Synthesis of Knowledge of Hazardous Fuels Management in Loblolly Pine Forests
by Southern Research Station (9781508498124)

Synthesis of Knowledge of Hazardous Fuels Management in Loblolly Pine Forests
Southern Research Station
Format: Paperback / softback
Pages: 50
Category: Encyclopaedias & Reference Works
Publisher: Createspace
ISBN: 9781508498124
ISBN-10: 1508498121

In recent years, the danger of destructive wildfires has become a major problem in many areas of the United States due to an increase in the human population and to decades of fuel accumulation resulting from wildfire suppression and climatic variability. Fencing of livestock has also reduced the frequency of woods burning to improve livestock grazing. As a result, forests that previously burned regularly have been allowed to build up so much fuel so that when a wildfire does occur, it can be intense and difficult to suppress, endangering lives and property and degrading the forest. A series of major wildfires in the West and in Florida during the late 1990s highlighted the problem and provided the catalyst for new, aggressive government strategies for reducing hazardous fuel levels. The Cohesive Fuels Strategy (U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service 2006) and the Healthy Forests Initiative (U.S. Department of the Interior 2006a) have accelerated the rate of hazardous fuel reduction through administrative reform, new legislation, and increased funding. The mandate of the Healthy Forests Initiative was to reduce fuels to the point where subsequent management by means of regular, low-intensity prescribed burns would be effective. Treatment of forests near buildings and roads (at the wildland-urban interface) was to be emphasized. Subsequently, government agencies increased their fuel reduction activities, especially the use of mechanical equipment to either mulch fuels or remove them from the forest. According to the October 2006 Healthy Forest Report (U.S. Department of the Interior 2006b), Federal agencies have reduced the wildfire hazard on over 18 million acres since 2000. Based on accomplishment reports, the Federal government treated over 3 million acres of the wildland-urban interface and over 1 million acres of other land in the South. For both areas, prescribed burning was the most common treatment.

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