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Keyword: fuel treatments

User guide to the FireCLIME Vulnerability Assessment (VA) tool: A rapid and flexible system for assessing ecosystem vulnerability to climate-fire interactions

Publications Posted on: October 15, 2019
Decision makers need better methods for identifying critical ecosystem vulnerabilities to changing climate and fire regimes. Climate-wildfire-vegetation interactions are complex and hinder classification and projection necessary for development of management strategies.

Effectiveness of fuel treatments at the landscape scale: State of understanding and key research gaps

Projects Posted on: August 21, 2019
There is widespread interest in understanding the effectiveness of fuel treatments in mitigating the trajectory of wildfire suppression costs and how their effectiveness and longevity can be extended over large areas and landscapes. To date, there have been several studies that used a modeling approach to evaluate fuel treatment effectiveness at the landscape scale. However, empirical studies at this scale are rare because landscape-scale fuel treatment strategies have not been fully implemented or wildfires have not burned through implemented landscape fuel treatments. A thorough evaluation of what is currently available in the literature and lessons learned from forest and rangeland managers has not yet been conducted.

To masticate or not: Useful tips for treating vegetation

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 21, 2019
Recently, several large fires have burned through masticated sites – including in Colorado (Brewer et al. 2013), Washington, and New Mexico. Burning under extreme weather conditions with strong winds, these fires have challenged the benefits of using mastication, even though mastication can provide many positive environmental effects, such as soil moisture retention and cool, moist environments for soil microbes. However, informing managers when, where, and how mastication is applied is based on antidotal evidence. To address, this issue we synthesized information to provide managers with a current state of knowledge on mastication.

To masticate or not: Useful tips for treating forest, woodland, and shrubland vegetation

Publications Posted on: November 13, 2018
Forest managers use mastication to grind or shed vegetation to remove competition, prepare a site for natural or artificial regeneration, or release sapling-sized trees; or they use mastication to convert ladder fuels to surface fuels and enhance decomposition of biomass. However, determining the best mastication configuration within the context of management objectives and site limitations is challenging.

Modeling thinning effects on fire behavior with STANDFIRE

Publications Posted on: October 05, 2018
Key message: We describe a modeling system that enables detailed, 3D fire simulations in forest fuels. Using data from three sites, we analyze thinning fuel treatments on fire behavior and fire effects and compare outputs with a more commonly used model.

Fuels planning: science synthesis and integration; forest structure and fire hazard fact sheet 06: Guide to fuel treatments in dry forests of the Western United States: assessing forest structure and fire hazard

Publications Posted on: August 01, 2018
The Guide to Fuel Treatments analyzes a range of potential silvicultural thinnings and surface fuel treatments for 25 representative dry-forest stands in the Western United States. The guide provides quantitative guidelines and visualization for treatment based on scientific principles identified for reducing potential crown fires.

Forest structure and fire hazard in dry forests of the Western United States

Publications Posted on: August 01, 2018
Fire, in conjunction with landforms and climate, shapes the structure and function of forests throughout the Western United States, where millions of acres of forest lands contain accumulations of flammable fuel that are much higher than historical conditions owing to various forms of fire exclusion.

Fuel treatment and previous fire effects on daily fire management costs

Datasets Posted on: March 15, 2018
This publication contains tabular data used to evaluate the effects of fuel treatments and previously burned areas on daily wildland fire management costs. The data represent daily Forest Service fire management costs for a sample of 56 fires that burned between 2008 and 2012 throughout the conterminous United States.

Protecting the source: Tools to evaluate fuel treatment cost vs. water quality protection

Pages Posted on: March 08, 2018
High-intensity wildfires are one of the leading causes of severe soil erosion in western U.S. watersheds. This erosion can lead to disruptive deposits of sediment in reservoirs and water supply systems.  For this reason, land managers can benefit from estimating the erosion potential of high-intensity wildfires in order to decide where to focus fuel reduction efforts. To help forest managers prioritize forest fuel reduction decisions, scientists from the Rocky Mountain Research Station and other agencies and organizations have developed several modeling tools that predict fire risk and erosion potential in and around watersheds. These tools, which include FSim, FlamMap, and WEPP (Water Erosion Prediction Project), are helping land managers preserve long-term forest health and preserve water supply and access in the western United States.

Effect of particle aging on chemical characteristics, smoldering, and fire behavior in mixed-conifer masticated fuel

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2017
Mastication is a silvicultural technique that grinds, shreds, or chops trees or shrubs into pieces and redistributes the biomass onto the forest floor to form a layer of woody debris. Unlike other fuel treatments that remove this biomass, masticated biomass often remains on site, which increases total fuel loading and causes concern over how the masticated particles may burn if exposed to prescribed fire or wildfire.

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