Million-acre forest plan designed to make Black Hills more resilient to fire, bugs

DEADWOOD — In roughly two decades, the Black Hills mountain pine beetle infestation has decimated approximately 215,000 acres of pine trees in the Black Hills, leaving drastically changed woodlands in its wake.

Designed to reduce fire hazards and promote biodiversity on more than one million acres of public land in western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming, the framework for the major new management plan, is set forth in a document titled the “Black Hills Resilient Landscapes Project.”

Source: Million-acre forest plan designed to make Black Hills more resilient to fire, bugs – Black Hills Pioneer: Local News

Getting Ahead of the Wildfire Problem: Quantifying and Mapping Management Challenges and Opportunities

Wildfire is a global phenomenon that plays a vital role in regulating and maintaining many natural and human-influenced ecosystems but that also poses considerable risks to human populations and infrastructure. Fire managers are charged with balancing the short-term protection of human assets sensitive to fire exposure against the potential long-term benefits that wildfires can provide to natural systems and wildlife populations. The compressed decision timeframes imposed on fire managers during an incident are often insufficient to fully assess a range of fire management options and their respective implications for public and fire responder safety, attainment of land and resource objectives, and future trajectories of hazard and risk. This paper reviews the role of GIS-based assessment and planning to support operational wildfire management decisions, with a focus on recent and emerging research that pre-identifies anthropogenic and biophysical landscape features that can be leveraged to increase the safety and effectiveness of wildfire management operations. We use a case study from the United States to illustrate the development and application of tools that draw from research generated by the global fire management community.

Source: Geosciences | Free Full-Text | Getting Ahead of the Wildfire Problem: Quantifying and Mapping Management Challenges and Opportunities | HTML

Team studies fires this year in ’88 Yellowstone burn areas

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Nearly three decades ago, huge wildfires burned about a third of Yellowstone National Park. The park has seen wildfires every year since, but the forests of new trees that grew in the scars of those 1988 fires have helped curb their size and intensity — until now.

Source: Team studies fires this year in ’88 Yellowstone burn areas

Dead trees are fueling California wildfires, but what’s killing the trees?

California has suffered more than 5,000 wildfires this year, and we’ve only reached the beginning of the season. Just last week, more than 10,000 firefighters were battling blazes throughout the state – fires largely fueled by already-dead, dry trees.

But many of those trees aren’t dying of old age. They were killed by one tiny culprit: the bark beetle.

Source: Dead trees are fueling California wildfires, but what’s killing the trees? | KALW