Pacific Wildland Fire science Laboratory

Seattle, WA, United States

Pacific Wildland Fire science Laboratory

Seattle, WA, United States
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Wilsey C.B.,University of Washington | Lawler J.J.,University of Washington | Maurer E.P.,Santa Clara University | Mckenzie D.,Pacific Wildland Fire science Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management | Year: 2013

Climate change is already affecting many fish and wildlife populations. Managing these populations requires an understanding of the nature, magnitude, and distribution of current and future climate impacts. Scientists and managers have at their disposal a wide array of models for projecting climate impacts that can be used to build such an understanding. Here, we provide a broad overview of the types of models available for forecasting the effects of climate change on key processes that affect fish and wildlife habitat (hydrology, fire, and vegetation), as well as on individual species distributions and populations. We present a framework for how climate-impacts modeling can be used to address management concerns, providing examples of model-based assessments of climate impacts on salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest, fire regimes in the boreal region of Canada, prairies and savannas in the Willamette Valley-Puget Sound Trough-Georgia Basin ecoregion, and marten Martes americana populations in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. We also highlight some key limitations of these models and discuss how such limitations should be managed. We conclude with a general discussion of how these models can be integrated into fish and wildlife management.

Larkin N.K.,Pacific Wildland Fire science Laboratory | Raffuse S.M.,A D Technology Inc. | Strand T.M.,Scion Research
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2014

Emissions from wildland fire are both highly variable and highly uncertain over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. Wildland fire emissions change considerably due to fluctuations from year to year with overall fire season severity, from season to season as different regions pass in and out of wildfire and prescribed fire periods, and from day to day as weather patterns affect large wildfire growth events and prescribed fire windows. Emissions from wildland fire are highly uncertain in that every component used to calculate wildland fire emissions is uncertain - including how much fire occurs and at what time during the year, assessments of available fuel stocks, consumption efficiency, and emissions factors used to calculate the final emissions. As shown here, these component uncertainties result in large-scale differences between estimation methods of wildland fire emissions including greenhouse gas totals, particulate matter totals, and other emissions. Four recent emissions inventories for the contiguous United States are compared to determine inter-inventory differences and to examine how methodological choices result in different annual totals and patterns of temporal and spatial variability. Inter-model variability is detailed for several current models, and current knowledge gaps and future directions for progressing fire emissions inventories are discussed. © 2013.

Strand T.,Pacific Wildland Fire science Laboratory | Larkin N.,Pacific Wildland Fire science Laboratory | Rorig M.,Pacific Wildland Fire science Laboratory | Krull C.,Pacific Wildland Fire science Laboratory | Moore M.,Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center
Journal of Aerosol Science | Year: 2011

PM2.5 surface concentrations were measured in smoke emitted by four wildfire events during fire seasons 2005-2008. These measurements fill a gap in the existing scientific PM2.5 observation database by providing a targeted wildfire-specific observation dataset. Four deployments occurred during various fire types including a managed-for-fuel-treatment wildfire complex, a wildfire complex, and two regional fire events. The maximum 24-h averaged values for each case were: 94.5γg/m3 (2005), 425γg/m3 (2006), 118γg/m3 (2007), and 247γg/m3 (2008). While these values are high, the diurnal concentration median and first quartile values remain below 35 and 10γg/m3, respectively. For all cases, the hourly diurnal patterns exhibit peak concentrations in the mid-morning and low concentrations in the mid-afternoon. Correlations between daily area actively burning and observed PM2.5 concentrations were significant for all cases and concentration patterns were found to be similar by geographic location rather than by type of fire (single vs. region-wide). Multiple co-located monitor types, the Environmental Proof Beta Attenuation Monitor, which measures PM2.5 concentrations using a beta-beam aimed at particulates collected on filter tape, and the E-SAMPLER and DataRAM, which both use nephelometry to measure PM2.5 concentrations, showed statistically good agreement. © 2010.

Brewer N.W.,University of Idaho | Smith A.M.S.,University of Idaho | Hatten J.A.,Oregon State University | Higuera P.E.,University of Idaho | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences | Year: 2013

Biomass burning is a significant contributor to atmospheric carbon emissions but may also provide an avenue in which fire-affected ecosystems can accumulate carbon over time, through the generation of highly resistant fire-altered carbon. Identifying how fuel moisture, and subsequent changes in the fire behavior, relates to the production of fire-altered carbon is important in determining how persistent charred residues are following a fire within specific fuel types. Additionally, understanding how mastication (mechanical forest thinning) and fire convert biomass to black carbon is essential for understanding how this management technique, employed in many fire-prone forest types, may influence stand-level black carbon in soils. In this experimental study, 15 masticated fuel beds, conditioned to three fuel moisture ranges, were burned, and production rates of pyrogenic carbon and soot-based black carbon were evaluated. Pyrogenic carbon was determined through elemental analysis of the post-fire residues, and soot-based black carbon was quantified with thermochemical methods. Pyrogenic carbon production rates ranged from 7.23% to 8.67% relative to pre-fire organic carbon content. Black carbon production rates averaged 0.02% in the 4-8% fuel moisture group and 0.05% in the 13-18% moisture group. A comparison of the ratio of black carbon to pyrogenic carbon indicates that burning with fuels ranging from 13% to 15% moisture content resulted in a higher proportion of black carbon produced, suggesting that the precursors to black carbon were indiscriminately consumed at lower fuel moistures. This research highlights the importance of fuel moisture and its role in dictating both the quantity and quality of the carbon produced in masticated fuel beds. © 2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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