Wildland firefighting operations move raw water throughout the landscape. Climate change is resulting in more and bigger fires, fires are more intense and last longer, fires are suppressed in the wildland urban interface, and there is an increased reliance on aviation to put out fires. Aquatic invasive species interfere with the mechanical workings of fire equipment. These species also pose a significant ecological threat by hitchhiking on equipment and in the water that is used to extinguish fires.
Aquatic invasive species can be found in and on these types and other types of firefighting equipment:
Helicopters: Buckets, snorkels and internal tanks, and portable tanks
Fixed wing aircraft: Air tankers, single engine agricultural tankers, and “scooper” or “duck”aircraft, some of which can pick up and drop as much as 7,000 gallons of water on 4 acres in one drop
Ground-based: Engines, portable tanks, water tenders, and portable pumps/drafting
For the latest operational and technical guidelines, please visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/fire/aquatic-invasive-species/. On that site, you will find:
USFS and BLM Fire and Fisheries personnel recognize the importance of decreasing the threat and spread of aquatic invasive species through the implementation of these operational guidelines. The goal of the US Forest Service invasive species program is to reduce, minimize, or eliminate the potential for introduction, establishment, spread, and impact of invasive species across all landscapes and ownership.
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR) (March 2020)
2013 Distribution of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Intermountain Region - A geodatabase of current distribution data for several species. Downloadable for making fine-scale maps in your area.
Data and Map Products
The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database (NAS) information resource is an established central repository for spatially referenced biogeographic accounts of introduced aquatic species. The NAS website [http://nas.er.usgs.gov] provides scientific reports, online/real-time queries, spatial data sets, distribution maps, fact sheets, and general information.
This data product download has been filtered to only represent the 2016 Pacific Northwest Regional Focal Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) List. The 2016 Pacific Northwest Regional Focal Aquatic Invasive Species List was developed in conjunction with Oregon State University, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. It will be reviewed and adjusted annually. Pertinent AIS from this list will be included in survey efforts. Other AIS considered a local threat can be added to this list.
A ~35 MB georeferenced PDF showing Oregon and Washington watersheds with aquatic invasive focal species is available: aquatic-invasive-species-2016.pdf
If you want to make your own map, a ~60MB shapefile of the watershed boundaries with aquatic invasive attributes is available: aquatic-invasive-species-2016.zip
The map and data features focus species that have distribution defined in the USGS NAS database and other AIS may occur in some watersheds.
James Capurso (email@example.com), Regional Fisheries Biologist 503-808-2847
Aaron Schoolcraft (firstname.lastname@example.org), FAM Assistant Director - Aviation 503-808-2359
Tara Umphries (email@example.com), Sub-Regional Fire Planner 503-808-2264
Shawna Bautista (firstname.lastname@example.org), Regional Invasive Plant Coordinator 503-808-2697
Scott Lightcap (email@example.com), BLM State Fisheries Biologist 541-440-4930