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The Future of Fire and Fuels Management: Adapting Fuels Treatments in a Changing Climate

Home Page Photo from 5th IAWF Fire Behavior & Fuels ConfThe Future of Fire and Fuels Management: Adapting Fuels Treatments in a Changing Climate Workshop took place on April 11, 2016 as part of the 5th IAWF Fire Behavior and Fuels conference.

This workshop culminated the Available Science Assessment Project (ASAP), sponsored by the Dept. of Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center (NWCSC), which evaluated the science behind fire and fuels management actions under climate change, with a focus on prescribed fire. This project focused on WA, OR, ID and western MT forests, but findings may be more broadly applicable. See the workshop summary.

The workshop built on interviews with fire managers who manage resources under shifting fire regimes, a systematic mapping of relevant literature, and an earlier science review panel discussion of the state of science behind prescribed fire use under changing climate conditions. This workshop brought managers and scientists together for broader discussions regarding fuels management in the context of climate change in order to: 

  • Document and synthesize social and expert knowledge of how fuels management is being adapted in response to shifts in climate and fire regimes;
  • Explore opportunities for further integration of scientific research and climate-informed management;
  • Discuss agency plans and priorities for managing fire (with specific reference to the role of prescribed fire) under future climate conditions;
  • Describe the intended management application of desired future research and products on fire and fuels management;
  • Develop partnerships between fire experts and forest/fire managers to ensure future research is addressing specific management needs; 
  • Help refine the NW CSC Science Agenda in the area of fire regimes and climate change. 


This workshop was hosted by EcoAdapt in collaboration with: US Department of Interior's Northwest Climate Science Center, OSU Institute for Natural Resources, the Northwest Fire Science Consortium, and the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network.

Related workshop readings -
Climate stress increases forest fire severity across the western United States

Dry forest resilience varies under simulated climate-management scenarios in a central Oregon, USA landscape

Perverse incentives: the case of wildfire smoke regulation