At least one large fire has burned in California’s Ventana Wilderness each decade over the past 40 years, with several fires burning more than 100,000 acres. In light of a three-year drought, and the increasing risk of another large landscape fire, several government and non-government organizations formed FireScape Monterey to re-establish, prepare, and maintain a set of fuel breaks around the Ventana Wilderness. These fuel breaks are designed to reduce the wildfire risk and hazard to local wildland-urban interface communities by serving as ready-to-go anchor points for fire suppression.
As part of this work, STI’s fire behavior modelers used fire behavior and fire effects models to determine whether a set of proposed fuel breaks would intercept future wildfires and interrupt fire movement across this fire-prone landscape.
Our work demonstrated
  • The usefulness of the fire behavior and fire effects modeling tools in the Interagency Fuels Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS) for fuels treatment analysis and planning.
  • That proposed fuel breaks were strategically located and would likely intercept future wildfires.
  • That the fuel breaks would support fire suppression activities to reduce fire movement out of the wilderness area.