According to the National Interagency Fire Center, more than 75 million acres of land were affected by wildland fires from 2007 to 201 7. Wildfires pose a threat to cultural resources including both known and undiscovered historical structures and archeological sites.
National Park Service units
have also been impacted.
The 2002 Long Mesa fire in Mesa Verde National Park affected 5,700 acres, impacting the Administrative Area National Historic Landmark, CCC Camp Historic District, Navajo Hogan Area Historic District, and the Residential `White House¿ and Utility Area Historic District.
A new generation of chemical fire retardants and suppressants have come into use over the course of the last decade.
Given current climatic trends and predictions of continuing climatic instability, it is safe to predict an increase in wildfire activity across the American West that will increase the need for chemicals employed to suppress these wildfires.
Project Goals ¿ The goals of this research are:
1. to study the effects of fire suppressants on cultural resources, and 2. identify methods to remove fire suppressants from cultural resources.
Project Objectives ¿ The project will 1. identify benefits and hazards of specific fire suppressants on cultural resources; 2. create recommendations for removal of fire suppressants from cultural resources; 3. publish a publically accessible science-based best practice protocol for uses of fire suppressants on/near significant cultural resources; and 4. disseminate the results of the research through peer-reviewed journals, conference presentations, and educational webinars.