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Keyword: fuel treatments

To masticate or not: Useful tips for treating forest, woodland, and shrubland vegetation

Publications Posted on: November 13, 2018
Forest managers use mastication to grind or shed vegetation to remove competition, prepare a site for natural or artificial regeneration, or release sapling-sized trees; or they use mastication to convert ladder fuels to surface fuels and enhance decomposition of biomass. However, determining the best mastication configuration within the context of management objectives and site limitations is challenging.

Modeling thinning effects on fire behavior with STANDFIRE

Publications Posted on: October 05, 2018
Key message: We describe a modeling system that enables detailed, 3D fire simulations in forest fuels. Using data from three sites, we analyze thinning fuel treatments on fire behavior and fire effects and compare outputs with a more commonly used model.

Fuels planning: science synthesis and integration; forest structure and fire hazard fact sheet 06: Guide to fuel treatments in dry forests of the Western United States: assessing forest structure and fire hazard

Publications Posted on: August 01, 2018
The Guide to Fuel Treatments analyzes a range of potential silvicultural thinnings and surface fuel treatments for 25 representative dry-forest stands in the Western United States. The guide provides quantitative guidelines and visualization for treatment based on scientific principles identified for reducing potential crown fires.

Forest structure and fire hazard in dry forests of the Western United States

Publications Posted on: August 01, 2018
Fire, in conjunction with landforms and climate, shapes the structure and function of forests throughout the Western United States, where millions of acres of forest lands contain accumulations of flammable fuel that are much higher than historical conditions owing to various forms of fire exclusion.

Fuel treatment and previous fire effects on daily fire management costs

Datasets Posted on: March 15, 2018
This publication contains tabular data used to evaluate the effects of fuel treatments and previously burned areas on daily wildland fire management costs. The data represent daily Forest Service fire management costs for a sample of 56 fires that burned between 2008 and 2012 throughout the conterminous United States.

Protecting the source: Tools to evaluate fuel treatment cost vs. water quality protection

Pages Posted on: March 08, 2018
  High-intensity wildfires are one of the leading causes of severe soil erosion in western U.S. watersheds. This erosion can lead to disruptive deposits of sediment in reservoirs and water supply systems.  For this reason, land managers can benefit from estimating the erosion potential of high-intensity wildfires in order to decide where to focus fuel reduction efforts. To help forest managers prioritize forest fuel reduction decisions, scientists from the Rocky Mountain Research Station and other agencies and organizations have developed several modeling tools that predict fire risk and erosion potential in and around watersheds. These tools, which include FSim, FlamMap, and WEPP (Water Erosion Prediction Project), are helping land managers preserve long-term forest health and preserve water supply and access in the western United States.

Effect of particle aging on chemical characteristics, smoldering, and fire behavior in mixed-conifer masticated fuel

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2017
Mastication is a silvicultural technique that grinds, shreds, or chops trees or shrubs into pieces and redistributes the biomass onto the forest floor to form a layer of woody debris. Unlike other fuel treatments that remove this biomass, masticated biomass often remains on site, which increases total fuel loading and causes concern over how the masticated particles may burn if exposed to prescribed fire or wildfire.

Wildland fire: Nature’s fuel treatment

Publications Posted on: December 27, 2016
Every year wildland fires affect much more acreage in the United States compared to controlled burns. Like controlled burns, wildland fire can help promote biological diversity and healthy ecosystems. But despite these facts, wildland fire is not often considered as a fuel treatment in the United States. Scientists working with the U.S.

Potential fire behavior depends on cutting pattern in a Montana lodgepole pine forest

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 12, 2016
Many lodgepole pine forests in Montana were historically a mix of ages and tree sizes as a result of mixed-severity fires. Now the forests have trees mostly the same size and crowns touch so that when fires burn, they burn as large and severe crown fires. This study looked twelve years after two patterns of thinning and burning, to see if the cutting patterns and regrowth could influence fire behavior. 

Forest fuels and potential fire behaviour 12 years after variable-retention harvest in lodgepole pine

Publications Posted on: June 21, 2016
Variable-retention harvesting in lodgepole pine offers an alternative to conventional, even-aged management. This harvesting technique promotes structural complexity and age-class diversity in residual stands and promotes resilience to disturbance.