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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