FEIS Fire Regime FAQs

FEIS provides information on fire regimes of plant communities in the United States in 2 forms: "Fire Regime Reports" and "Fire Regime Syntheses". These publications use Biophysical Settings (BpS) models and associated Fire Regime Data Products developed by LANDFIRE. Each fire regime is a group of BpSs based on similarities in vegetation, modeled fire-return intervals, and geographic locations. The ~2,500 BpSs are grouped into ~180 fire regimes, which cover most plant communities in the United States.

Each fire regime is covered by either a Fire Regime Report or a Fire Regime Synthesis. Each Fire Regime Report includes basic data from LANDFIRE BpS models on historical fire frequency, severity, and distribution. Each Fire Regime Synthesis provides this information plus a thoroughly researched, well documented, peer reviewed synthesis of information from the scientific literature on historical fire frequency, spatial pattern, extent, and seasonality; historical ignition sources; typical patterns of fire intensity and severity; and contemporary changes in fuels and fire regimes, which may be caused by climate change or disturbances other than fire.

Fire Regime Syntheses:

Here are some frequently asked questions about the fire regime information available in FEIS.

Q. How up-to-date are Fire Regime Syntheses?

A. FEIS began publishing Fire Regime Syntheses in 2013. The publication date is found in the citation for each individual synthesis and indicates the year in which the literature was last searched.

Q. When will you publish more Fire Regime Syntheses?

A. FEIS staff are continually updating FEIS Species Reviews or writing Fire Regime Syntheses as funding is available; check our New publications list.

Q. How can I tell which fire regime titles are associated with a Fire Regime Report and which are associated with a Fire Regime Synthesis?

A. Fire regimes dated "2012" are Fire Regime Reports, which are based only on LANDFIRE BpS modeling. All Fire Regime Syntheses, which contain in-depth information synthesized from the literature, are dated 2013 or later.

Q. Where does the information in the Fire Regime Reports come from?

A. The information in Fire Regime Reports comes from LANDFIRE BpS map units and their associated state-and-transition models.

Q. What are my search results based on?

A. Advanced searches using map location, agency, and plant community are based on BpS locations.

Q. Who needs fire regime information?

A. Managers need scientifically sound, up-to-date information on fire regimes for fire management decisions, land use planning, restoration and rehabilitation planning, wildlife and range projects, and related environmental assessments. Information on plant community composition and disturbance regimes that dominated the landscape prior to Euro-American settlement can be used as reference conditions for current management. These are not necessarily target conditions, since they may not meet current management objectives and they may not be repeatable in our time, particularly in the face of climate change and the arrival of new species.
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