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Fuel reduction does not significantly alter fire behavior

Key quotes:

  • the idea that fuel reductions could significantly alter fire behavior and spread is a myth perpetuated by the timber industry and Forest Service.
  • the probability that a fire will encounter a fuel reduction during the very limited time it may be effective is extremely small.
  • extreme weather overcomes most fuel reductions.
  • one review found: "Extreme environmental conditions overwhelmed most fuel treatment effects. This included almost all treatment methods including prescribed burning and thinning. Suppression efforts had little benefit from fuel modifications."
The author, George Wuerthner, is an ecologist who has published 38 books, including "Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy." Wuerthner divides his time between Livingston, Montana, and Bend, Oregon.

Here's the full article: Fuel reduction does not significantly alter fire behavior