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Project ID: 01-1-3-21

Year: 2002

Date Started: 05/16/2002

Date Completed: 06/01/2006

Title: Cumulative Effects of Fuel Management on Landscape-Scale Fire Behavior and Effects

Project Proposal Abstract: Recent research suggests that cumulative effects of fuel treatments on landscape-scale fire behavior and effects (e.g. spread rate, intensity, tree mortality) depend heavily on the spatial patterns of the treatments. Because limited proportions of a landscape can realistically be treated (<10-20%), only patterns that form overlapping regions among treatments are effective at slowing overall fire growth rates and cause the fire to flank at reduced intensities. Although effective and efficient in theory, the application to real landscapes is challenged by uncertainty in fuel treatment effects, variability of weather and vegetation, difficulties with scheduling treatments over space and time, and restrictions on management activities. This project will take the next steps in applying these concepts of treatment patterns to real conditions. First, variability and uncertainty will be analyzed to provide methods of estimating effects and ordering of possible solutions. Second, these strategic patterns will be applied through simulation modeling to four sites (Sanders County, MT, Eldorado National Forest, CA, Blue Mountains, OR, and Southwestern Utah). These four sites have the necessary spatial data for modeling and represent a cross-section of public land ownership and management problems, including a variety of fire regimes (surface and crown fire), land ownership patterns (Forest Service, BLM, NPS, private, tribal), and constraints on management activities (endangered species, smoke, yi4dland urban intermix, etc.). Finally, this project will produce analysis tools for applying strategic spatial patterns to real landscapes where fuel management objectives can be integrated with other resource management issues. This process will allow us to understand the compromises that result from resource conflicts and develop a means to evaluate their consequences in terms of future landscape conditions.

Principal Investigator: Mark A. Finney

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept


James K. Agee

University of Washington

School of Forest Resources


Bernie Bahro

Forest Service

Region 5-Fire & Aviation Management-McClellan


Charles W. McHugh

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula


Kevin C. Ryan

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula


Rob Seli

Forest Service

Lolo NF-Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District

Federal Cooperator

Mark A. Finney

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


Northern Rockies


There are no project locations identified for this project.

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   45 Book Landscape Fire Simulation and Fuel Treatment Optimization
view or print   901 Government Publication Spatial Optimization of Fuel Management Activities
view or print   1005 Government Publication Assessing the Effectiveness of Landscape Fuel Treatments on Fire Growth and Behavior
view or print   428 Book or Book Chapter Landscape Fire Simulation and Fuel Treatment Optimization
  go to website 769 Computer Model/Software/Algorithm Computer programs to assist users in finding optimal fuel treatment patterns
  go to website 767 Computer Model/Software/Algorithm  
  go to website 768 Computer Model/Software/Algorithm  

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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