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Decision making, public involvement

Science Spotlights

A world map coded by temperature, showing many areas exceeding 36 degrees Celsius in the recent past or the future.
Heat waves lasting days or weeks are among potential hazards expected to increase with climate change. Beyond heat waves, sustained temperatures of ≥ 36°C may be incompatible with high urban population densities. Most land area may exceed 36°C maximum monthly temperature by 2081–2100 under our current fossil-fueled pathway.Heat waves lasting days or weeks are among potential hazards expected to increase with climate change. Beyond heat waves,...
A map with roads color coded for risk
In 2016, the USDA Forest Service initiated the risk management assistance (RMA) program to improve the quality of strategic decision-making on its largest and most complex wildfire events. Beyond supporting many of the most complex incidents, the risk management assistance program has expanded to also incorporate pre-event assessment and training, post-fire review, organizational change, and system improvement. A new article provides details and...
A four-panel map of burn severity, erosion, sediment transport, and delivered sediment.
Rainfall-caused erosion following wildfire can contaminate community water sources. The research team used a simulation approach to estimate the likelihood of water quality degradation and collection system shortfalls for a community with multiple water sources in Colorado. 
Figure showing maps of maintain/protect/restore strategies, criterion areas, and graphs of revenue/cost/profit.
Data-driven decision making is the key to providing effective and efficient wildfire protection and sustainable use of natural resources. We prototyped a spatially explicit approach to data driven decision making to describe wildfire risk and the condition and costs associated with implementing multiple prescriptions for risk mitigation in the Blue Mountains of Oregon, USA.
A flow chart showing steps in wildfire risk mitigation from risk assessment, to designing outreach, to parcel owner engaging with wildfire organization, to parcel owner pursuing mitigation, to mitigation of wildfire risk.
Two recent innovative papers demonstrate how behavioral science experiments can provide evidence about the effectiveness of wildfire education outreach efforts.
Mushrooms growing next to a stump.
A collaborative research team determined that a North American Desarmillaria species was distinct from the Eurasian species, and the North American species was described as D. caespitosa.
A map of the perimeter of a modeled extremely large fire in Southern California.
Climate change studies suggest that extreme wildfires will become more frequent in the future. We investigated the prediction of extreme wildfire events - plausible but rare scenarios that describe yet to be observed fire disasters - using fire simulation methods. 
A closeup of a bumble bee on a flower.
Pollinators are declining in the Great Plains of North America. Reduced or degraded grasslands produce fewer flowers, which pollinators need. Pollinator management can provide resources to help pollinators withstand a variety of interacting stressors and concurrently support functioning rangeland ecosystems.
The Wildfire Risk to Communities logo
The Wildfire Risk to Communities website provides a nationwide view of wildfire risk potential, allowing users to see how individual states, counties, or communities compare to others across the country. These maps are powered by datasets developed by RMRS. 
Icon of a laptop and a smart phone together, both displaying the same image of a screenshot from the Wildfire SAFE application. The screenshot contains a map with a red tinted area in the middle.
When responding to a wildfire, fire managers need to consider a lot of information, like terrain in the area, vegetation conditions, and weather forecasts. When this information is spread across multiple data sources and web platforms, it can be more difficult to understand fire hazards and prioritize resources on the fly. The new app WildfireSAFE integrates real-time data from multiple data sources, like drought conditions from the U.S. Drought...

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