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Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
West Annex Building
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

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Lear 35 remote sensing aircraft in the smoke pall at Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso


Fire Science: US-Brazil International Cooperation
Managing Tropical Fire

Support is being provided to multi-year experiments in Brazil that are testing the response of the Cerrado and tropical forest ecosystems to different seasons and frequencies of burning. Fuel consumption, fire behavior, and ecological impacts are being examined in conjunction with experiments near Brasília at the Ecological Reserve of the Brazilian Federal Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the Tapajos National Forest near Santarém, and private forest lands in northern Mato Grosso. Results from these studies and the Integrated Fire Assessment will support the creation by IBAMA of fire management plans and demonstrations on the Brazilian conservation reserves and national parks.

Assistance is being provided to IBAMA in the development of a rating system for monitoring and predicting seasonal and annual fire danger in central Brazil.  Such a rating is needed to anticipate and manage unusually severe fire seasons and to support regulation of burning.  Threshold conditions of fuel and weather are being identified that allow fire spread in tropical forest and savanna.  Fire behavior under different forest harvesting regimes is being determined.  A regional climate model ( is also being applied to provide daily to seasonal forecasts of fire-weather severity, assess long-term changes in forest susceptibility to fire, and examine the potential for smoke management in central Brazil through fire permitting.



A prescribed fire in Cerrado vegetation at the Ecological Reserve of IBGE.  The ecological response to fire depends on both the frequency and season of burning.

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 Last Modified: 2004-09-15