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Design of Regular Landscape Fuel Treatment Patterns for Modifying Fire Growth and Behavior

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Patterns of disconnected fuel treatment patches that overlap in the heading fire spread direction are theoretically effective in changing forward fire spread rate. The analysis presented here sought to find the unit shape and pattern for a given level of treatment that has the maximum effect on forward spread rate. This occurs when the treatment units cause the fire to spread through them at the same rate as it spreads around them. Simulations suggested that these treatment patterns reduce the spread rate or fireline intensity over much of the area burned, even outside the treatment units where the fire was forced to flank. The ideal patterns are theoretically scale independent, allowing for flexible application across heterogeneous landscapes. The topology of these patterns has implications for designing landscape-level fuel treatment patterns and for understanding spatial dynamics of fuel patterns across landscapes. FOR. SCI. 47(2):219–228.

Keywords: Fuels; environmental management; fire behavior; fire modeling; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; fuel treatments; landscape patterns; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Research Forester USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, PO Box 8089 Missoula, MT, 59807, Phone: (406) 329-4832

Publication date: 2001-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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