An Evaluation of the Forest Service Hazardous Fuels Treatment Program
Under the guidance of the National Fire Plan, the use of fuel treatments to reduce the likelihood of uncharacteristic fires by the Forest Service has nearly doubled since its inception in 2001. However, results of this national assessment suggest that the rate of fuel treatment implementation needs to be increased and that proactive wildfire management needs to be an important part of the solution. From 2008 to 2012, about 2 percent of National Forest System lands were disturbed annually by fuel treatments and wildfire. This equates to half of the area that would have been expected to burn historically. The highest 21 wildfire hazard classes had the lowest percentage of area treated and the highest incidence of wildfire suggesting that an alternative distribution of fuel treatment locations will likely improve program effectiveness.
Forest Service Partners