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Challenges and Approaches in Planning Fuel Treatments across Fire-Excluded Forested Landscapes

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Placing fuel reduction treatments across entire landscapes such that impacts associated with high-intensity fire are lessened is a difficult goal to achieve, largely because of the immense area needing treatment. As such, fire scientists and managers have conceptually developed and are refining methodologies for strategic placement of fuel treatments that more efficiently limit the spread and severity of fire across forested landscapes. Although these methodologies undoubtedly improve managers' ability to plan and evaluate various landscape fuel treatment scenarios, there is still a considerable gap between modeling landscape fuel treatments and actually implementing these treatments “on the ground.” In this article we explore this gap in light of decisions managers make with regards to the type, intensity, placement/pattern, and size of fuel treatments. Additionally, we highlight several critical constraints acting on managers when implementing fuel treatments across landscapes and offer some suggestions for dealing with these constraints.

Keywords: fire exclusion; fire management; fire policy; fire suppression

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • 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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