National Park Service

South Florida/Caribbean I&M Network (SFCN)

Fire Return Interval Departure

Fire in Big Cypress National Preserve
Fire in Big Cypress National Preserve.

Protocol

Parks and partners are monitoring fire return interval. SFCN is not developing a protocol but will link to reports and summaries.

Resource Briefs, Reports, and Data

There are currently no additional SFCN resource briefs, reports, or data concerning this monitoring topic.

Importance/Issues

Fire is a major driver in vegetation community distribution, structure, and composition across the landscape. Maintaining a fire regime that mimics the historical pattern while ensuring public safety is important for conserving such communities as the pine rocklands from being encroached by hardwood hammocks, marshes from being encroached by forests and mangroves, etc. Monitoring fire return interval departure is an important tool for assessing the health of ecosystems with respect to fire, and provides key information for fire management decisions.

Monitoring Objectives

What is the extent and distribution of areas across the landscape where a departure from native fire regimes exists?

Approach

Information on each fire within Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve is compiled by the NPS fire ecologists including a digitized shapefile which are stored in a geodatabase. Historical data was also recently compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey showing fire location, fire size (acres), perimeter in digitized shapefile, dates, and ignition source (lightning, human). SFCN's Natural Resource Condition Assessment Ecologist is looking at this data and will work with the EVER Fire Ecologist, BICY staff, USGS staff, and SFCN Quantitative Ecologist to find ways to correctly analyze, interpret, and report this data.

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Last Updated: March 27, 2017 Contact Webmaster