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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: May 1, 2001

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