Fuel treatment effectiveness at the landscape scale: A review of simulation studies comparing treatment scenarios
Qualifying studies focused primarily but not exclusively on forested landscapes of the western USA and ranged in size from 200 to 3,400,000 ha. Most studies showed that scenarios with fuel reduction treatments had lower levels of wildfire compared to untreated scenarios. Damaging wildfire types decreased while beneficial wildfire increased as a result of treatments in most cases where these were differentiated. Wildfire outcomes were influenced by five dimensions of treatment design (extent, placement, size, prescription, and timing) and other factors beyond the treatments (weather, climate, fire/fuel attributes, and other management inputs). Studies testing factorial combinations showed that the relative importance of these factors varied across landscapes and contexts.