Video captures what it’s like 'Inside a Forest Fire'

USFS researchers set up fire-proof equipment to record and measure the heat of a prescribed fire in Utah

By Jim Shay
Connecticut Post, Bridgeport, Conn.

WESTON, Conn. — Weston firefighters shared a video that so far has received more than 1 million views.

It was taken last June in Fishlake National Forest in Utah.

It was a fire that was deliberately set ... by the U.S. Forest Service.

After months of planning and preparation, Fishlake National Forest fire crews ignited more than 2,000 acres of Utah forest in an effort to consume living upper canopy vegetation and initiate growth of new vegetation. The prescribed fire was designed to restore aspen ecosystems by removing conifer trees and stimulating the regrowth of aspen.

Post by Weston Volunteer Fire Department.]

Inside a Forest Fire

See and hear the inside of a raging forest fire in these videos captured by scientists studying the impact of wildfire on U.S. forests. MORE:

Posted by KMTR NBC 16 on Saturday, August 24, 2019

The U.S. Forest Service said researchers at the Pacific Northwest Research Station and Rocky Mountain Research Station saw the fire as a unique opportunity for study.

Prior to the fire, Forest Service research experts took measurements of the forest vegetation and fuel loads. They also set up special fire-proof equipment to record and measure the heat of the fire throughout the project. Embedded below is a video recorded during the burn.

During the fire, scientists used LiDAR, radar, aircraft and satellite imagery, weather and atmospheric measurements, and ground monitoring to study the fuel (dead materials) consumed, fire behavior and the fire’s impact on living vegetation. Scientists will continue to monitor the area to determine how vegetation recovers after fire.

“More than 40 scientists from multiple agencies participated in the effort, gathering a variety of data on the fire itself and its impacts,” said Pacific Northwest research forester Roger Ottmar, one of the lead scientists for the project.

“The data is invaluable to our efforts to predict fire behavior, smoke impacts and the short- and long-term effects of extreme fires.”

Over the next several months, scientists will gather more data as the landscape recovers, comparing burn severity maps generated from remote sensors with observed plant regrowth. Other data from the fire is already being used to validate and improve models that predict fire and smoke severity, as well as to improve firefighter safety standards and guidelines.


©2019 the Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, Conn.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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