USA: Research results on fuel treatments and fire: National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study

Scientists compared the effectiveness of fire fuel reduction methods under the U.S. National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study. Four articles examine the effects of prescribed burns, mechanical treatment (usually thinning of the smallest trees) and a combination of both with control plots at 12 study sites in forests across the United States.

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More specifically, they report that to quickly restore forests with few, large-diameter trees, a combination of prescribed burns and mechanical fuel removal achieved the best results. The authors note, however, that this combination treatment also favored nonnative species invasions at some sites. In addition, a combination of prescribed burns and mechanical thinning increased the incidence of tree death from bark beetles and wood borers.

Biscuit Fire Tests Effectiveness Of Forest Thinning And Prescribed Burning Practices (Mar. 15, 2006) — Fuel reduction treatments should simultaneously take place in the overstory, understory, and on the ground to adequately reduce fire …  > read more

Salvage Logging, Replanting Increased Biscuit Fire Severity (June 12, 2007) — The Biscuit Fire of 2002 burned more severely in areas that had been salvage logged and replanted, compared to similar areas that were also burned in a 1987 fire but had been left to regenerate …  > read more

Wildfires And Logging: Are Severe Reburns Likely With Or Without Logging?
(Apr. 12, 2007) — A new study on the effects of timber harvest following wildfire shows that the potential for a recently burned forest to reburn can be high with or without logging. This study demonstrates that the …  > read more

Plan Fires Timed To La Nina Or El Nino Years, University Of Arizona Tree-Ring Lab Director Urges
(Oct. 5, 2000) — Fire history expert Thomas Swetnam, director of the University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, hopes this summer’s experience will encourage forest managers to consider the climate …  > read more

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