Prescribed burning is a management tool used to reduce fuel loads and lessen the risk of severe wildland fire across the South Central Plains, but little is known about the change in weather conditions suitable for these days over time. (Credit: National Park Service)
Researchers form the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) recently published a report on changing fire regimes and management strategies.
Fire is a natural and necessary component of the South Central Plains ecosystem. However, fire suppression and more frequent droughts in the region have resulted in a build-up of dry fuels loads such as dead wood, resulting in fires that burn hotter and impact the landscape more severely.
In order to develop effective fire management responses, ongoing research into the changing scope and intensity of fire regimes in the region needs to be better connected to management practitioners and their expertise.This project will help managers respond to changing fire regimes by analyzing historical climate observations and future projections to identify days which are suitable for prescribed burns as well as days of high wildfire potential.
SCIPP is a NOAA Regional Integrated Science and Assessments team.