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ENVIRONMENT. Fire-Smart Forest Management: A Pragmatic Approach to Sustainable Forest Management in Fire Dominated Ecosystems. K. Hirsch, V. Kafka, C. Tymstra, R. McAlpine, B. Hawkes, H. Stegehuis, S. Quintilio, S. Gauthier, K. Peck.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

ENVIRONMENT

Fire-Smart Forest Management:

A Pragmatic Approach to Sustainable Forest Management in Fire Dominated Ecosystems

K. Hirsch, V. Kafka, C. Tymstra,

R. McAlpine, B. Hawkes, H. Stegehuis,

S. Quintilio, S. Gauthier, K. Peck

Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles CanadaCanadian Forest Service Service canadien des forêts

slide2

Presentation Outline

1. Introduction and background

2. Concept of fire-smart forest management

3. Creating and evaluating fire-smart landscapes

4. Where do we go from here?

slide4

Social

  • balance between social, economic, and ecological sustainability

Ecological

Economic

Characteristics of Emerging Forest Management Philosophies

SFM, ecosystem management, ecological management

  • systems-based, process oriented
  • stand and landscape level
  • current and future needs
slide5

Wildfires are a natural component of boreal and subalpine forest ecosystems

Ecological benefits

  • ecosystem health
  • biodiversity
  • landscape metrics

Socio-economic impacts

  • life and property
  • timber supply
  • water and air quality
slide6

It is neither economically possible nor ecologically desirable to eliminate fire from the ecosystem.

  • Forest management becomes a form of risk
      • Short-term socioeconomic risks associated with fire
      • Longer-term ecological risks associated with no-fire
  • Requires proactive, landscape level, long-term thinking that acknowledges the value of ecosystem processes
slide8

Minimize

Area Burned

Forest Mgt

Fire Mgt

  • site preparation
  • regeneration
  • stand tending
  • harvesting systems and scheduling
  • block layout and design
  • road construction
  • prevention
  • suppression

Fire-Forestry Relationship Under Sustained Yield

Maximize Fibre

Production

slide9

Fire-Smart Sustainable Forest Management

Objective:

To use forest management activities in a planned and strategic manner to:

  • reduce the area burned by undesirable wildfires

and

  • reduce the risk associated with the use of prescribed fire

Working with nature to determine where and when to put and/or allow fire on the landscape while minimizing short- and long-term risk

slide10

Forest Management

site preparation, regeneration, stand tending, harvesting systems and scheduling, block layout and design, road construction

Behaviour potential

Ignition potential

Suppression capability

Number of escape wildfires

Risk associated with prescribed fire

Area burned by escape fires

Social, economic, and ecological effect of fire

Fire-Smart Sustainable Forest Management

slide12

Factors affecting fire behavior

Vertical arrangement

Moisture content

Size and shape

Compactness

Fuel loading

Continuity

Chemistry

Steepness of slope

Position on slope

Aspect

Elevation

Shape of landscape

Fuels

Topography

Weather

Wind speed and direction, Relative humidity

Precipitation, Temperature, Atmospheric stability

slide13

Use forest management to manipulate the forest fuels

  • Reduce fire intensity and spread potential
  • Increase suppression effectiveness
slide14

Fuels 1998

1998

~200,000 ha

Scale

20 km

Study Area

Millar Western FMA

slide15

Creating a Fire Smart Landscape

Understanding Fire and the Fire Environment

  • Assessment Data
  • Fire history
  • Fire weather
  • Large fire spread patterns
  • Fire occurrence risk
  • Fuels and current fire behaviour potential
  • Topography
  • Local knowledge of values (forestry, water, infrastructure, critical habitat, etc.)
slide16

Creating a Fire Smart Landscape

Strategically Located Fuels Management

Timber Supply Analysis

non-spatial and spatial

10-year snapshots

FBP fuel type landscapes

over 200 year rotation

Deciduous/mixed (some conifer)

Deciduous/mixed

Conifer production

Conversion to mixed

Conversion to conifer

Intensive conifer production

Mixed/deciduous (some conifer)

Mixed/deciduous

Maintain current

slide39

Evaluating a Fire-Smart Landscape

WILDFIRE: Wildland Fire Growth Simuulation Model

Characteristics

1) 8-point cellular elliptical model

2) FBP calculations & diurnal weather

3) hourly propagation

Conditions

1) Season: spring (no green-up)

2) 90th percentile conditions:

FFMC = 90, BUI = 50, WS = 20km/hr

3) Wind Direction: NW & SW

4) Day 2 run

5) Area burned & other fire behaviour characteristics

slide40

Exploratory Analysis

“Fire Door Effect”

1998 Land Base

Fire Smart Land Base

slide41

FGM: 2 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide42

FGM: 4 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide43

FGM: 6 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide44

FGM: 8 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide45

FGM: 10 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide46

FGM: 12 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide47

FGM: 14 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide48

FGM: 16 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide49

FGM: 18 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide50

FGM: 20 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide51

FGM: 22 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide52

FGM: 2 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide53

FGM: 4 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide54

FGM: 6 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide55

FGM: 8 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide56

FGM: 10 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide57

FGM: 12 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide58

FGM: 14 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide59

FGM: 16 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide60

FGM: 18 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide61

FGM: 20 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide62

FGM: 22 hr

Landbase

Fire Smart

slide64

25% Reduction

Average Fire Size

NW winds

SW winds

Fire Size (ha)

Scenarios

LB1998

FS1998

slide65

Fire Size Distribution

Fire size class (ha)

< 5000

5000-10,000

10,00-15,000

Number of fires

15,000-20,000

> 20,000

LB1998

Scenarios

FS1998

slide66

Results of Exploratory Analysis

  • Strategic changes in landscape level fuel continuity and arrangement has potential to reduce the area burned by wildfires but
    • grass management maybe a critical factor
    • fuels management must be both spatially/temporally dynamic
    • won’t eliminate all large fires but reduce likelihood of occurrence
  • Fire Smart approach could be more useful when applied on a regional basis
  • Fire Smart can also reduce the risk of using prescribed fire
  • Fire Smart landscapes could represent an adaptive measure to counteract possible increases in fire danger under a changing climate
slide68

FUTURE WORK

Concepts seem reasonable but we do not have all of the answers

Need for a more rigorous and quantitative an assessment

(NCE Project)

  • Effectiveness at reducing fire size
  • Impact on timber supply, wildlife, biodiversity, etc.
  • Develop spatial and temporal optimization of barriers to fire spread
  • Develop burn probability maps and evaluate the likelihood of “company ending events”
  • Link with landscape management initiatives (NES- IRM project, OMNR initiatives in sfm, etc.)
slide69

FUTURE WORK

Link to Climate Change

  • Evaluate impact of future climate on fire behaviour potential using RCM data
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of fire smart forest management as a climate change adaptation strategy

Facilitate Innovative Thinking

  • Get fire managers and forest managers working together (concept paper, presentations, seminars, pilot projects)
  • Course on integrating fire and forest management
slide70

Project Collaborators

LFS

Cordy Tymstra, Karl Peck, Herman Stegehius, Sherra Quinitilio

Millar Western and Associated Firms

Jonathan Russell, Ray Hilts, Laird Van Damme, Ted Gooding

CFS

Bernie Todd, Brad Hawkes, Brian Stocks, Mike Flannigan, Brian Amiro, Mike Wotton, Marc Parisien

University of Toronto

Dave Martell, Jay Malcolm

University of Chile

Andres Weintraub

Ontario MNR

Rob McAlpine, Rob Davis

University of Alberta

Glen Armstrong, other SFM researchers

slide71

ENVIRONMENT

Thank You

Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles CanadaCanadian Forest Service Service canadien des forêts