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Study finds fuel treatments can reduce fire severity
PORTLAND, Ore. - A study conducted by U.S. Forest Service and University of Washington scientists has found that fuel treatments - even of only a few acres - can reduce fire severity and protect older trees desirable for their timber, wildlife and carbon-storage value.
The finding is part of a three-year study of the 175,000-acre Tripod Complex Fire and is published in the August issue of Canadian Journal of Forest Research.
The 2006 Tripod Complex Fire burned in the mountains between the Okanogan and Methow valleys.
The study quantified tree mortality in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in an area affected by the fire, which burned through forested areas managed to reduce potential fire hazard.
Results of the comparison revealed that the Tripod Complex Fire killed more than 80 percent of trees in stands without treatment and in stands with thinning only. Nearly 60 percent of trees survived in stands with thinning plus fuel treatment, and three-quarters of larger trees - those with diameters larger than eight inches - survived.
The article's abstract can be viewed at http://rparticle.web-p.cisti.nrc.ca/rparticle/AbstractTemplateServlet?calyLang=eng&journal=cjfr&volume=40&year=0&issue=8&msno=x10-109.
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