Newswise — As dozens of fires burn throughout the western United States, fire ecology experts from the Ecological Restoration Institute and the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University are available to discuss the changing fire seasons, how this year compares to others and what communities, states and the federal government need to do to protect against unusually severe wildfires.

Wally Covington, Regents professor of forestry, [email protected] or (928) 699-0856

Wally Covington is the director of the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University. His research focuses on forest fires in ponderosa pines forests and how these forests can be restored to ecological health in a way that reduces the adverse impacts of future wildfires.

He frequently testifies in front of congressional and states natural resources committees, gives presentations and provides continuing education for federal conservation agencies like the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service. He will be one of the hosts of a leadership working session at the start of next year’s fire season to accelerate landscape restoration using the best available science and technology.

Peter Fulé, professor of forestry, [email protected] or (928) 523-1463

Peter Fulé researches ecological restoration and fire ecology in the western United States, focusing on the overuse of natural resources, fire exclusion and other human causes of environmental degradation that can threaten the natural health of forests. His research has shown that uncharacteristically severe wildfires are one of the signs of ecological damage to forests in the West.

Andi Thode, professor of forestry, [email protected] or (928) 523-5457

Andi Thode studies fire as it interacts with landscape ecology, restoration ecology, community ecology, invasive species and wildlife, including fire regimes, behavior and effects. Her current projects include mapping burn severity, quantifying burn severity on the ground and through remote sensing and analyzing patterns of burn severity and the quantification of current fire regimes. She also studies fire behavior characteristics and how to model those characteristics, including an understanding of fire weather, fuels, combustion and how fire spreads.


For additional experts on fires and forest health, contact the Ecological Restoration Institute at (928) 523-7182 or School of Forestry at (928) 523-3031.

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