Modeling fuel treatment effectiveness for reducing the risk of watershed degradation

Photo by Larissa Yocom

Fire can affect aquatic resources as well as terrestrial landscapes. Colleagues in the Watershed Sciences department and I published a paper documenting the risk that reservoirs are under due to fire risk, given a century of fire exclusion and a historical misunderstanding of fire’s role and prevalence on western landscapes. We are now working on a project focused on how to place fuel treatments in order to reduce high-severity fire and subsequent negative impacts on downstream reservoir storage and fish habitat through sedimentation and debris flows. Graduate student Kipling Klimas is leading this project.

Larissa Yocom
Larissa Yocom
Associate Professor, Fire Ecology and Management

In my research group, we are interested in advancing research about the ecological role of fire, how climate, fire and vegetation are related over time and space, and how management can promote the beneficial aspects of fire and minimize the negative consequences.