Media Tip Sheet: Wildfire Experts at Colorado State University Available to Discuss Upcoming Wildfire Season

Colorado State University experts are available to talk about a variety of subjects related to the upcoming wildfire season. The following list of faculty members is provided for media use only and not for the general public.

To speak with any of the following experts, please contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Fire behavior and effects

Monique Rocca, professor of wildland fire management, is available to talk about the role of wildfire in natural ecosystems, fire behavior and how human activities have altered patterns of fires. She also can discuss how management activities such as fire suppression, prescribed fire and forest thinning can affect forest ecology and health.  

Bill Romme, fire ecology professor and associate director for research of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, can discuss fire management policies, the effects of fires on organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems as well as the ecological role of fire in various major vegetation types of North America. He also can talk about the effects of fires in Yellowstone National Park on nitrogen and carbon cycling and re-growth of lodgepole pine forests.

Wildfire risk reduction and forest restoration

Dan Binkley, director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, is available to talk about ways to reduce risks of catastrophic wildfires and improve the health of Colorado’s forests. The Colorado Forest Restoration Institute was established by Congress and the governor of Colorado to actively restore forest heath and reduce the risk of severe wildfires.

Robert Sturtevant, extension forestry specialist with Colorado State’s Department of Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Stewardship and associate director of Colorado State’s Forest Restoration Institute, can discuss wildfire mitigation around homes and subdivisions, the use of fire for restoring forests, the role of wildfire in creating existing forests and how the suppression of fires has changed the natural cycles of the forest. He also can talk about the role insects play in changing forests in the absence of wildfire.

Wildfire economics

Douglas Rideout, wildfire economist and director of the Fire Economics and Management Laboratory, can discuss the economics and management of wild and prescribed fires, the wildland urban interface, strategic analysis and budgeting of fire programs, fuel management and initial attack systems. The laboratory has played a central role in the construction and implementation of the new Fire Program Analysis system that is being implemented nationwide to support fire program planning.

Public policy and community planning

Tony Cheng, associate professor of forestry and natural resource policy, can speak on community wildfire protection planning, public participation in forest management, planning sustainable wildfire mitigation and forest restoration plans.

Fuel management

Frederick "Skip" Smith, professor in the Department of Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Stewardship, is available to discuss how proper fuel management is a key factor in reducing fire risk.