This paper provides a historical perspective on fire in the Pacific Northwest. A warmer climate could bring more fire to the westside of the Cascade Range where summers are typically dry and will probably become drier. We can also expect longer fire seasons. The biggest concern for the future will be an increase in extreme weather events, which can lead to conditions that produce large and rapidly spreading wildfire.
This paper provides a decision framework that integrates fire regime components, plant growth form, and survival attributes to predict how plants will respond to fires and how fires can be prescribed to enhance the likelihood of obtaining desired plant responses.
This synthesis contains 14 chapters that cover fire and forests, machinery, erosion processes, water yield and quality, soil and riparian impacts, aquatic and landscape effects, and predictive tools and procedures. These chapters provide an overview of our current understanding of the cumulative watershed effects of fuel management in the western United States.
This study compared historical and prescribed fire regimes for different regions in the United States and synthesized literature on season of prescribed burning. In regions and vegetation types where considerable differences in fuel consumption exist among burning seasons, the effects of prescribed fire season appears to be driven more by fire-intensity differences among seasons than by phenology. Where fuel consumption differs little among burning seasons, the effect of phenology or growth stage of organisms is often more apparent.
This synthesis discusses that fire can be used to either control invasive species or to restore historical fire regimes. However, the decision to use fire as a management tool must consider the potential interrelationships between fire and invasive species. Historical fire regimes did not occur in the presence of many invasive plants that are currently widespread, and the use of fire may not be a feasible or appropriate management action if fire-tolerant invasive plants are present. The management of fire and invasive plants must be closely integrated for each to be managed effectively.