The Oregon Wildland/Urban Human Fire Interface


How Fire Works

Wildlife-Wildfire Interface

Oregon's Vulnerability

Biscuit Fire

Urban-Wildfire Interface

Firefighting Techniques





Biscuit Fire 2002

  The Biscuit Fire of 2002 sparked controversy in the way that public forests are managed after large fires.  There are two arguments about postfire logging.  The first one is that postfire logging diminishes fire risk via fuel reduction and that these forests can not adequately regenerate without intervention.  On the flip side, people say that postfire logging is detrimental to long-term forest development, wildlife habitat, and other ecosystem function.  There have been many studies done on the effects of postfire logging.  The University of Washington did one of these studies.  They studied areas across the fire area that had been sampled before the 2004 and after the 2005 logging.  To read more about this study click here: Biscuit Fire

2002 Biscuit Wildfire

  Oregon has many different forest types.  Douglas fir and Siskiyou mixed conifer dominate the western coast of Oregon by the Cascade Mountain range.  The Biscuit fire of 2002 occurred in the Siskiyou mixed conifer forests.  Siskiyou mixed conifer has a 45-80 year return interval and moderate burn severity. 

Map of Oregon's forest type
  This image was taken by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer(MISR). The images show the fire and the burn scars it left afer on the landscape. The red in these false-color images show vegetation.  Data from the near-infrared, red and blue bands, are displayed as red, green and blue, respectively. This technique allows us to see the contrast between burnt and unburnt areas.  The left hand image is from July 29,2002 and the right hand image shows the same region about 7 weeks after the Biscuit Fire. 
Satellite image of Biscuit Fire

  The Burned Area Emergency Response team made several maps after the Biscuit Fire.  This particular map depicts areas within the burn perimeter and their burn severity.  BAER grouped the burn severities into unburned, low, moderate, and severe. The southern portion of this images shows a greater concentration of moderate and high burn severity areas whereas the northern portion shows a much smaller concentration of high severity mixed with low (light green) burn severities. Almost all of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area was in the Biscuit Fire burn perimeter. The Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area accounted for approximately 36% of the fire.

Burn severity Map of the Oregon 2002 Biscuit Fire