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    Author(s): Valerie Rapp
    Date: 2002
    Source: Science Update. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. September (2): 1-12
    Publication Series: Science Update
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.0 MB)

    Description

    Wildfire was a natural part of ecosystems in east-side Oregon and Washington before the 20th century. The fire regimes, or characteristic patterns of fire—how often, how hot, how big, what time of year—helped create and maintain various types of forests.

    Forests are dynamic, and fire interacts with other ecological processes. Fires, forests, and their interactions are closely studied by scientists from the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station and their partners.

    Over the past century, land use and land management practices changed fire regimes in east-side forests, particularly in dry, low-elevation forests that were historically dominated by large, widely spaced ponderosa pines.

    Now, in the 21st century, the extent of high-severity fire regimes exceeds that of low-severity fire regimes in east-side forests. The forests most likely to have changed from low- to high-severity regimes are also those forests near human communities.

    Fires can pose risks to people and their communities, even though fires may be a natural part of the ecosystem in which those people happen to live.

    A variety of passive and active restoration options can be used to manage—but not eliminate—fire risk. Scientists offer information about the outcomes of these choices.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Rapp, Valerie. 2002. Fire risk in east-side forests. Science Update. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. September (2): 1-12

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/4634