Event Title

Climate Change and Wildland Fire

Presenter Information

J. Bradley Washa

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Streaming Media

Abstract

The impacts of climate change upon disturbance are demonstrated in numerous ways through wildland fire. The length of fire seasons have been extended, with snow packs melting earlier in the spring and wild fires continuing well into autumn under warmer and drier environments. Forest health issues from insect and disease infestations to increased fuel loadings are being exasperated by climate change. Invasive species have further increased and expanded across large parts of the west. These conditions impact the severity and number of acres burned on a landscape and regional level. Several recent wildfires and prescribed fires from Utah, along with associated weather data, will be reviewed to demonstrate the impacts of climate change on the wildland fire environment. Understanding the changing environment and management response to wildland re disturbance is important in implementing management actions by land management agencies in restoring and maintaining resilient landscapes.

Comments

Brad’s initial interest in re management began at Mesa Verde National Park on the helitack crew in 1989, continuing as an Engine Foreman and acting Zone Assistant Fire Management Officer on the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Fire Management Specialist with e Nature Conservancy, various fire positions on the Cibola National Forest, and Fire and Fuels Management Specialist with the Bureau of Land Management on the Medford District. In April 2004, Brad became the Utah BLM State Fuels Specialist. Brad has completed several details: BLM’s National Fuels Specialists at the National Interagency Fire Center, National Fuels Coordinator for the DOI Office of Wildland Fire in Washington, DC, Salt Lake Field Office Manager, and BLM Fire Planning and Fuels Management Division Chief at NIFC. With experience on over 300 wildland fires, qualifications include Operations Section Chief, Burn Boss, Prescribed Fire Manager, Operations Branch Director, Division Supervisor, Fire Behavior Analyst, Incident Commander, Strategic Operational Planner, and Agency Representative. Brad volunteers with the Park City Ski Patrol and returns to Wisconsin to teach at Mayville Public Schools Sixth Grade Camp Program. Brad received his BS in Natural Resource Management and Political Science from University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point with an MS in Wildland Fire Science from Colorado State University. Brad instructs a number of NWCG course and has lectured at UWSP and University of Utah.

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Oct 19th, 4:00 PM Oct 19th, 4:30 PM

Climate Change and Wildland Fire

USU Eccles Conference Center

The impacts of climate change upon disturbance are demonstrated in numerous ways through wildland fire. The length of fire seasons have been extended, with snow packs melting earlier in the spring and wild fires continuing well into autumn under warmer and drier environments. Forest health issues from insect and disease infestations to increased fuel loadings are being exasperated by climate change. Invasive species have further increased and expanded across large parts of the west. These conditions impact the severity and number of acres burned on a landscape and regional level. Several recent wildfires and prescribed fires from Utah, along with associated weather data, will be reviewed to demonstrate the impacts of climate change on the wildland fire environment. Understanding the changing environment and management response to wildland re disturbance is important in implementing management actions by land management agencies in restoring and maintaining resilient landscapes.