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 from Colorado State University 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.

CSU professor cares for horses impacted by Crystal Fire
At 1:30 a.m. Saturday, April 2, CSU students alerted one of their professors, Jason Bruemmer in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, that the Tip Top Ranch, a guest ranch owned by Jeff and Cindy Anderson, needed help evacuating and boarding 37 horses from the Crystal Fire. Bruemmer is boarding the horses until the ranch owners can return. To speak with Bruemmer and his students, contact Emily Wilmsen at or (970) 491-2336.

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 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 affected forests. To speak with Rocca, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Bill Romme, fire ecology professor, 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 can also talk about the effects of fires in Yellowstone National Park on nitrogen and carbon cycling and re-growth of lodgepole pine forests. To speak with Romme, 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) 491-6303 or

Drought and weather
CSU State Climatologist Nolan Doesken is available to discuss snow totals and impacts on drought, weather observation, historical climate data, precipitation and seasonal weather patterns. He also can address agricultural, recreational, hydrologic and industrial applications of climate information. Doesken’s 36 years of professional experience in weather research, climate studies, data acquisition, analysis and archiving provides him the expertise to address a wide variety of climate-related questions. He can also talk about the statewide volunteer network, called the Community Collaborative Rain, Snow and Hail Network, that improves precipitation monitoring and helps provide detailed storm analysis, drought, water supply and other water decision-making information to municipalities, homeowners, industries, utility providers, resource managers and educators. To speak with Doesken, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Air pollution from fires
Jeff Collett and Sonia Kreidenweis, atmospheric chemists and professors in the Department of Atmospheric Science, can talk about air pollution from fires, especially fine particulate matter that is emitted directly by the fire and also formed through downwind reactions of gaseous pollutant fire emissions. They can talk about ongoing research characterizing particles produced by wild and prescribed fires, including laboratory fuel combustion studies at the USDA/FS Fire Science Laboratory in Missoula, Mont. as well as studies examining particles sampled downwind of prescribed wildfires. They can also discuss the types of particles associated with fire, how they change between flaming and smoldering conditions, and molecular tracers used to identify smoke particles far from the source in order to determine fire contributions to total fine-particulate aerosol concentrations. To speak with Collett or Kreidenweis, contact Emily Wilmsen at or (970) 491-2336.

Health effects of wildfire smoke
Jennifer Peel, epidemiologist and associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health sciences, can talk about the health effects of air pollution in general and specifically about the potential health effects of populations affected by wildfire smoke. She can discuss the health effects of particulate matter and carbon monoxide, two of the major pollutants produced by wildfires. To speak with Peel, contact Emily Wilmsen at or (970) 491-2336.

Firestorms and downslope windstorms
Dan Lindsey, atmospheric research scientist for NOAA and CSU’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, can talk about studies on firestorms and downslope windstorms and how those impact one another. To speak with Lindsey, contact Emily Wilmsen at or (970) 491-2336.

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

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) 491-6303 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) 491-6303 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) 491-6303 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

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) 491-6303 or