Fires that burned in Colorado last year set new historical records, and issues arising from that fire season are the focus of a workshop, "Bridging the World of Fire Managers and Applied Fire Researchers," hosted by Colorado State University April 16-18.
The workshops during the conference will incorporate knowledge from land managers, technical specialists, research scientists and stakeholders. The conference will run from 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m. at the Fort Collins Marriott, 350 E. Horsetooth Road.
Researchers and fire managers will be working during the conference to reach a shared understanding of the key factors in the 2002 fires season, determine research available to assist decision makers dealing with the after effects of the 2002 fires season and decide upon urgent research needs in the immediate future.
Presentations on the April 16 from a variety of scientists and experts from the Western region of the country will focus on:
- an ecological review of the Hayman fire and other major fires in Colorado last year;
- the unexpected challenges and opportunities emerging from last year’s fires;
- a political perspective from U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, who commissioned a review of the Hayman fire and a native perspective of fire management on tribal lands.
Views will be expressed on the drought, blizzard of 2003 and possible effects on the upcoming fire season. Breakout groups will develop a prioritized list of cooperative opportunities in six different subject areas: fire behavior and fuels management; fire ecology, fire effects and insects and disease; fire effects on the soil erosion and the water quality in Colorado; smoke and climatic impacts from wild and prescribed fires; fire’s effects on threatened, endangered and invasive species; and fire’s social and economic impacts.
"This workshop provides unique opportunities to assess the lessons from the 2002 wildfire season in Colorado and to forge a meaningful agenda for future collaboration between researchers and fire managers," said Phil Omi, director of Colorado State’s WESTFIRE, or Western Forest Fire Research Center. "We’ve also invited representatives from numerous public and private organizations to participate in setting priorities."
The conference is sponsored by Colorado State University’s WESTFIRE, the Joint Fire Science Program and National Fire Plan Research.
For a complete schedule of conference topics and events, visit the Web at www.warnercnr.colostate.edu/~fuel/jfsp/agenda.htm.