The following press release was distributed by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
MOUNTAIN PINE BEETLE & FIRE: THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE RISKS
Helena seminar on May 4th brings in local and national experts
Missoula, MT, April 11, 2011: Much has been debated about the after-effects of Montana’s mountain pine beetle outbreak. Perhaps the largest area of debate centers on wildland fire risk during beetle attack, in the “red needle phase” the “gray phase,” and the “down phase.” Does the mountain pine beetle outbreak correlate to increase wildland fire risk? What type of fire behavior has been observed in the forest post outbreak? What are the long term implications related to fuel loading and future fire behavior?
The Mountain Pine Beetle Forum is hosting the seminar, “Mountain Pine Beetle & Fire: The Science Behind the Risks”, with experts from the scientific and local community whose research and experiences will provide insight on these topics. It will be held at the Red Lion Colonial Inn in Helena on May 4, 2011, with two opportunities to attend: a day-long session with longer, more technical presentations, and a general evening presentation from 6:00pm-9:00pm with the same presenters, but in a more concise, less technical format.
“Everyone is welcome to attend either or both sessions,” said Paula Short, spokesperson for the Montana DNRC who is one of the hosts for the event. “Our desire in providing two sessions was to make it available to both resource professionals and those who could come and spend the day as well as for the volunteer firefighter or private landowner who could only attend after regular business hours.” The event will also be broadcast on the internet, enabling participation by anyone who is unable to travel to Helena.
Presenters include researchers from the University of Idaho, the Missoula Fire Lab, British Columbia Forest Service, and local experts from the U.S. Forest Service, DNRC and the private sector. Complete details can be found at the Mountain Pine Beetle Forum website: http://www.beetles.mt.gov. There is no cost to attend, but an RSVP is requested and can be made by calling the DNRC Forestry Division in Missoula at (406) 542-4300.
This event is sponsored by the interagency Mountain Pine Beetle Forum, the USDA Forest Service Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center and the Tri-County FireSafe Working Group.