Ecological - First Order
Fire Intensity / Burn Severity
Fuel Treatments & Effects
Naturally-ignited Fire-use treatments
Fire severity was evaluated in eight recent wildfires with standardized methods in adjacent treated and untreated stands. Sampled sites occurred in a variety of conifer forests throughout the Western United States. Treatments included reduction of surface fuels and crown fuels, both in isolation and in combination. Synthesis of our results indicates that treatment effectiveness is related to differences in tree size (mean diameter) between treated and untreated stands (p<0.001), as well as estimated historic fire frequency (p<0.1). Our results suggest that fuel treatments will be most effective when they complement ecosystem restoration objectives, such as the removal of small trees from ecosystems that historically experienced frequent fire.