reference : Implementation of National Fire Plan treatments near the wildland–urban interface in the western United States

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/report/nca4/reference/3d4b9def-6705-457c-90fd-a995e6978837
Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract Because of increasing concern about the effects of catastrophic wildland fires throughout the western United States, federal land managers have been engaged in efforts to restore historical fire behavior and mitigate wildfire risk. During the last 5 years (2004–2008), 44,000 fuels treatments were implemented across the western United States under the National Fire Plan (NFP). We assessed the extent to which these treatments were conducted in and near the wildland–urban interface (WUI), where they would have the greatest potential to reduce fire risk in neighboring homes and communities. Although federal policies stipulate that significant resources should be invested in the WUI, we found that only 3% of the area treated was within the WUI, and another 8% was in an additional 2.5-km buffer around the WUI, totaling 11%. Only 17% of this buffered WUI is under federal ownership, which significantly limits the ability of federal agencies to implement fire-risk reduction treatments near communities. Although treatments far from the WUI may have some fire mitigation benefits, our findings suggest that greater priority must be given to locating treatments in and near the WUI, rather than in more remote settings, to satisfy NFP goals of reducing fire risk to communities. However, this may require shifting management and policy emphasis from public to private lands.
Author Schoennagel, Tania; Nelson, Cara R.; Theobald, David M.; Carnwath, Gunnar C.; Chapman, Teresa B.
DOI 10.1073/pnas.0900991106
Issue 26
Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Pages 10706-10711
Title Implementation of National Fire Plan treatments near the wildland–urban interface in the western United States
Volume 106
Year 2009
Bibliographic identifiers
_record_number 25449
_uuid 3d4b9def-6705-457c-90fd-a995e6978837