Project DETAILS & RESOURCES
Can Wildland Fire Use (WFU) Restore Historical Fire Regimes In Wilderness And Other Unroaded Lands?
Carol Miller and Brett Davis - Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute
Current Federal Wildland Fire Policy encourages wildland fire use (WFU) for restoring natural fire dynamics and reducing hazardous wildland fuels. Unroaded areas provide unique opportunities for applying wildland fire use (WFU) as a fuels management strategy and as a method for restoring the natural process of fire. In many wilderness and other unroaded areas, however, current fuel conditions may preclude the use of wildland fire because of excessive risks to natural resource values within the wilderness or to social values in the adjacent wildland urban interface (WUI). In some areas, especially small wilderness areas with extensive WUI areas, WFU may never be feasible. Even in larger unroaded areas, there will always be an argument to suppress some natural ignitions because of these risks. Finally, ignitions outside of these areas that otherwise would immigrate into wilderness are usually suppressed, further limiting the amount of natural fire that can occur. Before investing limited time and resources in developing and implementing a fire management plan, wildland fire and fuels managers need information and tools to help them evaluate the feasibility of WFU as a fuel reduction strategy and as a method for the restoration of fire.
PROJECT GOALS & OBJECTIVES
This project developed an approach to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of wildland fire use (WFU) as a strategy for restoring the process of fire and managing fuels in wilderness and other unroaded lands. The information we developed will help managers evaluate management objectives.
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