More Evidence that Rx Fire and Thinning Can Help Slow Wildfires

Article from the Yakima Herald-Republic. Includes maps.

“Scientists reviewing the impact of forest health treatments within the footprint of the Schneider Springs Fire have found that areas treated with both forest thinning and prescribed burns in the decades leading up to the blaze fared better than untreated areas, helping firefighters during the response.”

The article mentions an assessment by Washington DNR forest health scientists — intersting reading. Excerpt:

“The 2021 wildfires included many examples where prior treatments burned at low severity (<25% tree mortality) and gave fire managers more options to directly engage and safely manage fires. However, exceptionally hot and dry weather, high winds, and other factors led to moderate and high severity in other treatments. Based on limited field observations, treatments that included prescribed fire or piling and burning to reduce surface fuels were more likely to be effective, whereas mechanical only treatments often experienced higher tree mortality.”

Mechanical thinning, but not fuels removal.


6 thoughts on “More Evidence that Rx Fire and Thinning Can Help Slow Wildfires”

  1. I’m confused by your apparent interpretation in the last sentence, and what the difference is. Also, the quoted paragraph is referring to “forest health treatments,” which I assume could include either.

    If mechanical treatment is bad by itself, but good with burning, but you can’t guarantee that you will be able to burn after the mechanical treatment, isn’t burning without mechanical treatment the only good option?


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