The official blog of the Joint Fire Science Program

The official blog of, the Interagency Joint Fire Science Program.

February 2, 2012

New Ponderosa Fuels Treatment Guide

Planning and implementing fuels treatments in ponderosa pine forests, from start to finish, is no easy task. To give managers a hand, we’ve summarized information about historical land use, fire regimes, common fuels treatment objectives, techniques, impacts and mitigation for ponderosa pine across three regions across western North America, in - A Comprehensive Guide to Fuels Treatment Practices for Ponderosa Pine in the Black Hills, Colorado Front Range and Southwest (RMRS-GTR-198).

Black areas represent the areas of focus for this guide.
Gray areas represent the range of ponderosa pine.
Fire and fuels managers face similar issues across these regions along with significant differences, making one-size-fits-all solutions inappropriate. Varying current and historical land use practices; along with a broad range of historical mean fire intervals, require slightly different approaches to fuels treatments.

Additionally, many of the lessons learned across these regions can’t be gleaned from peer-reviewed literature or textbooks. Questions like – How do you overcome agency or public resistance to prescribed fire? How do you minimize the effects of smoke on communities? – have multi-faceted answers. Answers that can only come from deep experience in fire and fuels management. 

That’s why we interviewed experienced fire and fuels managers across these regions. We know it’s critical to include their stories and knowledge about what it takes to be successful. We’ve combined their experience with the pertinent information found in published literature to bring you comprehensive management principles that typically lead to effective fuels treatments, and included case studies highlighting successful implementation.

To top it off we offer this video companion to the guide.

So avail yourself of this new resource by clicking here. Be sure to share it among your peers, and let us know what your think in the comment section below.

Molly E. Hunter
Assistant Research Professor
School of Forestry
Northern Arizona University
P.O. Box 15018
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5018