Hazardous Fuels Mitigation

Hazardous fuels mitigation

Generally refers to fuels removal (treatment) outside of the home ignition zones (200 ft. from structures). Treatment consists of thinning trees and fuels to a particular prescription and removing the slash, thus making the area less susceptible to crown fires, and getting wildland fire “on the ground” where fire response is more effective.

When fuels accumulate, they allow fires to burn hotter, faster and with higher flame lengths. When fire encounters areas of continuous brush or small trees it can burn these “ladder fuels” and may quickly move from a ground fire into a crown fire.

Fuel reduction projects and vegetation treatments have been proven as a means of mitigating wildfire hazards, to lessen catastrophic fire and its threats to public and firefighter safety, and damage to property. The objective is to remove enough fuel so that when a wildfire burns, it is less severe and can be more easily suppressed. Thinning trees, remove underbrush, and limbing trees are done using hand crews or mechanical equipment. Cut material is ground into chips or piled and burned during the winter.

While often our attention may be on the big flames and towering columns of smoke and acres of un-thinned trees, it’s the firebrands igniting pine needles in rain gutters, the dead grass or wood mulch up next to a home’s wood siding, or a wood pile next to the house that can be even more dangerous.