Extent of Forest Treatment to Reduce Damage from Catastrophic Forest Fires is measured by the number of acres treated each year by authorized treatment projects within Arizona’s forests.
Forest fires have always been with us. What has changed in recent years is the proximity of humans and development to forests and the drought that has made forests more vulnerable to insect damage and catastrophic fire. The 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire, which at over 730 square miles burned was the largest in Arizona history at the time, was one of several contributors to a statewide discussion of how to restore the state’s forests to a healthy condition. In a naturally fire-adapted ecosystem, pine forests in the West can be managed to minimize large, uncontrollable fires. Managed by the US Forest Service, the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is a large-scale, collaborative process designed to chart out and implement a plan to bring health back to Arizona’s pine forests. Among 4FRI’s strategies is forest treatment, a combination of managed fire and mechanical thinning that will allow a natural fire regime to return to the area.
Extent of Forest Treatment to Reduce Damage from Catastrophic Forest Fires is updated annually and is available only for the state of Arizona.