U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Fire Science Brief, Issue 40, February 2009


US government work.


Strategically Placed Landscape Treatments (SPLATS) developed by Mark Finney have successfully demonstrated their capacity to slow fire spread in computer simulations. This collaborative project combined new applications of high-tech science with local knowledge in an attempt to implement SPLATS in a real world landscape—with real world constraints. Although the SPLATS designs created for the Sagehen Creek Basin by researchers met these constraints, unforeseen complications prevented their implementation. In addition, researchers found that their technologically intensive approach is not likely to be operationally feasible for several reasons, including the limited financial and technological resources of the ranger district. Lessons learned, however, highlight the value of interdisciplinary collaboration and will help inform landscape level planning for the forests of the Sierra Nevada.