Fire Stories

Fire stories from the national parks highlight events, incidents, and the like, associated with fire and fuels management, as well as fire education, technology, partnerships, and more. Stories highlight work related to Department of the Interior initiatives as well as local and regional initiatives.

Audience members participate in the symposium's concluding "Manager's Panel."

Teton Interagency Fifth Annual Fire Effects Symposium From Data to Decisions: Implications of Fire Effects Monitoring

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The fifth annual Teton Interagency Fire Effects Symposium was hosted on January 31, 2006 by Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest. The Symposium was held at the newly completed Jackson campus of the Teton Science School. Many area agencies were represented at the meeting, including: National Park Service, Wyoming Game & Fish Department, the Bureau of Land Management, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Uinta National Forest, The Nature Conservancy, Jackson Hole Land Trust, and the Teton Science School. Also represented were Colorado State University and the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab.

Providing a link between monitoring and management was the theme for the day. Talks were grouped into three sessions: tools to utilize monitoring data, reports from the field, and applications toward decision making. Presentations included overviews of several tools: the fire effects monitoring and inventory system, FIREMON and its integration with NPS's FEAT; the Forest Vegetation Simulator Fire and Fuels Extension (FVS-FFE); vegetation mapping by the Bridger-Teton National Forest; and fuels modeling currently in the making at Grand Teton National Park. Reports from the field ranged from local projects, such as the Diamond L, Jackson Interagency Habitat Initiative prescribed burn, to whitebark pine fire regimes in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and fire history sampling in northeast Wyoming by the Lander BLM. Application of fire effects data was exemplified by the Teton Science School's use of FVS to implement a fuel management plan on conservation easements, as well as by The Nature Conservancy's use of fire to manage the Tensleep Preserve in northeast Wyoming. The Symposium day concluded with a manager's panel. Several area managers outlined the importance of monitoring in their adaptive management processes followed by audience- and panel-initiated discussion.

Recurring themes for the day were agency monitoring plans, project level monitoring, the importance of documentation, and monitoring within adaptive management. Grand Teton NP and Bridger-Teton NF monitoring plans were introduced and explained with project examples. The steps taken in project level monitoring were outlined, and their importance as inputs toward adaptive management, were stressed. Clear and complete monitoring documentation was brought up again and again as an essential process within the monitoring framework.

The fire effects symposium continues to be a good forum for sharing information and discussion among fellow monitors, researchers, and managers. Based on the good camaraderie of this year's participants, perhaps future years will branch out to an even wider geographic region of interest and participation.

Contact: Kate Cueno, Fire Effects Monitor
Phone: (307) 739-3665