January 13, 2014 – CAMP SWIFT, Texas – This week Texas A&M Forest Service
along with 13 other organizations will take part in a research prescribed burn
exercise that seeks to improve technology developed for understanding fire
Information collected from this prescribed burn will be
useful to both the public and first responders by giving them an idea of how a
wildfire may behave.
“It’s really an honor to be a part of this research, it not
only provides information that will help keep homeowners and firefighters safe but also gives us the
opportunity to learn the science behind fire behavior,” said Rich Gray, Texas
A&M Forest Service Program Coordinator. “It will give the agency a chance
to show its ongoing expertise in prescribed burning and fire management.
Leading the research burn is Alexander Maranghides, Primary
Investigator at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
“The productive and successful collaboration is based on the
Bastrop fire assessment,” said Maranghides. “NIST developed a collection
methodology, and helped train TFS in this methodology, which allows for the
continuing partnership during this research burn. This is a really great
opportunity to work with several federal and state organizations, including
In 2011, NIST completed a post fire assessment of large loss
wildfires in Texas. During that time, NIST became aware of the capabilities and
proficiency of TFS which have helped cultivate the partnership of the upcoming
The prescribed burn taking place at Camp Swift, will use advanced
technology including Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), Sonic Detection and Ranging (SODAR)
equipment, and Unmanned aerial vehicles to help collect information on how
fires burns under certain weather and topographical conditions.
“Bastrop was the unlucky recipient of one of the largest wildfires
in Texas history. We are very keen on learning more about wildfire suppression
and prevention so hopefully this doesn’t happen again,” said Mike Fisher,
Bastrop Emergency Management Coordinator. “We are glad to be a part of this
research, and look forward to seeing it yield products that will help other
states across the nation and countries across the world.”
During this exercise the researchers will also collect data
on the fire’s intensity and rates of spread. A major goal from the burn is to
gather data so NIST and the U.S. Forest Service can build a fire behavior
modeling program that will assist the fire service in determining what actions and resources are needed to
contain a fire. Other beneficial
developments from the research include: wildland fuel treatments, reduction in
structure loss, and increased firefighter safety.
This event is open to
the media; those planning to attend will need to contact the assigned Public
Information Officers (PIO) by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 14.
For more information contact Mary Leathers, PIO for Texas
A&M Forest Service at 979-218-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jan Amen
PIO for Texas A&M Forest Service at 936-546-1004 or email@example.com.
organizations: Texas Army National Guard – Camp Swift, NIST, Texas A&M
Forest Service, Bastrop County Judge and Commissioners Court, Bastrop County
Office of Emergency Management, US Forest Service (Missoula Fire Lab.), U.S.
Forest Service (Seattle), Texas State University, Colorado State University,
San Diego State University, University of Washington, University of Kentucky,
University of Montana, and Joint Fire Science Program.
Leathers, Program Specialist
Fire Prevention Specialist
Jackson, Communications Specialist