International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire

International Journal of Wildland Fire

International Journal of Wildland Fire

International Journal of Wildland Fire publishes articles on basic and applied aspects of wildland fire science including, but not confined to, ecological impact, modelling fire and its effects, and management of fire. Read more about the journalMore

Editors-in-Chief: Susan G. Conard and Stefan Doerr

Current Issue

International Journal of Wildland Fire

Volume 26 Number 5 2017

WF16154Air quality policy and fire management responses addressing smoke from wildland fires in the United States and Australia

Joshua C. Hyde, Kara M. Yedinak, Alan F. Talhelm, Alistair M. S. Smith, David M. J. S. Bowman, Fay H. Johnston, Peter Lahm, Mark Fitch and Wade T. Tinkham
pp. 347-363

This paper presents a review of air quality and smoke management policies in the United States with comparisons with Australia. It discusses how the air quality regulatory framework affects wildland fire management. To be most effective, the smoke regulatory framework and fire management policy must keep pace with scientific advances as well as environmental and social change.


We explore public acceptance of smoke from several types of fires. We found the public is generally accepting of smoke, but acceptance varies by fire type. A sizable minority does not accept smoke. Perceptions of smoke-related health and non-health risks influenced acceptance of smoke from all fire types.


Fostering resilience in forest and fire management presents opportunities for scientists, managers and other constituents to work together to develop actionable scientific information. However, utilising scientific information in decision-making can be challenging. An assessment of scientific information application, development and communication was conducted, and recommendations for connecting science and decision-making are provided.


We developed MODIS-based models to predict live and dead fuel moisture for invasive tropical grasslands. Predictive models outperformed the commonly used National Fire Danger Rating System and the Keetch–Byram Drought Index. MODIS-based models will improve fire management in tropical ecosystems dominated by this widespread and problematic non-native grass.


An eastern United States wildfire hazard model updated with finer-resolution drought occurrence data is evaluated to determine if information is gained from the more detailed data. Inclusion of newer drought data shifted its contribution among monthly models to wildland–urban interface information. This refinement has removed the influence of climate division data.


We built a long-term forest fire occurrence probability model in the Karst forest management area (Slovenia) and developed spatial statistics methods using variables based on datasets of forest management plans, land use and forest fire activity. The resulting forest fire occurrence probability depends on the stands structure, species composition and the topographic parameters.


This paper examines the application of a Monte Carlo ensemble method for predicting surface fire characteristics and crowning potential (e.g. onset of crowning, type of crown fire and associated spread rate) in comparison with a deterministic one for a radiata pine (Pinus radiata) plantation fuel complex. The outputs of both approaches are assessed against data obtained from a wildfire case study.

WF14210Does season affect fire behaviour in the Cerrado?

Mariana Ninno Rissi, M. Jaime Baeza, Elizabeth Gorgone-Barbosa, Talita Zupo and Alessandra Fidelis
pp. 427-433

We compared fire behaviour in different fire seasons in areas of open savanna, aiming to understand fire behaviour and to provide information to control fuel and avoid wildfires.


Patch mosaic burning aims to create landscape mosaics of varying fire ages to cater for the needs of a diversity of species, but empirical studies often fail to support this notion. Mosaics of other fire regime components such as fire frequency are thought to be important but their effects have not been tested empirically. We present empirical evidence that fly and wasp species richness responds to both kinds of fire mosaic.

WF16081Higher sensitivity and lower specificity in post-fire mortality model validation of 11 western US tree species

Jeffrey M. Kane, Phillip J. van Mantgem, Laura B. Lalemand and MaryBeth Keifer
pp. 444-454

This study uses an independent dataset from prescribed fire monitoring plots to validate a commonly used post-fire tree mortality model. Findings indicate that model performance was generally good but tended to consistently overpredict mortality in thin-barked species and size classes. Overpredicting mortality may have the unintended consequence of not meeting desired reductions in small tree density that is a common goal with prescribed fire treatments.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 26 May 2017

WF16211High post-fire mortality of resprouting woody plants in Tasmanian Mediterranean-type vegetation

Áine Nicholson, Lynda D. Prior, George L. W. Perry and David M. J. S. Bowman
 

Resprouting is a key trait that helps plants recover after fire. Our survey following an extensive fire on an island in Bass Strait found resprouting rates were low, even in species with the capacity to resprout. This shows that the dichotomisation of plant species as ‘resprouters’ or ‘non-resprouters’ is overly simplistic.


We examined the human and biophysical factors driving the regional distribution of wildfires in a Mediterranean area. We found a fire size-dependent pattern in which humans control the distribution of all fires whereas land cover and fire weather mainly explained the location of the largest fires. These factors should therefore be taken into consideration when projecting fire hazard.

Published online 11 May 2017

WF16170Evaluation of the Canadian Precipitation Analysis (CaPA) to improve forest fire danger rating

Chelene C. Hanes, Piyush Jain, Mike D. Flannigan, Vincent Fortin and Guy Roy
 

Precipitation is a key component in fire danger prediction. Spatial interpolation of precipitation from sparse weather stations is a problem over large areas. A new precipitation analysis system that incorporates Doppler radar, weather station and forecast data was assessed and shown to improve precipitation estimation and resultant fire weather indices.

Published online 02 May 2017

WF16223Experimental designs for studying small-mammal responses to fire in North American conifer forests

Jenna Hutchen, Logan A. Volkmann and Karen E. Hodges
 

Wildfires are burning larger and hotter, with substantial impacts on forest wildlife. We review what is known about small-mammal responses to fire in North America; most studies focus only on changes in abundance between burned and mature forests. Our review highlights the need for more diverse research in study design and response variables to gain a richer understanding of small-mammal responses to fire.

Published online 26 April 2017

WF16126The influence of incident management teams on the deployment of wildfire suppression resources

Michael Hand, Hari Katuwal, David E. Calkin and Matthew P. Thompson
 

Factors associated with daily use of suppression resources on large wildfires are investigated. After controlling for fire, landscape and geographic characteristics, unobserved differences between incident management teams account for ~14% of variation in suppression resources used to manage wildfire incidents.

Published online 20 April 2017

WF16137A review of challenges to determining and demonstrating efficiency of large fire management

Matthew P. Thompson, Francisco Rodríguez y Silva, David E. Calkin and Michael S. Hand
 

We review challenges to determining and demonstrating efficiency of strategic approaches to managing low-probability, high-consequence large fire events. Key knowledge gaps relate to quantifying the consequences of fire and how they may change under alternative suppression strategies.

Published online 13 February 2017

WF16135An empirical machine learning method for predicting potential fire control locations for pre-fire planning and operational fire management

Christopher D. O' Connor, David E. Calkin and Matthew P. Thompson
 

This research supports planning for and management of wildfires to improve resource allocation decisions and to reduce risk to fire responders. We use historical fire perimeters to identify landscape features and conditions associated with where fires stop, and leverage these relationships to predict potential future fire control locations.

Published online 02 November 2016

WF16073A simulation and optimisation procedure to model daily suppression resource transfers during a fire season in Colorado

Yu Wei, Erin J. Belval, Matthew P. Thompson, Dave E. Calkin and Crystal S. Stonesifer
 

We developed and implemented a model to improve engine and crew assignments and transfers during a fire season. We implemented this model to study how multiple factors may influence engine and crew transfer costs and efficiencies. Results show we could decrease engine and crew transport costs through efficient resource dispatching.

Published online 21 September 2016

WF16032Projected changes in Australian fire regimes during the 21st century and consequences for ecosystems

S. P. Harrison and D. I. Kelley
 

Simulations show reduced burnt area in northern Australia and increased burnt area in central and southern Australia in response to projected changes in 21st century climate. Climate-induced vegetation changes are as important as climate in determining future fire regimes. Changes in fire regime are large enough to cause changes in vegetation patterns.

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