The forests of the Sierra Nevada have been shaped by fire throughout history. Wildland fire research at the Center encompasses ecological, economic, political, and social aspects of wildland fire. Some examples of wildland fire research done at the Center are included below.

  • The role of historical fire timing and characteristics in shaping present day landscapes
  • Alternatives to prescribed fire for improving resilience in fire prone landscapes (fire surrogates)
  • How to reduce fuel loads and strategically place treatments to improve the effectiveness of firefighting techniques and increase forest resilience
  • How will wildland fire timing and characteristics change with climate?

Recent Projects

Fire & Fire Surrogates Study

Effects of fuel treatment for wildfire hazard reduction and California spotted owl habitat protection

Selected Publications

The impact of land ownership, firefighting, and reserve status on fire probability in California

Full Citation: Starrs, C., V. Butsic, C. Stephens, and W. Stewart. 2018. The impact of land ownership, firefighting, and reserve status on fire probability in California. Environmental Research Letters 13 034025

Initial response of conifer and California black oak seedlings following fuel reduction activities in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest

Full Citation: Moghaddas, J.J., R.A. York, and S.L. Stephens. 2008. Initial response of conifer and California black oak seedlings following fuel reduction activities in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest. Forest Ecology and Management 255:3141-3150. 

Experimental fuel treatment impacts on forest structure, potential fire behavior, and predicted tree mortality in a California mixed conifer forest

Full Citation: Stephens, Scott L. and Jason J. Moghaddas. 2005. Experimental fuel treatment impacts on forest structure, potential fire behavior, and predicted tree mortality in a California mixed conifer forest Forest Ecology and Management 215(1-3): 21-36.