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Assessing the Effectiveness of Landscape Fuel Treatments on Fire Growth and Behavior

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This article presents a methodology for assessing the effectiveness of landscape fuel treatments on fire growth and behavior in southern Utah. Treatment areas were selected by fire managers from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) based on the threat of fire to communities and the need for range and wildlife improvement. A fire density grid was derived from the BLM's fire start layer to identify historically high ignition areas. FireFamily Plus was used to summarize and analyze historical weather and calculate seasonal severity and percentile reports. Information from FireFamily was used in FARSITE and FlamMap to model pre- and posttreatment effects on fire growth, spotting, fireline intensity, surface flame length, and the occurrence of crown fire. This procedure provides managers with a quantitative measure of treatment effectiveness as well as spatial output that can be used for analyzing fuel treatment effectiveness, burn plan development, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation, public education, etc.
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Keywords: FARSITE; FireFamily Plus; FlamMap; environmental management; fire behavior; fire ignition history; fire modeling; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; fuel models; fuel treatments; historical weather; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: Fire Modeling Analyst Systems for Environmental Management PO Box 8868 Missoula MT 59807, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2004-10-01

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    The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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