UArizona Wildfire Experts Available

June 9, 2020

UArizona Wildfire Experts Available

TUCSON, Ariz. — Five states, including Arizona, are reporting large wildfires to the National Interagency Fire Center. Throughout the summer, the West Coast and Southwest will need to brace for a higher-than-average risk of wildfires.

Just north of Tucson, lightning ignited two wildfires on Friday. The Tortolita Fire in the Tortolita Mountains has burned 3,321 acres and is 25% contained. The Bighorn Fire in the Santa Catalina Mountains has burned 2,550 acres and is 10% contained.

University of Arizona researchers are available to answer wildfire-related questions.

Donald Falk
Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Expertise: Fire history, fire ecology, dendroecology and restoration ecology. Falk teaches an introductory class on wildfire science and can speak about possible links between wildfires and climate change, how ecosystems recover from wildfires, and tree-ring analysis. He has worked extensively in the Western U.S. and Mexico reconstructing historic fire regimes from tree rings.

Laura Marshall
Doctoral candidate, School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Expertise: Ecological response to environmental variation and human influences on mountain forests in the southwestern U.S.

Molly Hunter
Research scientist, School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Expertise: Applied fire science, including ecological effects of wildfires and effectiveness of different fuel management actions. She works to disseminate scientific findings, identify critical fire science needs and evaluate outcomes.

Gregg Garfin
Associate professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
Deputy director for science translation and outreach, Institute of the Environment

Expertise: Works to translate and share environmental and climate science findings and techniques with resource managers, planners and policymakers in the region. He can speak about seasonal fire potential forecasts and links between wildfires and climate change.

Michael Crimmins
Professor and Cooperative Extension specialist – environmental science

Expertise: How climate conditions can enhance or suppress wildfire conditions. He can also speak on fire weather patterns and the climatology of fire danger.

Luke McGuire
Assistant professor, Department of Geosciences

Expertise: Post-fire hazards, especially debris flows and landslides and the tools that help predict their occurrence. His research quantifies the changes among soils and vegetation that occur within burned areas and how this affects runoff, erosion and hazards.

Jim Malusa
Research scientist, School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Expertise: Wildlife recovery after a wildfire. He studies this by matching photos taken pre- and post-fire.

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Media contact:
Mikayla Mace
University Communications

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 65 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.