Forest fires have always been a threat. 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 730-square-mile Rodeo-Chediski fire of 2002, at that time the largest in Arizona history, helped catalyze 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 U.S. 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.
This metric measures the number of acres treated each year by authorized treatment projects within Arizona’s forests.
Extent of Forest Treatment to Reduce Damage from Wildfires is updated annually and is available only for the state of Arizona.