Carbon recovery timing by treatment, mortality method, and reference baseline. Time scales of recovery in treated (TB, filled bars) and untreated (NTB, open bars) forest stands, using observed and modeled estimates of mortality rates to set initial conditions, using (a) pre-treatment carbon density (175.51 Mg C ha-1) and (b) post treatment carbon density (111.85 Mg C ha-1) to define the threshold of recovery. In both observational and simulation based estimates, fuel treated stands in the Angora fire are estimated to recover pre-treatment and post-treatment C stocks more quickly than stands which were not treated for fuels. Because of differences between observed and simulated mortality rates, models parameterized with simulated mortality rates suggest a greater benefit of fuel treatment than using an observationally parameterized model. The choice of a reference point also strongly affects the perceived benefit of fuel treatments on carbon recovery. If post-treatment carbon density is used as a reference point, fuel treated stands are estimated to recover carbon 35 years faster than untreated stands, versus 10 years faster when using pre-treatment C density to define recovery.