In this webinar, we will present the results from a JSFP-funded study that highlights the ability of wildfire to act as a fuel treatment. This study evaluated whether or not wildfires limited the occurrence, size, and severity of subsequent wildfires in four large wilderness complexes in Idaho, Montana, and New Mexico. Our focus on protected areas was intended to minimize anthropogenic factors that may affect fire behavior and effects (e.g., roads and fuel treatments). Results suggest that 1) wildfires reduce the probability that subsequent fires will ignite and spread, 2) wildfires reduce the size of subsequent fires by acting as fuel breaks, and 3) the severity of subsequent fires is significantly lower in areas that have recently burned compared to areas that have not. The strength and longevity of the moderating effect vary by study area, suggesting that ecosystem-level processes controlling fire regime characteristics and regrowth of vegetation are responsible for these differences.
(30 MB; wmv)
(40 MB; mp4)