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A World in Pixels: How New Research Is Helping to Predict Probability of High-Severity Fire

Author(s): Sean A. Parks
Year Published: 2018
Description:

With drought across much of the southern and western States, it’s shaping up to be another record year for wildfires. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, May 2018 was the fourthworst May since 2000 in terms of U.S. acres burned by wildfires. The year 2000 is a significant measuring point, since the six worst fire seasons in the last 50 years have all occurred since 2000. It’s one reason why a new U.S. Forest Service publication, entitled “High-Severity Fire: Evaluating Its Key Drivers and Mapping Its Probability Across Western U.S. Forests,” is particularly relevant.

According to Sean Parks, a research ecologist with the Rocky Mountain Research Station and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, the paper describes new maps that can help identify areas where high-severity fire is most likely to occur. Parks, who is the paper’s lead author, says much of the research comes down to pixels—the tiny dots on a computer screen or digital device that together make up an image.

Citation: Parks, Sean A. 2018. A World in Pixels: How New Research Is Helping to Predict Probability of High-Severity Fire. U.S. Department of Agriculture Rocky Mountain Research Station, Science You Can Use Bulletin, August 2018, 2 p.
Topic(s): Fire Regime, Fire Intensity / Burn Severity, Mapping, Pre-fire planning or management
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Research Brief or Fact Sheet
NRFSN number: 18051
Record updated: Aug 15, 2018