Objectives and considerations for wildland fuel treatment in forested ecosystems of the interior western United States
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): E. D. Reinhardt; R. E. Keane; D. E. Calkin; J. D. Cohen
Publication Year: 2008

Cataloging Information

  • biomass
  • dead fuels
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire size
  • flammability
  • foliage
  • forest management
  • forest restoration
  • fuel loading
  • fuel management
  • fuel management
  • fuel types
  • herbaceous vegetation
  • lichens
  • litter
  • live fuels
  • overstory
  • rate of spread
  • site treatments
  • suppression
  • surface fuels
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 47663
Tall Timbers Record Number: 23641
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, 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.


Many natural resource agencies and organizations recognize the importance of fuel treatments as tools for reducing fire hazards and restoring ecosystems. However, there continues to be confusion and misconception about fuel treatments and their implementation and effects in fire-prone landscapes across the United States. This paper (1) summarizes objectives, methods, and expected outcomes of fuel treatments in forests of the Interior West, (2) highlights common misunderstandings and areas of disagreement, and (3) synthesizes relevant literature to establish a common ground for future discussion and planning. It is important to understand the strengths and limitations of fuel treatments to evaluate their potential to achieve an objective, develop sensible fire management policies, and plan for their effective use. We suggest that, while the potential of fuel treatment to reduce wildfire occurrence or enhance suppression capability is uncertain, it has an important role in mitigating negative wildfire effects, increasing ecosystem resilience and making wildfire more acceptable. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Reinhardt, E. D., R. E. Keane, D. E. Calkin, and J. D. Cohen. 2008. Objectives and considerations for wildland fuel treatment in forested ecosystems of the interior western United States. Forest Ecology and Management, v. 256, no. 12, p. 1997-2006. 10.1016/j.foreco.2008.09.016.