focused on assessing spotted owl responses as part of the Plumas-Lassen Study to monitor the effects of fuels treatments implemented under the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Act in the northern Sierra Nevada.

Fire regimes

Fire regimes, stand structure, and fuel loads in current and reconstructed riparian and upland forests

Date: May 9th, 2012
Presenter: Kip van de Water, USDA Forest Service, Fire Ecologist, Plumas National Forest
Fire history, stand structure, and fuel loads in adjacent riparian and upland forests were measured in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades. Historic stand structure and fuel loads were then reconstructed using fire history and current stand data. Current and reconstructed riparian and upland forests were compared to determine if current conditions differ from historical conditions, and whether differential change has occurred in riparian vs. upland stands.

Fire effects

What are the characteristics of  resilient forests? A discussion of the mixed conifer forests of the  Sierra San Pedro Martir in northern Baja California.

Date: October 20th, 2011
Presenter: Scott Stephens, Professor of Fire Sciences, UC Berkeley
Scott Stephens synthesizes his findings and experiences from his ten years of experience conducting research in the jeffrey pine-dominated mixed conifer forests of Sierra San Pedro Martir. These forests, which did not experience fire suppression until 1970, exhibit a startling amount of resiliency to fire, drought, and other disturbance events. In this webinar, Professor Stephens describes the characterictics of this unique forest and examines the factors which make it so resilient.

Persistence of sudden oak death following wildfires in the Big Sur region

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Date: October 30th, 2012
Presenter: Maia Beh, UC Cooperative Extension
This webinar covers key findings from research conducted in forests burned in 2008 that were heavily infested with Phytophthora ramorum, causal agent of sudden oak death, at the time of the wildfires. Participants will learn which characteristics of these coastal California forests contributed to the survival and persistence of the pathogen during and following the wildfires.

For whom the bell tolls: patterns, processes and consequences of fire-caused tree mortality

Date: November 13th, 2012
Presenter: Phillip J van Mantgem, USGS Western Ecological Research Center.
Tree  mortality is one of the most important effects of forest fires,  influencing important ecosystem services such as forest productivity,  wildlife habitat and carbon sequestration. In this webinar participants  will learn about the latest research on the mechanisms of fire-caused  tree mortality, and how it varies across tree species, sizes and  geographic ranges. The larger-scale consequences of fire-caused tree  mortality and how these patterns may be changing are also discussed.

Fire behavior

Fire in Shrublands - Operational Considerations of Fire Behavior

Date: April 4th, 2012
Presenter: David Weise, US Forest Service, PSW Fire and Fuels Program
Although fire behavior in shrublands is a key consideration in California, there has been limited focus on this topic in recent years. In this webinar David Weise summarizes the existing published information available for operational use and presents current research results from the past decade designed to improve the ability to predict low intensity fire behavior in these fuel types.

Fire Operations in the Wildland-Urban Interface 

 Date:  May 22nd, 2013
Presenter:   Chief Phill Veneris, CALFIRE
During this presentation, Chief Veneris discusses firefighting operations in the wildland-urban interface from a California perspective. He uses information and products from both his department, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) as well as the  latest publications from Firefighting Resources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies (FIRESCOPE). Chief Veneris provides information that will be useful to both the company officer as well as the incident commander when faced with a fire in the wildland-urban  interface and evacuating civilians in the fire’s path.  

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Date: November 10th, 2011
Presenter: Hugh Safford, Regional Ecologist, US Forest Service, Region 5
A detailed walkthrough of how to use and interpret the Fire Return Interval Departure GIS layers.
Description of purpose, data sources, database fields, and their calculations for the California Fire Return Interval Departure (FRID) map metadata (PDF)
US Forest Service Region 5 GIS Clearinghouse

Wildland-Urban Interface

Landscaping and home design for fire defense

Link to recording
Link to pdf of presentation slides

February 25, 2015 at 11AM PST

Yana Valachovic
UC Cooperative Extension

Risk Assessment to Achieve Fire Adapted Communities *

*Formally titled"The Application of Risk Management Principles to Mitigate the Potential for Wildland Urban Interface Disasters"


Given that humans are inherently poor risk managers and the complexity of the WUI fire risk issue, there is a great need for a new risk assessment process. During this webinar, a structured risk assessment model is presented that focuses on a systematic approach of decision-making for WUI risk mitigation. While the decision-making process can be applied broadly, actual community plans should be specifically created based on the unique situations and available actions for each WUI community. Examples that show the need and application of such an approach are presented from a range of previous work in the US. Other topics discussed include the impacts of the current wildfire management on future risk as a self-reinforcement cycle, risk sharing the WUI, and transmission of risk from public to private lands in California. For further reading, check out "How risk management can prevent future wildfire disasters in the wildland-urban interface." (2014 Calkin, D.E., et al. Full Article PDF).

Date: January 15, 2015

Dave Calkin, PhD, Research Forester,
Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
800 East Beckwith
Missoula, MT 59812
Link to USFS profile
PDF: Full Presentation PDF        Structured Risk Mitigation Model PDF
Link to "The Effectiveness of Suppression Resources in Large Fire Management" Webinar 2014


A holistic framework to sustainably manage the wildland-urban interface

Date: June 29th, 2011
Presenter: Chris Dicus, California Polytechnic University
PDF of Powerpoint Slides
Chris Dicus provides an introduction to the common problems encountered in managing WUI landscapes, and provides a framework for how to address some of these problems.
*(Note: To skip over the "technical difficulties" we experienced during the  webinar, you can gloss over minute 2 to minute 11 of the webinar. The  webinar ends at 1 hour and 11 minutes, although the recording continues  to show the final slide after that.)


Assessing Hazard and Risk in the Interface: Cautions and Confessions from a Statewide Mapping Effort

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Date: November 29th, 2011
Presenter: Dave Sapsis, CALFIRE Fire and Resource Assessment Program
This webinar will focus on elements required for statewide or regional scale mapping efforts designed to describe and classify ignition exposure to buildings that are associated with wildland (vegetation) fires, and their potential spread into urbanized areas. In addition to covering input data and spatial processing rules, the talk will also address methods of local review and validation, as well fundamental challenges of modeling key mechanisms such as ember production and transport, and the influence of data scale on map precision and accuracy. Finally, the talk will address ongoing concerns over long‐term updates and maintenance.


WUI Fire: Managing the Response

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Date: February 23rd, 2012
Presenter: Dan Turner, Urban Forest Ecosystem Institute, Cal Poly
In this webinar Dan Turner discusses fire jurisdictions, mutual aid agreements, pre-attack planning, deployment and mobilization plans, agency differences in strategy and tactics, resource prioritization, evacuations and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) coordination. It is geared toward public and private sector individuals involved in all facets of WUI fire response.

Social Motivation in the WUI: Ways to Effectively Engage the Public

Date: April 24th, 2012
Presenter: Sarah McCaffrey, USDA Forest Service, Research Forester, Social Science Unit
This webinar provides an overview of what has been learned to date  in relation to different aspects of public response to wildfire  management including risk perception, social acceptance of prescribed  fire and thinning, what makes homeowners more or less willing to create  defensible space, and communication dynamics. Developing an accurate  understanding of public views of fire management is important in  designing policy and outreach that effectively engages the public and  ensures that resources are targeted at the issues that are of actual  rather than perceived public concern. One barrier to effectively  engaging the public may be that many of the accepted descriptions  related to the public and wildfire are based primarily on conventional wisdoms that may or may not hold.

Evacuation Planning in the WUI

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Date: September 25th 2012
Presenter: Thomas J. Cova, Director of the Center for Natural & Technological Hazards, University of Utah Geography Department
The 2012 fire season has already resulted in more fire-caused evacuations than many recent years.  This webinar will review traditional and contemporary aspects of evacuation planning.  Traditional topics to be covered include warning and response, traffic management, contingency planning, and vulnerable populations.  Contemporary topics will include social media, in-place shelter, trigger points, return-entry planning, and the changing policy context.  Examples drawn from recent events will be used to illustrate concepts as well as lessons learned, and participants will gain a broader understanding of practical considerations in effective evacuation planning in the WUI.

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Date: October 5th, 2011
Presenter: Steve Quarles, Institute for Business and Home Safety
PDF of Powerpoint Slides
Home survival in wildfire prone areas depends on a combination of  adequate vegetation management in the area surrounding your home (i.e.,  your “defensible space”) and choices regarding building materials and  design decisions for the home or building. Steve Quarles has been  actively involved in wildfire research and education regarding the  performance of materials and building design issues. These issues will  be the focus of this one hour webinar.  Information provided during this  webinar will be applicable to both new construction and retrofitting  existing homes or buildings.

Planning to Live with Fire: Designing & Retrofitting Communities with Fire in Mind

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Date: January 26th, 2012
Presenter: Carol Rice, Wildland Resource Management Inc.
Carol Rice, coauthor of the book “Managing Fire in the Urban Wildland Interface,” discusses appropriate land use policy, community layout, infrastructure, building requirements, and vegetation management in the WUI. This webinar is targeted for local planners, resource managers, property owners, homeowner associations, developers, and fire authorities. Considerations for existing and new communities are addressed, along with individual lot-by-lot development. Case studies are used to illustrate the process of planning to live with fire.

How to Survive and Leverage Your Wildland Fire  Prevention Efforts During a Fire Using READY, SET, GO!

Date: March 14th, 2012
Presenter: Bob Roper, Ventura County CA Fire Chief representing the IAFC Wildland Fire Policy Committee
This webinar will give you the basic history of the READY, SET, GO! (RSG) and how the program is rapidly being adopted across the United States. RSG provides concepts to build fire adapted communities and then how to leverage these tenets for your personal safety and the survivability of your structure.  Chief Roper will provide you links to get the free RSG information and offer resources to help you implement the program.

Firewise Communities: A Tool for WUI Residents

Date: July 17th, 2012
Presenters: Michele Steinberg (NFPA Firewise Communities Program), Pat Durland (Stone Creek Fire LLC), Phyllis Banducci (CAL FIRE), and Katie Ziemann (CA Fire Safe Council)
This webinar provides an overview of the Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program administered by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, US Department of the Interior, the California Fire Safe Council, CAL FIRE, and state forestry agencies across the U.S. This program is being used in California to help neighbors work together in high risk areas to achieve safer communities. Learn more about how this program can help your community, as well as support and training that is available.

Community Wildfire Protection Plans and Fire Adapted Human Communities: Trial by Fire

Date: October 11th, 2012
Presenter: Pam Jakes, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station
Description: Community wildfire protection plans have been described as ‘one of the most successful tools’ for addressing wildland fire management in the WUI.  Jakes shares findings from two recently completed studies of CWPPs, one identifying best management practices for developing a CWPP, and the second investigating whether CWPPs make a difference during and immediately after a wildfire. 

Experimentally Simulating Wind-Driven Firebrand Showers in Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires

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Date: December 5th, 2013

Presenter: Sam Manzello, National Institute of Standards and Technology


Wind-driven firebrand showers are a major cause of structural ignition in Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fires. To address this problem, a new firebrand research area targeted on quantifying structure vulnerabilities to wind-driven firebrand showers has been developed. This type of firebrand research was never possible prior to the development of the NIST Firebrand Generator, also referred to as the NIST Dragon. Due the complexity of the WUI fire problem, great strides must be made to recruit the next generation of researchers to fire safety science from diverse backgrounds. This presentation closes with a discussion of ongoing workshop activities intended to achieve this, as well as some challenges for future WUI research.

Fire Adapted Communities: Moving from Policy to Action

Date: January 16th, 2014

Presenter: Molly Mowery, President, Wildfire Planning International and member of the Network Coordination Team of the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network.


This webinar discusses tangible and innovative methods in which national Fire Adapted Communities (FAC’s) are moving forward. Over the last few years, many have been introduced to the term Fire Adapted Communities through national policy and programs. Many communities have embraced FAC concepts and are displaying positive results on the ground. What do these efforts look like? Who is engaged with moving them forward? This presentation will quickly recap FAC’s history, but focus primarily on how ideas are transformed into actions through both national pilot communities and local activities. Specific examples will be highlighted from the FAC Learning Network, Cohesive Strategy, and other programs.

Traditional knowledge

Incorporating tribal traditional knowledge and community values into  wildland fire management

Date: March 27th, 2013
Presenter: Frank Lake, US Forest Service,  Pacific Southwest Research Station.
This  presentation provides background information on existing federal  agency fire planning and management activities. Additionally, it  discusses opportunities for how tribes and communities can coordinate with  fire managers to identify values at risk and recommend mitigation  actions or other treatments to reduce non-desired impacts to valued  resources. This overview includes information about the Wildland  Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS) and how “values at risk” are  identified and could be managed. Different case study examples will be  used to provide place-based context for different resources valued by  tribes and communities.