What should be avoided is creating large patches of homogenous forest structure simply to affect fire behavior. The attractiveness of mechanical treatments followed by burn treatments as a rapid means of achieving forest restoration goals is tempered somewhat by tradeoffs in effects, as the combination treatment tends to increase cover of exotics and decrease cover of coarse woody debris, which offers key habitat for both invertebrates and vertebrates. Individual fires have unique characteristics and effects because of temporal and spatial variation suggesting that mechanical treatments are not surrogates for many ecological variables and repeated applications of mechanical treatments without fire would likely result in conditions divergent from those in fire-adapted ecosystems where fire disturbance is common (McIver et al. 2012). Fire can be successfully reintroduced in areas that have experienced fire exclusion but once this has begun it would need to be continued (Larson et al. 2013). Allowing fire to function in the system within the range of the native fire regime should be the goal if the goal is truly restoration.
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