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Adapting western US forests to climate change and wildfires: 10 common questions

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Forests in western North America are shaped by fire and — for the past century or more — by the absence of it. After more than a century of fire exclusion and under a rapidly changing climate, fire behavior has changed, and damage from wildfire is increasing. With more than a century of forest and fire science to build on, scientists, managers, and communities are refining management options for reducing risks to communities and ecosystems.

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How wildfire threaten US water supplies

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Communities across the United States and the globe rely on clean water flowing from forested watersheds. But these water source areas are impacted by the effects of wildfire. To help water providers and land managers prepare for impacts from wildfire on water supplies, the U.S. Geological Survey is working to measure and predict post-fire water quality and quantity.

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Basic fire facts- A story map from NW Fire Science Consortium

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This Fire Facts guide was created to provide basic wildfire information, background, terminology, and resources to increase your knowledge and understanding of wildland fire and the ways we can all contribute to better fire outcomes.

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Fuels treatments ease fire behavior in Pack Creek – A story map

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The Pack Creek Wildfire, ignited by an abandoned campfire, started early in the fire season on June 9, 2021 in the Pack Creek Day Use Area on the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

Under the influence of down-slope, down-canyon winds, the fire made a push west and down Pack Creek. The fire quickly exploded as a crown fire through a riparian area composed largely of cottonwood trees and pinyon and juniper landscapes. Within the community, fuel breaks implemented by Forestry, Fire and State Lands (State of Utah, FFSL) were designed to act as intermittent catch points for firefighters to actively engage the fire.

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Great Basin challenges and the GBFSE products to address them

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For a decade, the Great Basin Fire Science Exchange (GBFSE) has supported fire, fuels, and restoration research and outreach in the region. We accelerate awareness, adoption, and implementation of fire science by providing a forum for managers, scientists, policy makers, and the public to interact and share. As one of 15 regional fire science exchanges sponsored by the Joint Fire Science Program, we organize and disseminate current research, make connections, and support long-term relationships between practitioners, managers, and researchers to improve the health of Great Basin ecosystems. From climate to communication, we’ve tackled the toughest issues facing managers and stakeholders in a stressed and changing environment. On our 10-year anniversary, we review our accomplishments and look to future challenges.

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Innovations in biochar

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Biochar is a modern technology that returns carbon to the soil in the form of long-lasting charcoal. It’s made by baking biomass (such as tree wood, plants, manure, and other organic materials) without the oxygen that could cause it to burn completely to ash.

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Restoring sagebrush with ‘Modern Wildfire’

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Decades of overgrazing and wildfire suppression have let juniper trees grow large and spread far across sagebrush country, reducing habitat for sage grouse and other wildlife, and creating conditions for catastrophic wildfires.

In areas where fire is no longer a safe treatment, many land managers are stepping up to fill the role once played by wildfire.

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Trans-boundary wildfire risk

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This study introduces a number of newer concepts and methods related to transboundary risk governance for the state of Arizona. The methods fill a gap in existing risk assessment efforts by explicitly identifying transboundary exposure. We show how the methods and results can be used to better define the scale of risk and design effective risk governance institutions. Improving scale recognition within existing transboundary risk governance systems can help reduce inefficiencies in risk planning.

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2017 Fire season in OR and WA

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The 2017 Fire Narrative and Timeline tells the story of successes and challenges, and also addresses emerging technology and science, such as Quantitative Risk Assessment, Risk Management Assistance Teams, and using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) for infrared and reconnaissance flights.

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Sage-grouse: Life cycle in photos

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The photos in this story come from Sage Grouse: Icon of the West by Noppadol Paothong, a new book about the beautiful sagebrush landscape and the unique bird that defines its ecosystem and culture.

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