A new era in wildland fuel sciences is now evolving in that fire scientists and managers need a comprehensive understanding of fuels ecology and science to realistically evaluate fire effects and behavior in the diverse ecosystems and landscapes of the world. Expensive fuel treatments are being planned in fire dominated landscapes across the world to minimize fire damage to people, property and ecosystems, so it is incredibly important that people understand wildland fuels to develop more effective fuel management activities.
Wildland fuels may be the most important consideration in fire management, not just because they are important inputs for predicting fire behavior and effects, but also because fuels are the only factor that can effectively be controlled by direct and indirect management actions.
Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by federal, private, and public organizations on treatments meant to manipulate fuels so that fire spread is reduced and fire intensity is lessened to save people’s property and lives. The amounts and kinds of fuels burned in a fire dictate how dangerous a fire can get, how much smoke is generated, how ecosystems will respond to fire, and how society will respond to the fire. By modifying the fuelbed, managers hope to minimize adverse consequences to protect ecosystems, people, and property. A comprehensive description and understanding of wildland fuels is vital for crafting effective treatments and novel ways to manage wildfires. Wildland Fuel Fundamentals and Applications is a new book that may provide fire managers and scientists the information needed to understand how fuels are used in fire behavior and effects predictions and management.