Fuel Treatments & Effects
Managers masticate fuels to redistribute fuels within a forest. They use machines to chip and shred whole trees, shrubs, and herbaceous vegetation to reduce the fuels in the canopy and move them to the forest floor. Fires burning in the dense, compact fuelbeds resulting from mastication often burn with lower intensity and shorter flame lengths than fires burning in untreated forests. However, such fires smolder for long periods, which can increase soil heating and smoke. The authors conducted prescribed fire and laboratory burn experiments to understand fire behavior and effects following thinning and mastication.