Appropriately designed fuel treatments reduce negative outcomes of wildfire and in some cases promote beneficial wildfire outcomes. Wildfires are a landscape scale phenomenon; therefore, fuel treatments should be evaluated at a landscape level to maximize effectiveness. This requires shifting perspective to think of a landscape mosaic, rather than an individual site. Given the inability to treat all forests at risk from wildfire, understanding where and how fuel treatments can be most influential at the landscape scale is crucial. Scientists at the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) recently examined what we currently know about the effectiveness of landscape scale fuel treatments from literature reviews of empirical evidence, simulation studies, and case studies.
Ella Hall, Cory Davis, Rocky Mountain Research Station