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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Research Project #440532

Research Project: Fuel Treatment and Fire Suppression Effects on Valued Resources in Sagebrush Steppe

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Project Number: 2060-21500-001-002-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 28, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

Using sites that experienced wildfire after a fuel treatment, we propose to 1) investigate the effects of fuel treatments (prescribed fire, herbicide, mowing, and tree cutting) on plant communities and fuels composition, as well as model potential fire behavior, 2) analyze the effects of fuel treatments on fire regimes (frequency and return intervals), and 3) conduct a risk assessment for fuel treatment-suppression resource scenarios across the Great Basin landscape.

The proposed project aims to increase our understanding of 1) the effectiveness of fuel treatments at reducing subsequent wildfire effects, 2) fuel treatment effects on altering fire regimes, and 3) the degree to which presence of fuel treatments and proximity to suppression resources reduces wildfire risk to highly valued resources and assets. We will accomplish this by 1) using field data and fire behavior modeling to examine vegetation and fuel responses to wildfire in post-fuel treated areas, 2) using remote sensing and field data to examine relationships between applied fuel treatments and fire regime characteristics at the landscape level, and 3) using a wildfire risk assessment framework to assess where fuel treatments are most effective at risk reduction.