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

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

To speak with any of the following Colorado State 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.  

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.

To speak with any of the following Colorado State Forest Service experts, please contact Katherine Timm at (970) 491-7698 or

Fuels reduction projects on Denver Water land

Kristin Garrison, assistant staff forester, can discuss fuels reduction and forest restoration/rehabilitation work occurring on Denver Water land near Cheesman Reservoir. This area was severely impacted by the Buffalo Creek and Hayman fires.

Forest management impacts on the Y Fire

Ron Cousineau, Granby District forester, is available to discuss the forest management work being done at Snow Mountain Ranch – YMCA Camp of the Rockies near Winter Park and how it affected fire behavior during the 2007 Y Fire. The fire burned 50 acres on ranch property, but no structures were lost and no one was injured. This area has been significantly impacted by mountain pine beetles.

Forest Restoration Grant projects

Joe Duda, forest management division supervisor, can discuss projects funded by the $1 million Colorado Community Forest Restoration grant program, which was established by the Colorado general assembly through House Bill 07-1130. The purpose of the grant program is to encourage diverse local stakeholders to work together to develop forest restoration proposals that protect critical water supplies and address related forest health challenges such as wildfire risk reduction, community protection, ecological restoration and woody biomass utilization.

State Firefighting Resources

Rich Homann, fire division supervisor, can talk about the state’s firefighting resources and how they’re positioned throughout the state to assist local resources in suppressing wildfires during initial attack.

2008 Fire Ecology Institute for Educators

Shawna Crocker, assistant staff forester, can discuss the 2008 Fire Ecology Institute for Educators. Thirty 4th -12th grade teachers will explore fire and forest ecology including fire science, fire mitigation, fire suppression, fire ecology and forest restoration. Activities and content correlate to state education standards, and are current and relevant.