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Welcome! This website provides an overview of collaborative research and outreach focused on fire refugia in the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Our primary goal is to understand and quantify fire effects from recent wildland fire events in mature and old forests of the region and to deliver that work to managers making decisions related to forest adaptation and management.

What are fire refugia? That's a good question, with no simple answer. But in general, we define fire refugia as locations on the landscape that burn less frequently or severely than their surroundings. In the context of mature and old forests of the PNW, we're interested in patches of forest that persist through recent fire events as living legacies; these are refugia from high severity fire. These forests can be burned at low severity or be truly unburned, but the key characteristic is the canopy survives through the fire event and contributes live trees to the post-fire landscape mosaic.

Explore the site to learn more about fire refugia, map analysis tools, project personnel, and resources on fire refugia including literature, webinars, posters, and managers' briefs.

This project was supported by the USGS Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, which hosts a project summary and overview here.

Wenatchee Fire

Wenatchee Complex Fire, WA (photo: Kari Greer 2012)

Davis old-growth

Old-growth Douglas-fir forest, OR (photo: Ray Davis 2014)