Although a natural ecological process, wildfire in unhealthy forests can be uncharacteristically destructive. Fuel treatments—such as thinning, mowing, prescribed fire, or managed wildfire—can help reduce or redistribute the flammable fuels that threaten to carry and intensify fire. Using both field-tested data and computer simulations, Pacific Northwest Research Station scientists are addressing critical questions such as Are we treating enough of the landscape to restore fire-adapted forests? Are fuel treatments effective at changing fire behavior? Together with land managers, fuel planners, and other partners, our scientists are helping public land management agencies move toward a future of fire-resilient forests and communities.
White, Rachel; Johnson, Morris; Vaillant, Nicole; Fried, Jeremy. 2018. Fuel treatments: Are we doing enough? Science Update 25. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 15 p.