Using forest management techniques to alter forest fuels and reduce wildfire size: an exploratory analysis
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Kelvin G. Hirsch; Victor G. Kafka; Bryan Todd
Editor(s): R. Todd Engstrom; Krista E. M. Galley; William J. de Groot
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • Alberta
  • Alberta
  • archaeological sites
  • Betula papyrifera
  • boreal forest
  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • catastrophic fires
  • climate change adaptation
  • coniferous forests
  • deciduous forests
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire danger rating
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire size
  • fire-smart forest management
  • fishes
  • flammability
  • forest management
  • forest management planning
  • forest products
  • fuel management
  • fuels management
  • GIS
  • human caused fires
  • ignition
  • landscape ecology
  • Larix laricina
  • lightning caused fires
  • logging
  • Picea glauca
  • Picea mariana
  • Pinus banksiana
  • Pinus contorta
  • Populus tremuloides
  • regeneration
  • succession
  • timber supply modeling
  • wildfires
  • wildlife habitat management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: March 21, 2021
FRAMES Record Number: 42463
Tall Timbers Record Number: 17539
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Tall Timbers shelf
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


During the next few decades, a considerable portion of the productive boreal forest in Canada will be harvested and there is an excellent opportunity to use forest management activities (e.g., harvesting, regeneration, stand tending) to alter the forest fuels for fire management purposes. This process, known as fire-smart forest management, has the potential to reduce the number and size of wildfires and the risk associated with the use of prescribed fire. We describe a landscape-level fire-smart technique in which strategically located fuel treatments, primarily species conversion, are incorporated into a long-term forest management planning model. Using a mechanistic-based fire simulation model, a comparative analysis of projected landscapes in central Alberta showed that fuel treatments could have a considerable impact on fire size. These findings have important implications for sustainable forest management in crown fire-dominated boreal forest ecosystems now and in the future. © Tall Timbers Research, Inc.

Hirsch, K., V. Kafka, and B. Todd. 2004. Using forest management techniques to alter forest fuels and reduce wildfire size: an exploratory analysis, in Engstrom, R. T., Galley, K. E. M., and de Groot, W. J., Proceedings 22nd Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: Fire in temperate, boreal, and montane ecosystems. Kananaskis Village, Alberta, Canada. Tall Timbers Research, Inc.,Edmonton, Alberta, Canada [Imperial Printing Ltd.]. p. 175-184,