The Northwest and Alaska Fire Research Clearinghouse
 The Northwest and Alaska Fire Research Clearinghouse

www.fs.fed.us/pnw/fera/firehouse 

The Rainbow Series
In 1978, a national workshop on fire effects provided the impetus for a series of reports on the effects of wildland fire on ecosystems. Recognizing that knowledge of fire was needed for land management planning, scientists produced state-of-the-knowledge reviews describing the effects of fire on soil, water, air, flora, fauna, and fuels. To meet the continuing demand for summaries of fire effects knowledge, the interagency National Wildfire Coordinating Group asked Forest Service research leaders to update and revise the series in 1993. The series was named "The Rainbow Series," reflecting the use of different colors for each volume. The Rainbow Series covers effects of fire on flora, fauna, air, soil and water, cultural resources, and nonnative invasive plants.

The Rainbow Series emphasizes principles and processes rather than serving as a summary of all that is known. The six volumes, taken together, provide a wealth of information and examples to advance understanding of basic concepts regarding fire effects in the United States and Canada. They provide conceptual background and technical support to fire and resource managers for carrying out interdisciplinary planning, which is essential to managing wildlands in an ecosystem context. Planners and managers find the series helpful in many aspects of ecosystem-based management, but they also need to seek out and synthesize more detailed information to resolve specific management questions.

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Volume I. Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Effects of Fire on Fauna
Fires affect animals mainly through effects on their habitat. Fires often cause short-term increases in wildlife foods that contribute to increases in populations of some animals. These increases are moderated by the animals' ability to thrive in the altered, often simplified, structure of the postfire environment. The extent of fire effects on animal communities generally depends on the extent of change in habitat structure and species composition caused by fire. Stand-replacement fires usually cause greater changes in the faunal communities of forests than in those of grasslands. Within forests, stand-replacement fires usually alter the animal community more dramatically than understory fires. Animal species are adapted to survive the pattern of fire frequency, season, size, severity, and uniformity that characterized their habitat in presettlement times. When fire frequency increases or decreases substantially or fire severity changes from presettlement patterns, habitat for many animal species declines.

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Volume II. Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Effects of Fire on Flora
This state-of-knowledge review about the effects of fire on flora and fuels can assist land managers with ecosystem and fire management planning and in their efforts to inform others about the ecological role of fire. Chapter topics include fire regime classification, autecological effects of fire, fire regime characteristics and postfire plant community developments in ecosystems throughout the United States and Canada, global climate change, ecological principles of fire regimes, and practical considerations for managing fire in an ecosytem context.

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Volume III. Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Effects of Fire on Cultural Resources and Archeology
The updated and revised version of this volume has not been published yet.

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Volume IV. Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Effects of Fire on Soil and Water
This state-of-knowledge review about the effects of fire on soils and water can assist land and fire managers with information on the physical, chemical, and biological effects of fire needed to successfully conduct ecosystem management, and effectively inform others about the role and impacts of wildland fire. Chapter topics include the soil resource, soil physical properties and fire, soil chemistry effects, soil biology responses, the hydrologic cycle and water resources, water quality, aquatic biology, fire effects on wetland and riparian systems, fire effects models, and watershed rehabilitation.

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Volume V. Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Effects of Fire on Air
This state-of-knowledge review about the effects of fire on air quality can assist land, fire, and air resource managers with fire and smoke planning, and their efforts to explain to others the science behind fire-related program policies and practices to improve air quality. Chapter topics include air quality regulations and fire; characterization of emissions from fire; the transport, dispersion, and modeling of fire emissions; atmospheric and plume chemistry; air quality impacts of fire; social consequences of air quality impacts; and recommendations for future research.

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Volume VI. Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Fire and Nonnative Invasive Plants
The updated and revised version of this volume has not been published yet. Interactions between invasive plants and fire management actions increase the complexity of decision-making for land managers. To make informed decisions, managers need to understand the scientific principles that drive the relationships between fire and invasive plants, and they need to know what aspects of fire-invasive issues are unique to their geographic regions. This report will synthesize research on the role of fire in promoting invasions by nonnative plant species, ecological effects of fire regimes changed by plant invasions, and use of fire to manage nonnative invasive plants. The report will also summarize scientific knowledge about fire and invasives for seven geographic areas: the Northeastern, Southeastern, Central, Interior Western, Southwestern Coastal, Northwestern Coastal, and Pacific Islands bioregions.

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Comments/suggestions?Last updated: 01/19/2007
FIREHouse is a collaboration between the Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team (FERA) of the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory; the University of Washington; the National Park Service; the Bureau of Land Management – Alaska Fire Service; the US Fish and Wildlife Service; and the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII). The NBII is a broad, collaborative program that provides increased access to data and information on the nation’s biological resources. Funding for FIREHouse has been provided by the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) and NBII. FIREHouse is coordinating efforts with the Fire Research and Management Exchange System (FRAMES) project team. Content on FIREHouse will provide substantial contributions to the Northwest Fire Science Portal and the Alaska Fire Science Portal.
 
Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team, Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory, PNW Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Seattle, WA USDA Forest Service Fire Research and Management Exchange System (FRAMES)    National Biological Information Infrastructure
College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
National Park Service Alaska Fire Service US Fish & Wildlife Service