U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Fire Science Brief, Issue 130, March 2011


US government work.


Fundamentally different from the rest of the forest types in the United States, Alaska’s boreal forest covers a signifi cant amount of acreage in an increasingly variable climate. With its high latitude location, predictions reveal that this region will be the first to experience the effects of global climate change. In fact, natives of this region are already dealing with warmer temperatures and a changing landscape. As a result, researchers conducted a study to help gather more information about this area and to better understand the effects of climate change and how those effects influence fire and fuels management. An extension of a previous project, researchers joined forces with managers and administrators to establish the study’s primary goals, which included gathering empirical data on the effects of stand age, vegetation type, and weather/climate on burn severity and generating predictions of climate changes and their impact on the natural fire regime. Additional research goals included using computer modeling tools, such as ALFRESCO, to create visual simulations of fire-vegetation interactions and to explore a diverse range of scenarios and time scales.