Media Tip Sheet: Colorado State University and Colorado State Forest Service Experts Available to Discuss Wildfire Topics

In light of the recent wildfires in Colorado, experts in Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources and the Colorado State Forest Service are available to discuss a variety of fire-related topics. The resources here are for reporter use only and not intended for publication.

Fire Behavior and Effects
Monique Rocca, assistant professor of wildland fire science at CSU, is available to talk about the role of wildfire in natural ecosystems, fire behavior, how human activities have altered patterns of fires, and how management activities such as fire suppression, prescribed fire and forest thinning can affect natural ecosystems and future wildfires. She can also discuss the effects of the mountain pine beetle outbreak in Colorado on future wildfires and what the future may hold for the affected forests. To speak with Rocca, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Boyd Lebeda, Colorado State Forest Service Fort Collins district forester, can talk about fire behavior in various fuel types and near homes in the wildland-urban interface. To speak with Lebeda, contact Ryan Lockwood at (970) 491-8970 or

Wildfire Risk Reduction/Individual Fire Preparedness
Lisa Mason, Colorado State Forest Service outreach forester, can discuss wildfire mitigation around homes and subdivisions, defensible space, and programs such as Are You FireWise? and Plains FireWise. To speak with Mason, contact Ryan Lockwood at (970) 491-8970 or

Community Wildfire Protection Plans
Judy Serby, Colorado State Forest Service conservation education program manager, can discuss Community Wildfire Protection Plans: what they are, where they have been implemented, how they are created, why they are important and the necessary steps to implement them. To speak with Serby, contact Ryan Lockwood at (970) 491-8970 or

State Firefighting Resources/Fire Suppression
Rich Homann, Colorado State Forest Service fire division supervisor, can talk about the state’s engine crews and other firefighting resources and how they’re positioned throughout the state to assist local resources in suppressing wildfires during initial attack. To speak with Homann, contact Ryan Lockwood at (970) 491-8970 or

Wildfire Economics
Douglas Rideout, CSU wildfire economist and director of the WESTFIRE Research Center, 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 center has played a central role in the construction and implementation of the new Fire Program Analysis system that is being implemented nationally to support fire program planning. To speak with Rideout, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Forest Fuel Management
Frederick "Skip" Smith, interim department head of CSU’s Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Watershed Stewardship, is available to discuss how forest and fuel management is a key factor in reducing wildland fire risk. To speak with Smith, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Health of Colorado’s Forests
Jessica Clement, co-director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, is available to talk about ways to restore or enhance Colorado’s forests, how to reduce wildfire risk while meeting other objectives and generally working toward a vibrant future of forested landscapes in Colorado. The Colorado Forest Restoration Institute was established by Congress to work with state and federal partners and communities to actively restore forest landscape health and reduce the risk of severe wildfires. She can also speak on community forest initiatives, collaborative forest management on any scale and finding ways to explore ecologically, economically and socially desirable conditions for future forests. To speak with Clement, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Impacts on Water Run-off
Lee MacDonald, professor of land-use hydrology in CSU’s Watershed Science Program, can discuss effects of forest management and changes in forest cover, including beetle kill, on run-off (peak flows, low flows and annual water yields) and erosion. He can also discuss the effects of wild and prescribed fires on run-off and erosion, hydrologic recovery and the effectiveness of burned area emergency rehabilitation techniques. To speak with MacDonald, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Bark Beetle Mitigation Options
Ron Cousineau and John Twitchell, Colorado State Forest Service district foresters, can discuss forest management related to mitigating the spread of and damage from bark beetles, including tactics to protect healthy trees, improve overall forest health and reduce the risk of falling tree hazards. To speak with Cousineau or Twitchell, contact Ryan Lockwood at (970) 491-8970 or