User guide to the FireCLIME Vulnerability Assessment (VA) tool: A rapid and flexible system for assessing ecosystem vulnerability to climate-fire interactions
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Decision makers need better methods for identifying critical ecosystem vulnerabilities to changing climate and fire regimes. Climate-wildfire-vegetation interactions are complex and hinder classification and projection necessary for development of management strategies. One such vulnerability assessment (VA) is FireCLIME VA, which allows users to compare management strategies under various climate scenarios and gauge the potential effectiveness of those strategies for reducing undesirable impacts of climate on wildfire regimes and resulting impacts of wildfire on natural ecosystems. Developed as part of the SW FireCLIME science-management partnership, FireCLIME is meant to be quick, flexible, and amendable to a range of data inputs (literature review, expert, and modeling or monitoring activities). These inputs allow users to easily compare various fire-climate outcomes for one or more ecosystems of interest. Users can use literature, hypothetical scenarios, or quantitative data to implement the FireCLIME VA tool. This tool, unlike other vulnerability assessment, is best used iteratively to explore a range of possible scenarios and management strategies.