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Optimal spatial patterns of fuel management and timber harvest with fire risk

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The stochastic and spatial nature of fire poses challenges for the cost-efficient allocation of fuel treatment over the landscape. A model that addresses complex but important components of fuel management decisions, spatial and dynamic aspects of fire risk, and a carefully designed framework that allows us to draw general insight into the optimal spatial pattern of management are necessary to provide a basis for developing efficient fuel treatment plans. For this purpose, we combine a physical fire model and a spatial-dynamic optimization model to explore harvest and fuel treatment across a hypothetical landscape under risk of a moving fire over a range of physical and economic conditions. Our model is able to describe spatial trade-offs involved in decision process, namely trade-offs between protection of on-site values and protection against fire spread. We found that the spatial configuration of management units can lead to heterogeneity in management across seemingly homogeneous units.

La nature spatiale et stochastique du feu constitue un défi pour la répartition économique du traitement des combustibles dans le paysage. Un modèle qui tient compte des composantes complexes mais importantes des décisions de gestion des combustibles, les aspects spatiaux et dynamiques de risque d’incendie, ainsi qu’un cadre conçu avec soin qui permet d’obtenir une idée générale du patron spatial optimal de gestion sont nécessaires pour fournir une base permettant de développer des plans efficaces de traitement des combustibles. À cette fin, nous avons combiné un modèle physique du feu et un modèle dynamique d’optimisation spatiale pour étudier la récolte et le traitement des combustibles dans un paysage hypothétique où un incendie peut se propager en utilisant une variété de conditions physiques et économiques. Notre modèle est capable de décrire les compromis spatiaux qui font partie du processus de décision, nommément les compromis entre la protection des valeurs du site et la protection contre la propagation du feu. Nous avons trouvé que la configuration spatiale des unités de gestion peut mener à une gestion hétérogène parmi des unités en apparence homogènes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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