Conference Addresses Wildfires in Eastern United States

Posted: May 24, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Educating the next generation of fire scientists and associated technical experts was the goal of the EastFIRE Conference hosted by George Mason May 11-13. Attended by 150 experts from federal and state agencies, academics from across the nation, and selected commercial providers, the conference featured several faculty members and researchers from Mason’s School of Computational Sciences (SCS) and its Center for Earth Observing and Space Research (CEOSR), including John Qu, principal research scientist, who was general chair.

In this first conference to address wildfires in the eastern United States, attendees heard experts discuss fire research, applications, and modeling of fire behavior differences between eastern and western landscapes. Population densities, and their proximity to wildlands, dramatically increase prevention and mitigation complexities. While fire sizes are smaller than in the west, the frequency of eastern fire events and their impacts cause significant local property damage and human injuries.

Remote sensing science and technology, research, and educational strengths of SCS and CEOSR have beneficial impacts on the research, modeling, and information solutions activities of the Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, NASA, Bureau of Land Management, and University Corporation of Atmospheric Research, as well as special programs of the National Fire Plan and the Joint Fire Science Program. Also benefiting are the foresters—the first line of defense—who prevent, detect, contain, and mitigate fire events.

The Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training and the Environmental Systems Research Institute also sponsored the conference.

For information about EastFIRE research at George Mason and a link to the conference program, click here.

Write to at