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Project ID: 09-1-01-1

Year: 2009

Date Started: 10/01/2009

Date Completed: 03/15/2013

Title: Effectiveness and Longevity of Fuel Treatments in Coniferous Forests Across California

Project Proposal Abstract: To date the majority of research surrounding the effectiveness of fuel treatments only considers the time immediately after treatment. Starting in 2000, permanent plots were established in areas planned for hazardous fuel reduction treatments across National Forests in California. Forest structure and fuels data has been collected at 26 sites across 14 National Forests in coniferous ecosystems for pre-, one year post-, and often two year post-treatment. Treatments include prescribed fire, mechanical methods, and a combination of the two. Analysis of the effectiveness of treatments to alter forest structure and fuel characteristics has been completed for pre- versus one year post-treatment. In general it was found that prescribed fire significantly reduced ground and surface fuel loads but did not significantly alter forest structure. Mechanical methods significantly altered forest structure and had varying effects on surface and ground fuels, often increasing larger diameter fuel loads. In general, modeled fire behavior was reduced for both treatment types; however, mechanical methods had mixed effects. Starting in 2009 there will be 27 sites capable of providing data to quantify changes in forest structure and fuel characteristics at 5 to 10 years post-treatment. We propose to re-measure these permanent plots and address the needs outlined in FA-RFA-09-0001A Lifecycle fuels treatment. This project will directly address the questions pertaining to: 1) the length of time fuel treatments are effective in reducing undesirable fire behavior and effects and how the effectiveness changes over time; 2) what re-treatment intervals are needed for various treatment types to maintain desired fire effects; and 3) the uncertainty associated with using standard fuel models in assessing treatment effectiveness, longevity, and maintenance. The longevity of treatment effectiveness and determination of appropriate re-treatment intervals will be assessed by quantifying changes in fuel conditions and potential fire behavior over time. The progression of fuel (ground, surface, and canopy) accumulation over time will be assessed to see how long different treatments in varying coniferous forests last from a fuel mass standpoint. In addition, fire behavior modeling will be applied to predict the effectiveness of fuel treatments according to metrics such as modeled fire type and flame length. In addressing potential fire behavior, we will answer the third question posed, what are the key uncertainties associated with these analyses. Modeling potential fire behavior requires assumptions on the application of quantitative fuel data to the models. We will contrast potential fire behavior changes found when using existing fuel models and custom fuel models with actual fuel conditions. The information on longevity of fuel treatments and uncertainty in fire behavior model inputs will be of direct benefit to managers preparing burn plans, other fuel hazard reduction plans, fire management, and other land management planning. Results will be shared with managers via several means including: 1) website (including an interactive database), 2) workshops; 3) managers summary; 4) presentation at one or more regional or national fire conference(s); and 5) two or more refereed publications.

Principal Investigator: Nicole M. Vaillant

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Ctr


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Nicole M. Vaillant

Forest Service

PNW-Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Ctr

Budget Contact

Rebecca A. Slick

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Scott N. Dailey

Forest Service

AMSET-Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team

Co-Principal Investigator

Carol M. Ewell

Forest Service

AMSET-Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team

Co-Principal Investigator

Erin K Noonan-Wright

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Co-Principal Investigator

Alicia L. Reiner

Forest Service

AMSET-Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team

Federal Cooperator

Nicole M. Vaillant

Forest Service

PNW-Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Ctr


Project Locations

Consortium

California


Level

State

Agency

Unit

STATE

CA

FS

ALL


Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print go to website 2935 Journal Article Forest Science
view or print   3334 Journal Article Forest Ecology and Management
  go to website 1140 Website New project website
view or print   4372 Photo Paired Photos from a Prescribed Fire Plot on the Modoc National Forest
view or print   3731 Poster Fuel Treatment Effects on Carbon Stocks in Californian Coniferous Forests Over Time
view or print   4183 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Fuel Loading Succession Following Fuel Treatments in California
view or print   4444 Photo Paired photos from a prescribed fire plot on the Stanislaus National Forest
view or print   4445 Photo Paired photos from a mechanically treated plot on the Inyo National Forest
view or print   4446 Photo Prescribed fire in one of the plots on the Klamath National Forest
view or print   6690 Poster Fuel Treatment Effects on Carbon Stocks in Californian Coniferous Forests Over Time
view or print   5585 Photo Post prescribed fire treatment on the Modoc National Forest
view or print   5774 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report San Bernardino National Forest
view or print   5371 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Inyo National Forest
view or print   5372 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Klamath National Forest
view or print   5373 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Lassen National Forest
view or print   5374 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Los Padres National Forest
view or print   5375 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Modoc National Forest
view or print   5376 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Mendocino National Forest
view or print   5377 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Plumas National Forest
view or print   5378 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Shasta-Trinity National Forest
view or print   5379 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Sierra National Forest
view or print   5380 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Six Rivers National Forest
view or print   5381 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Stanislaus National Forest
view or print   5382 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
view or print   5383 Final Report Supplement Managers’ Report Tahoe National Forest
view or print   7050 Conference/Symposia/Workshop CA Fuels Committee - Effectiveness and longevity of fuel treatments in coniferous forests across California
view or print go to website 7051 Conference/Symposia/Workshop CA Fire Science Consortium - Effectiveness and longevity of fuel treatments in coniferous forests across California
view or print   6942 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Mid-Term Fuel Treatment Impacts on Forest Structure and Fuel Loads in California
view or print   6956 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Effectiveness and Longevity of Fuel Treatments in Coniferous Forests Across California
view or print   6957 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Long-Term Effects of Fuel Treatments on Carbon Pools in California
view or print   6958 Conference/Symposia/Workshop ARE CUSTOM FUEL MODELS BETTER? The Efficacy and Limitations of Custom Fuel Modeling using FFE-FVS
view or print   7260 Poster Fuel Treatment Effectiveness Over 10 Years in California Forests, USA

Supporting Documents

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