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Wildland fire: nature's fuel treatment (spotlight)

Author(s): Sean A. Parks, Carol Miller
Year Published: 2016

RMRS Scientists have evaluated more than 40 years of satellite imagery to determine what happens when a fire burns into a previously burned area. Results from this research are helping land managers to assess whether a previous wildland fire will act as a fuel treatment based on the length of time since the previous fire occurred, along with local conditions such as ecosystem type, topography and fire weather conditions. By factoring in the ecological benefits of fire, land managers are able to manage fire in a way that fosters landscapes that are more resilient. KEY FINDINGS: •Wildland fire acts as a fuel treatment by limiting the occurrence, size, and severity of subsequent fires. •The ability of wildland fire to act as a fuel treatment diminishes with time and this time varied by study area. •Under extreme weather conditions, the ability of wildland fire to act as a fuel treatment is reduced.


Citation: Parks S, Miller C. 2016. Wildland fire: nature's fuel treatment. USDA Forest Service RMRS Science Spotlight, September 14 (2016), online, 1 p.
Topic(s): Fire & Wilderness, Management Approaches
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Research Brief or Fact Sheet
NRFSN number: 16056
Record updated: Dec 7, 2017