Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy
Northeast Region
Helicopter flies over a forest fire.
Pagami Creek Fire, Superior NF, Minnesota, September 2011. (Photo: Kari Greer)

Resilient Landscapes - Fire-Adapted Communities - Safe and Effective Wildfire Response  
The Northeast Regional Strategy Committee (NE RSC) provides executive leadership, coordination, and guidance to carry out the Northeast Regional Action Plan while providing a forum for members to guide strategic direction for fire and land management activities. The NE RSC continues to collaboratively recognize, support, and help with National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy goals and implementation efforts.

Brad Simpkins, New Hampshire State Forester
In This Issue
Northeast Region Cohesive Strategy Key Contacts

Chair

Chief Fire Warden

Mass. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation

 

Maureen Brooks

Vice-Chair

U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area S&PF

 

Larry Mastic

Coordinator, Northeast Region

Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

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March 2017

2016 Wildland Fire Activity Report for the Eastern Area Available  
Cover of a report entitled Eastern Area 2016 Activity Report. The winter of 2015 - 2016 was mild and left the Eastern Area unusually dry for the spring fire season. The Eastern Area experienced increased fire activity and large fires from mid-April to the end of May. The preparedness level peaked at PL-3. Most resources were mobilized to the Great Lakes Compact. Many resources from outside the Geographic Area were mobilized, including large air tankers, heavy helicopters, Areal Supervision Modules, 8 Type 1 and 4 Type 2 IA crews, and a Type 2 Incident Management Team. View the full 2016 Wildland Fire Activity Report.

The Eastern Area Type 2 Team had four assignments: 16 Mile Fire (Pennsylvania State, 8032 acres); Monongahela National Forest Flooding, and two assignments to the Southern Area operating the Chattanooga Mobilization Center. The MNICS Type 2 Teams were assigned to two large fires on the Superior National Forest (Foss Lake Fire, 936 acres; Skibo Fire, 973 acres). Western fire season mobilizations were average with activity peaking at the end of August at PL-4. Sixty-one Eastern Area Type 2IA crews were mobilized, and the Midewin Interagency Hotshots were mobilized 8 times.

The Southern Area had a severe fall fire season and went into Preparedness Level 5 in early November. The Eastern Area supported them with overhead, engines, crews, and dozers. Mobilizations to the Southern Area ended at the end of November.

Registration Open for Wildland Fire Workshop  
Registration is open for the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop. Registration includes admission to all workshop sessions and social activities. The registration for U.S. Forest Service employees is waived. Register today! Visit the workshop Web page for more information.

Advertising banner for the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop. Aerial view of a smoke-filled landscape.

Missouri Conservation Area Gets Controlled Burn
Smoke rises beyond a forested hill.
Smoke is visible above a hilltop at the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area Thursday. The fire was part of a controlled burn by the Missouri Department of Conservation. (Photo: Sara Karnes)

Sara Karnes

Friday, February 24, 2017

Branson, MO ---  If you were out and about Thursday afternoon, you might have seen clouds of smoke coming from the western side of Branson. Don't be alarmed! That was just a controlled burn at the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Center.

Missouri Department of Conservation Metro Media Specialist Francis Skalicky explained that the prescribed burn was to help the balds ---   these are "open spots in a predominately forested area" ---   be more like they were in the pre-settlement era.

Q&A: WUI Fire Expert Shares Best Practices for Prevention, Mitigation 

A wildfire with billowing smoke rages behind homes.
Photo courtesy of Fire Chief Magazine

Rick Markley, Editor-in-Chief, Fire Chief Magazine

Christina Randall is an expert on mitigating wildland and WUI [wildland-urban interface] fires. She has spent the past 14 years as the wildfire mitigation administrator for the  Colorado Springs Fire Department after 19 years with the U.S. Forest Service, and she holds a bachelor's degree in natural resources management.

Randall serves on the  International Association of Fire Chiefs  Wildland Fire Policy Committee and the Wildland Urban Interface Mitigation Committee of the  National Wildfire Coordinating Group. She oversees the Colorado Springs wildfire mitigation program, including risk assessment, fuels and grant management, community education and outreach, business outreach and development review.

Randall sat down to talk with Fire Chief about what urban and suburban fire department leaders need to understand about the WUI fire threat and how to keep it at bay.

Read the full Christina Randall interview.
I ntroduction: New Northeast Region LANDFIRE Coordinator
A young woman smiles in front of a burning bush hedge. Please welcome Megan Sebasky, who is now working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Forestry and stationed at the Science Operations Center in Madison, WI. Jed Meunier, Research Ecologist ---   Science Services with the Wisconsin DNR, recently announced, "Megan will be working as the long-anticipated Northeast Region LANDFIRE Coordinator where she will be putting to good use her combination of GIS and communications skills. Megan has a unique background and skill set and we are excited to put her many talents to good use."

Megan has an undergraduate degree in biology and environmental studies from the University of Richmond, and a master's degree in biology from the University of Virginia. Megan has worked for environmental consulting companies for the past several years with project exposure in many different environmental sectors. She has a passion for ecology and GIS, which has led to a focus on habitat modeling, among other geospatial and ecological research challenges. Megan brings not only analytical skills, but also strong communication skills that will serve her well in this endeavor. Megan's web site is a tribute to that as well as a good place to get to know her better.

Megan will be reaching out to many of you connected with the Northeast Regional Strategy Committee, LANDFIRE, and fire generally in the near future and is excited about what we can learn and contribute to our collective understanding of fire systems in the Northeast region.
A Synthesis of Fire and Oak Restoration in the Northeastern U.S.
FireScience.gov logo.
Firescience.gov Friday Flash eNews
Issue 188 February 17, 2017

Principal Investigators:
David W. Peterson, USDA Forest Service, Wenatchee,
  WA
Lee E. Frelich, Department of Forest Resources,
  University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Peter B. Reich, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 

To better inform science-based restoration and management, we reviewed and synthesized existing scientific knowledge about:
  1. The role of fire in oak forests,
  2. Other factors that influence oak-fire relationships, and
  3. Possible approaches for using fire in restoration-based management of oaks in temperate deciduous forests of the Upper Midwest and northeastern United States.
Key Findings
  • Fire frequency regulates the balance between oak species and the three major vegetation types that comprise the oak triangle: mesic forests dominated by maple and basswood, boreal/cold-temperate pine forests, and grasslands. 
  • Reduction in fire frequency, combined with deer grazing and expansion of maple species, has led to mesophication of oak forests during the 20th Century. 
  • Oaks have a potentially bright future during the 21st Century. Restoration of fire and a warmer climate may reverse mesophication and allow restoration of oak savannas and woodlands. Oaks will likely expand into the southern boreal forest.
  • Restoration of fire in oak forests will be complicated by the long-time absence of fire, presence of mesic forest tree and shrub species which sprout after fire, deer grazing, and invasive plant and earthworm species.
Fire History of the Appalachian Region
Firescience.gov Friday Flash eNews
Issue 189 February 24, 2017

Principal Investigators:
Charles W. Lafon, Department of Geography Texas A&M
  University 
Adam T. Naito, School of Natural Resources and the
  Environment at the University of Arizona 
Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, Department of Geography
  at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 
Thomas A. Waldrop , U.S. Department of Agriculture,
  Forest Service 

[Editor's Note: This report includes several States in the Northeast region (Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York)]

Cover of a report entitled Fire History of the Appalachian Region A Review and Synthesis. Much of the Appalachian Mountain region is covered with a mosaic of oak- and pine-dominated forests that are being replaced by fire-sensitive mesophytic vegetation in the near-exclusion of fire. These vegetation changes imply that Appalachian vegetation had developed under a history of burning before the fire-exclusion era. This possibility has motivated investigations of Appalachian fire history using evidence from witness trees, fire-scarred trees, stand age structure, and soil and sediment charcoal. Our report synthesizes these investigations to obtain an up-to-date portrayal of Appalachian fire history.

National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day
Wildfire Community Preparedness Day banner.

What will you accomplish on Wildfire Community Preparedness Day? Use our project resources, including template press releases, project ideas, and more, to help you with your project. And, be sure to put your project on the map!

Conferences, Meetings, and Training Opportunities

   

Conferences and Meetings

--Regional--

Wednesday March 29, 2017
Minnesota Interagency Fire Center
402 SE 11th St., Grand Rapids, MN

--National-- 

All Hands, All Lands: Implementation Rooted in Science
April 25-27, 2017
Reno, NV
 
June 4-7, 2017
Boston, MA

Save the Date!
Northeast Forest Fire Supervisors Annual Meeting
June 19-23, 2017
Hanover, MD

FireVision 20/20: A 20-Year Reflection and Look into the Future
7th International Fire Ecology & Management Congress

Held concurrently with the 2nd Applied Fire Science Workshop
Hosted by the Association for Fire Ecology in cooperation with the Southern Fire Exchange
November 28 - December 2, 2017
Orlando, FL

The Northeast Regional Strategy Committee (NE RSC) delivers articles and stories each month that demonstrate the collaborative efforts of agencies, organizations and communities supporting and promoting the three goals of the Cohesive Strategy: Restoring Resilient Landscapes, Creating Fire Adapted Communities and Responding to Wildfire. 

 

This news update is our primary communication tool with our partners and the public. Looking for more Northeast Region Cohesive Strategy information or past published news update issues? Visit this Web site.

 

Does your agency, organization, or community have a project or event you'd like to see featured in the NE RSC News Update? 

 

Tell us about it! Just contact  Larry Mastic .
Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry | 603-868-7685 | rfitzhenry@fs.fed.us | https://www.na.fs.fed.us
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