The basic premise behind many projects aimed at wildfire hazard reduction and ecological restoration in forests of the western United States is the idea that unnatural fuel buildup has resulted from suppression of formerly frequent fires. This premise and its implications need to be critically evaluated by conducting area-specific research in the forest ecosystems targeted for fuels or ecological restoration projects. Fire regime researchers need to acknowledge the limitations of fire history methodology and avoid over-reliance on summary fire statistics such as mean fire interval and rotation period. While fire regime research is vitally important for informing decision making in the areas of wildfire hazard mitigation and ecological restoration, there is much need for improving the way researchers communicate their results to managers and the way managers use this information.
Fire, Fuel Treatments and Ecological Restoration: Conference Proceedings