Wildfires and events that follow such as flooding and erosion are natural disturbances in many ecosystems. However, when these types of postfire events threaten life, property, and resources they become a concern for resource managers, communities, and private landowners. A procedure for rapid assessment that uses different tools exists for federally owned lands, however after wildfire many non-federal landowners wonder how to manage and reduce risk on their lands. For this reason it is important to understand whether tools used by federal teams are accessible and approachable for non-federal users. We critically assessed tools for evaluating postfire landscapes that are used by federal teams through a scoring system for practicality of use by private or community land managers. Each tool was scored based on three criteria: required inputs, required equipment, and available guidance. Tools were further characterized by scope, scale, use of Curve Numbers, and capacity to incorporate treatments. Results show that the Soil Burn Severity Datasheet, the Burned Area Reports Database, the Rule of Thumb by Kuyumjian, and USGS Regression Equations are most accessible for non-federal audiences. FERGI and HEC-HMS are the least transferable. Currently available postfire assessment tools are usable by non-federal audiences, with some more approachable than others. As new tools are developed, opportunities exist to build tools that are more accessible to more diverse user groups.
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Vol. 39 • No. 4