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Publication Information

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Title: Fuelbreaks and other fuel modification for wildland fire control

Author: Green, Lisle;

Date: 1977

Source: Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Agricultural Handbook No. 499. 79 p

Publication Series: Agricultural Handbook

Description: In Mediterranean climates, the shrubby plant cover and the coniferous forest above it are vulnerable to frequent large fires. The fuelbreak, a strip of land in a strategic area-such as a ridgetop-where fuel modification and often type conversion can be accomplished, is an approach to fire suppression being widely applied in the Western United States, particularly California. The fuelbreak concept and fuel modification practices have been developed extensively since the 1950's. Fuelbreak system planning is integral to land-use and fire control planning. Fuel modification practices include clearing of original cover by hand or machine; prescribed burning, with preparation of brush by crushing or desiccation with herbicides; control of brush regrowth with herbicides, as sprays or pellets; and establishment of new ground covers, immediately after clearing. Perennial grasses are preferred as new cover where possible; lowgrowing woody vegetation is also used.

Keywords: fire management, chaparral, fuel modification, fuelbreaks, prescribed burning, herbicides, type conversion

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Green, Lisle R. 1977. Fuelbreaks and other fuel modification for wildland fire control. U.S. Dep. Agric., Agric. Handb. 499, 79, p., illus.


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