The Science Behind Fire Management

For nearly 100 years, the National Park Service has been a steward of public land. Our fire management program is grounded in the best available science. Listed below are links to some select scientific literature and sources of information on a variety of topics relating to fire management at Saguaro National Park.


Fire History - Buffelgrass - Fire Ecology - Effects of Fire on Vegetation - Effects of Fire on Wildlife - Fire Management

Fire History

Fire history in the Rincon Mountains, Christopher Baisan (1990) [PDF, 3 MB]

Fire history in the Rincon and Catalina Mountains, Jose Iñiguez (2006) - Appendix A (Santa Catalina Mountains) - B (Rincon Peak) - C (Fire history and moisture and forest age structure) [PDF, 5 MB total]

Fire histories from the Southwest, Tom Swetnam (2005) [PDF, 736 KB]

Related Links

University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree Ring Research

International Multiproxy Paleofire Database (An archive of fire history data)

The Nature Conservancy's Southwest Forest Assessment Project (Historic fire frequency)

Fire Danger from Buffelgrass

Fire behavior in buffelgrass and native plant response to invasion, Chris McDonald and Guy McPherson (2011)
Buffelgrass transforming the Sonoran Desert, AarynOlsson and others (2011)
Buffelgrass and fire danger in Saguaro National Park, Todd Esque and others (winter 2006)
Nonnative grass invasions and fire in the Sonoran Desert, Todd Esque and Cecil Schwalbe (2006) [PDF, 515 KB]
Saguaros Under Siege: Invasive Species and Fire, Todd Esque and others (2005) [PDF, 4.5MB]

Related Articles
Please see the

Buffelgrass Information Center - Stories and Interviews
Buffelgrass Information Center - Bibliography

Related Links

Buffelgrass Information Center
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Invaders Page

Fire Ecology

Fire Effects Information System (searchable database)
Related Links
Journal of the Association for Fire Ecology
National Park Service Fire Ecology

Effects of Fire on Vegetation

Borderlands fire regimes, Margot Wilkinson-Kaye and others (2006) [PDF, 639 KB]
Fire and other disturbance in Borderland plant communities, Guy McPherson and Jake Weltzin (2000) [PDF, 507 KB]
Fire effects on Gambel oak, Scott Abella and Peter Fulé (2008) [PDF, 479 KB]
Multiple fires and pine stand structure, Zachary Holden and others (2007) [PDF, 1 MB]
Related Articles
How Plants Use Fire (And Are Used By It), Stephen J. Pyne (Nova Online, June 2002)
Exotic Grasses and Fire, Carla D'Antonio and Peter Vitousek (1992) (PDF, 2.6 MB)

Effects of Fire on Wildlife

Fire and buff-bellied flycatchers, Courtney Conway and Chris Kirkpatrick (2007) (PDF, 159 KB)
Fire and forest birds in southeastern Arizona, Chris Kirkpatrick and others (2006) (PDF, 114 KB)
Fire, sedimentation, and leopard frogs, John Parker (2005) (PDF, 1 MB)
Fire and desert tortoises and other small vertebrates, Todd Esque and others (2003) (PDF, 124 KB)

Fire Management

Historical and current fire management practices in two wilderness areas in the southwestern United States: the Saguaro Wilderness Area and the Gila-Aldo Leopold Wilderness Complex. Molly Hunter, Iniguez, Farris. (2014) (PDF, 7.7 MB)
History and evolution of fire policy, Jan van Wagtendonk (2007) (PDF, 2 MB)
Wilderness fire management issues, Carol Miller (2006) (PDF, 192 KB)
Linking wilderness research and management-volume 1. Wilderness fire restoration and management: an annotated reading list. Marion Hourdequin (2001) (PDF, 400 KB)
Related Articles
Fire in the Sky: Why America's ecological treasures sometimes just need to burn, Jeff Wheelwright (Discover Magazine, June 25, 2006)
How Rincons and Catalinas went their own ways in wildfire management, Mitch Tobin (Arizona Daily Star, October 5, 2003)

Related Links
Ecological Restoration Institute, Northern Arizona University
The Nature Conservancy, Global Fire Initiative

Last updated: August 9, 2017

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