Described burns are an important tool to reduce the adverse effects of wildfires, but require appropriate planning and conditions.
The US Forest Service recently announced a temporary halt in the use of prescribed fires on National Forest System land while the agency conducts a review of protocols and practices. The announcement comes as firefighters continue to battle a massive fire in New Mexico that started as prescribed.
Florida State University researcher Brian Kwife uses scientific computing to investigate the spread of fire. He’s part of an interdisciplinary research team studying the optimal properties of controlled burns in longleaf pine forests in Florida and elsewhere in the southeastern United States, work that could help land managers reduce the devastating effects of wildfires.
Brian Quaive, Associate Professor, Department of Scientific Computing; Faculty Member, Institute of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
(512) 436-1148; [email protected]
Quaife studies fire modeling and fire dynamics. His research contributes to understanding how fire spreads and helps improve the tools that land managers and firefighters use to make decisions in the field.
“Our study takes into account the effect of prescribed burns on longleaf pine forests and the resilience of this ecosystem. We are looking for more information on the properties that make prescribed burning more effective. Some of the prescribed burning is beneficial, but overuse of this tool affects human health and the economy.” We’re also thinking about landscape resilience and looking at how long it takes for an ecosystem to rebound to where it was before the fire.”