Sarah A. Lewis

Contact Info


Rocky Mountain Research Station
Forest Service US Department of Agriculture
1221 S. Main Street
Moscow , ID 83843, United States

Publications in Fire Ecology

The Relationship of Multispectral Satellite Imagery to Immediate Fire Effects
Pages: 64-90
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301064

The Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) and the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Data Center produce Burned Area Reflectance Classification (BARC) maps for use by Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams in rapid response to wildfires. BAER teams desire maps indicative of fire effects on soils, but green and nonphotosynthetic vegetation and other materials also affect the spectral properties of post-fire imagery.  [Read More]

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Post-Fire Burn Severity and Vegetation Response Following Eight Large Wildfires Across the Western United States
Pages: 91-108
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301091

Vegetation response and burn severity were examined following eight large wildfires that burned in 2003 and 2004: two wildfires in California chaparral, two each in dry and moist mixed-conifer forests in Montana, and two in boreal forests in interior Alaska. Our research objectives were: 1) to characterize one year post-fire vegetation recovery relative to initial fire effects on the soil surface that could potentially serve as indicators of vegetation response (and thus, ultimately longerterm post-fire ecosystem recovery), and 2) to use a remotely-sensed indicator of burn severity to describe landscape patterns in fire effects.  [Read More]

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Mapping Ground Cover Using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing After the 2003 Simi and Old Wildfires in Southern California
Pages: 109-127
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301109

Wildfire effects on the ground surface are indicative of the potential for post-fire watershed erosion response. Areas with remaining organic ground cover will likely experience less erosion than areas of complete ground cover combustion or exposed mineral soil. The Simi and Old fires burned ~67,000 ha in southern California in 2003. Burn severity indices calculated from pre- and postfire multispectral imagery were differenced (i.e., differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR)) to highlight fire-induced changes to soil and vegetation.  [Read More]

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Emergency Post-fire Rehabilitation Treatment Effects on Burned Area Ecology and Long-term Restoration
Pages: 115-127
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0501115

The predicted continuation of strong drying and warming trends in the southwestern United States underlies the associated prediction of increased frequency, area, and severity of wildfires in the coming years. As a result, the management of wildfires and fire effects on public lands will continue to be a major land management priority for the foreseeable future. Following fire suppression, the first land management process to occur on burned public lands is the rapid assessment and emergency treatment recommendations provided by the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team.  [Read More]

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Vegetation Response after Post-Fire Mulching and Native Grass Seeding
Pages: 49-62
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1003049

Post-fire mulch and seeding treatments, often applied on steep, severely burned slopes immediately after large wildfires, are meant to reduce the potential of erosion and establishment of invasive plants, especially non-native plants, that could threaten values at risk. However, the effects of these treatments on native vegetation response post fire are little studied, especially beyond one to two years. We compared species richness, diversity, and percent canopy cover of understory plants one, two, three, four, and six years after immediate post-fire application of wood strand mulch, agricultural wheat straw mulch, hydromulch + seed with locally adapted native grasses, seed only with locally adapted native grasses with no mulch, and untreated (no mulch or grass seeding) after the 2005 School Fire in Washington, USA.  [Read More]

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Vegetation Response to Burn Severity, Native Grass Seeding, and Salvage Logging
Pages: 31-58
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1102031

As the size and extent of wildfires has increased in recent decades, so has the cost and extent of post-fire management, including seeding and salvage logging.  However, we know little about how burn severity, salvage logging, and post-fire seeding interact to influence vegetation recovery long-term.  We sampled understory plant species richness, diversity, and canopy cover one to six years post fire (2006 to 2009, and 2011) on 72 permanent plots selected in a stratified random sample to define post-fire vegetation response to burn severity, post-fire seeding with native grasses, and salvage logging on the 2005 School Fire in eastern Washington.  [Read More]

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