Skip to Main Content
An evaluation of the Forest Service Hazardous Fuels Treatment Program—Are we treating enough to promote resiliency or reduce hazard?Author(s): Nicole M. Vaillant; Elizabeth D. Reinhardt
Source: Journal of Forestry. 115(4): 300-308.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionThe National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy recognizes that wildfire is a necessary natural process in many ecosystems and strives to reduce conflicts between fire-prone landscapes and people. In an effort to mitigate potential negative wildfire impacts proactively, the Forest Service fuels program reduces wildland fuels. As part of an internal program assessment, we evaluated the extent of fuel treatments and wildfire occurrence within lands managed by the National Forest System (NFS) between 2008 and 2012. We intersected fuel treatments with historic disturbance rates to assess the extent to which the program compensates for the disturbance deficit caused by fire suppression and with current wildfire hazard to evaluate whether fuel treatments strategically target high hazard locations. Annually, 45% of NFS lands that would have historically burned were disturbed by fuel treatments and characteristic wildfire, indicating that NFS lands remain in a “disturbance deficit.” The highest wildfire hazard class had the lowest percentage of area treated and the highest proportion of both wildfire of any severity and uncharacteristically high-severity wildfire, suggesting that an alternative distribution of fuel treatment locations will probably improve program effectiveness.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationVaillant, Nicole M.; Reinhardt, Elizabeth D. 2017. An evaluation of the Forest Service Hazardous Fuels Treatment Program—Are we treating enough to promote resiliency or reduce hazard?. Journal of Forestry. 115(4): 300-308.
KeywordsLANDFIRE, mechanical treatment, prescribed fire, resiliency, wildfire hazard.
- A Collaborative Approach to Community Wildfire Hazard Reduction
- A collaborative fire hazard reduction/ecosystem restoration stewardship project in a Montana mixed ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir/western larch wildland urban interface
- Fuels planning: science synthesis and integration; forest structure and fire hazard fact sheet 01: forest structure and fire hazard overview
XML: View XML