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Reducing fire hazard: balancing costs and outcomes.Author(s): Valerie Rapp
Source: Science Update 7. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 12 p
Publication Series: Science Update
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionMassive wildfires in recent years have given urgency to questions of how to reduce fire hazard in Western forests, how to finance the work, and how to use the wood, especially in forests crowded with small trees. Scientists have already developed tools that estimate fire hazard in a forest stand. But hazard is more difficult to estimate at a landscape scale, involving concepts from forestry, fire science, economics, ecology, and geography. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) BioSum is a tool that integrates these concepts and connects existing computer models. People use it to analyze the effectiveness of fire hazard reduction and the financial feasibility of fuel treatmentsusing merchantable wood for solid wood products and low-value wood as biomass to generate powerunder a range of product prices and fuel-treatment prescriptions. FIA BioSum helps users find solutions with a reasonable balance between acceptable costs and desired outcomes. Work that can pay for itself is more likely to get done. If work to reduce fire hazard returned net revenue and low-value wood was used to generate electricity, the solution would appear promising. Is there a small-wood alchemy that can do all this? Scientists from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station developed FIA BioSum and related models to answer this question. These tools, described inside, can help people find a balance between the outcomes they want and costs of the fuel reduction.
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CitationRapp, Valerie. 2004. Reducing fire hazard: balancing costs and outcomes. Science Update 7. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 12 p
- A suite of fire, fuels, and smoke management tools
- Fire risk in east-side forests.
- Managing wildfire risk in fire-prone landscapes: how are private landowners contributing?
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