Every year wildland fires affect much more acreage in the United States compared to controlled burns. Like controlled burns, wildland fire can help promote biological diversity and healthy ecosystems. But despite these facts, wildland fire is not often considered as a fuel treatment in the United States.
Scientists working with the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station 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 and local conditions such as ecosystem type, topography, and fire weather conditions.