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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Designing fuel treatments for the wildland-urban interface

Snapshot : Findings from research in an area of vacation homes near Idaho's Warm Lake are helping resource managers design fuel treatments for the wildland-urban interface.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Crow, Tom 
Research Location : Idaho's Warm Lake
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2010
Highlight ID : 255

Summary

Findings from research in an area of vacation homes near Idaho's Warm Lake are helping resource managers design fuel treatments for the wildland-urban interface. In 2007, the Cascade Complex of fires burned upward of 500,000 acres in central Idaho. Burning went around and through 8,000 acres of fuel treatments (a combination of prescribed fire and mechanical treatments) intended to change fire behavior and thus provided a degree of fire protection for more than 70 vacation homes on leased National Forest land. At the request of the Boise National Forest, the Rocky Mountain Research Station studied effects of those treatments. Although they did not stop fires or slow their spread, the treatments did limit severity and made it possible for crews to put out spot fires as they approached homes. No dwellings burned. Researchers also found that treated areas tended to have more post-fire green vegetation than did areas not treated. In addition to this research's influence on treatment planning for the wildland-urban interface, it has also led to information useful in maintaining wildlife habitat, protecting soil productivity and speeding recovery of vegetation.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Boise National Forest

Research Topics

Priority Areas

  • Wildland Fire and Fuels
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