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Wildfire in California Landscapes
Guest speaker: Jim Bishop

7:30 p.m. – Online Zoom Presentation

The behavior of wildfires is determined by the “fire environment”: terrain, fuels, and weather. It can vary from smoldering to raging, from benign to destructive. Understanding how wildfires behave is basic to understanding fire control, fire effects, the beneficial use of fire, and the nature of threats to property such as homes. Fire behavior is a key to understanding and addressing the “fire problem”.

This overview will introduce you to how the fire environment affects fire behavior…the key roles of humidity, fuel type, seasonal drying, slope and wind. We’ll consider typical fire rates-of-spread, firebrands, how fire will respond to changing conditions, and some common fire-weather processes. We’ll take a look at the role of fire behavior in such things as presumed “natural” fire, fire’s effects on fuel levels, current fire regimes, and structure loss.

Jim Bishop retired from a career in Cal Fire, much of which was spent in wildland fire control and training. He is trained as a Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN) and has filled that position on major fires and prescribed burns, has taught in several national fire-behavior courses, served on the FBAN national steering committee, and has developed materials used in those courses. He developed and taught a simplified method for applying the standard fire-behavior model for use by firefighters on the fire line.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Fire in maritime chaparral by Jim BishopHot crown burn StorrieResults of hot crown burn, Storrie Fire by Jim Bishop