RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS



An evaluation of the Forest Service hazardous fuels treatment program

View article.

As part of an internal program assessment, this study evaluated the extent of fuel treatments and wildfire occurrence within lands managed by the National Forest System (NFS) between 2008 and 2012. Annually, 45% of NFS lands that would have historically burned were disturbed by fuel treatments and characteristic wildfire, indicating that NFS lands remain in a “disturbance deficit.” The highest wildfire hazard class had the lowest percentage of area treated and the highest proportion of both wildfire of any severity and uncharacteristically high-severity wildfire, suggesting that an alternative distribution of fuel treatment locations will probably improve program effectiveness.