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Type: Report
Author(s): Scott N. Dailey; Alicia L. Reiner
Publication Date: 2020

The objective of this report is to provide land managers with information for a better understanding of the effectiveness of hazardous fuel reduction treatments and forest restoration efforts carried out as part of the Spooner Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Thinning treatments began in 2010, and included mostly hand thinning and piling, with limited areas of cut‐to‐length mechanical thinning. Thinning treatments were followed by either pile burning, or pile burning combined with broadcast burning (fire creep across areas among the burn piles). Prescribed burning began in 2013. A period of exceptional drought and warmer than average temperatures affecting California and western Nevada occurred as treatments were being implemented, with the period from fall 2011 through 2014 proving to be the driest on record for the state of California (Hanak et al 2015). On completion of pile burning and pile/broadcast burning treatments, unexpectedly high levels of tree mortality were observed in isolated patches. Trees in the project area were suffering from drought stress, and it is presumed that they lacked typical resistance to the heat injury from fire, resulting in the areas of observed tree mortality following burn treatments. Field data was collected to assess fuel loading and vegetation structure that existed pre‐ and post‐ treatment, quantify the levels of tree mortality which occurred, as well as factors such as burn pile density and closeness to trees that might have been associated with differences in tree mortality.

Online Links
Link to this document (7.8 MB; pdf)
Citation: Dailey, Scott N.; Reiner, Alicia L. 2020. Assessment of Spooner Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Healthy Forest Restoration. USDA Forest Service Enterprise Program. 44 p.

Cataloging Information

  • Douglas County
  • ecological fire restoration
  • fuel treatment
  • fuel treatment analysis
  • fuel treatment effectiveness
  • Lake Tahoe Basin
  • Nevada
  • post-fire tree mortality
  • tree mortality
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 65733