Media Tip Sheet: Wildfire Experts at Colorado State University Available to Discuss Current Issues, Topics

Note to Reporters: As the wildfire season begins, Colorado State is providing the following list of experts who can address a variety of information related to wildfires. The tip sheet is intended to provide resources to the media but not contact information for the public.


Health of Colorado forests

Tony Cheng, director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, can talk about ways to reduce risks of catastrophic wildfires to homes and communities and improve the health of Colorado’s forests. 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. Cheng can also talk about community wildfire protection planning, public participation in forest management, planning sustainable wildfire mitigation and forest restoration plans. To speak with Cheng, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Fire behavior and effects

Chad Hoffman, assistant professor fire science at CSU, is available to discuss fire behavior and modeling, fuels management and wildfire hazard and risk reduction, disturbance ecology, fire and bark beetle interactions, fire and forest pathogen interactions. To speak with Hoffman, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Bill Romme, fire ecology professor emeritus, 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 Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Wildfire risk reduction, forest ecology, and forest restoration

Dan Binkley, professor of forest ecology at Warner College of Natural Resources, is available to talk about ways to reduce risks of catastrophic wildfires and improve the health of Colorado’s forests. To speak with Binkley, contact Jennifer Dimas at or (970) 491-1543.

Forest fuel management

Frederick "Skip" Smith, department head of CSU’s Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, is available to discuss how forest and fuel management is a key factor in reducing wildland fire risk. To speak with Smith, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 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 Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Impacts on fire and forest management on runoff and erosion

Lee MacDonald, professor of land-use hydrology in CSU’s Watershed Science Program, can discuss effects of fires, forest management, and beetle kill, on run-off (peak flows, low flows and annual water yields) and erosion. He can also discuss the effectiveness of post-fire rehabilitation treatments on runoff and erosion, and the rates of hydrologic recovery after both wild and prescribed fires. To speak with MacDonald, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Post-fire restoration and re-vegetation

Mark W. Paschke, Shell Endowed Chair of Restoration Ecology, Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department and Research Associate Dean of the Warner College of Natural Resources is available to speak about post-fire restoration ecology and re-growth. To speak to Paschke, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970)491-1543 or

Fire weather

Sher Schranz, senior project manager with Colorado State’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere in collaboration with the NOAA Earth System Research Lab in Boulder, can talk about “fire weather,” which is a term used to define the research, technology, modeling and observational sensors used to better assist emergency officials and firefighters with prediction of wildfires. To speak with Schranz, contact Kayla Green at (970) 491-7099 or

Weather observation and historical climate data

Officials at CSU’s Colorado Climate Center collect data on snow totals and impacts on drought, weather observation, historical climate data, precipitation and seasonal weather patterns. They also can address agricultural, recreational, hydrologic and industrial applications of climate information. The climate center is also host to 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 the Colorado Climate Center, contact Kayla Green at (970) 491-7099 or

Real estate impact

Eric Holsapple, director of the Everitt Real Estate Center in the College of Business at Colorado State, can talk about the impact of wildfire on real estate markets, using the High Park Fire and Lower North Fork Fire for reference. To speak with Holsapple, contact Kate Jeracki at 970-491-2658 or