Fuel Load Management

Limit the Impact of Harmful fires

Manage fire risk.

Managing fuel loads is an integral part of managing fire risk. The nature of the risk is dependent on the different fuel types and the age of the vegetation. Reducing fuel loads may be desirable in terms of reducing immediate risk, or can pose a threat to human life, infrastructure, commercial concerns, livestock and other land owners, or maintaining the health of fire adapted ecosystems.

The management of fuel loads in these areas are often by means of prescribed burning.

Prescribed Burning

Working on Fire has over 20-years of experience in Prescribed Burning.

Prescribed burns are fires that are planned to reduce fuel load. They are deliberately ignited with the intention of burning a predetermined area.

Working on Fire has over 20-years of experience in all types of Prescribed Burning.

Within our vast network, we supply professionally trained and fully equipped crews for any kind of prescribed burn to any location. When doing prescribed burns in foreign countries Working on Fire International develops local capacity through training and skills transfer.

Reasons for Prescribed Burning

  • Wildfire hazard reduction
  • Reduction of hazardous fuels
  • Cycle nutrients and maximize biodiversity
  • Perpetuate fire-dependent species
  • Improving wildlife and livestock habitat
  • Controlling pest problems
  • Site preparation for reforesting
  • Manage endangered species
  • Protection of infrastructure

Prescribed Burning For Fire Prevention

  • Fire Breaks
  • Understory Burning (Under canopy fire management, manual Ignition or aerial Ignition)
  • Fuel Load Reduction
  • Slash Burning
  • Fuel Load Risk Reduction

Environmental Prescribed Burning

  • Dead Grass Removal
  • High Intensity Fires (control of bush encroachment)
  • Point Ignition Specialists (Mosaic burns)
  • Perimeter Burn Systems
  • Burning of Contaminated Landscapes

Vertical Fuels

Vertical Fuels include all green and dead materials located in the upper canopy including tree branches and crowns, snags, moss, and high shrubs.

Vertical Fuels with open canopies usually have a faster spreading surface fire than closed canopies, and torching of individual trees with possible spotting. Crowning may occur when very strong winds are present, crowning is however unlikely without a closed canopy. Closed canopy stands that are greater than six feet in height, whether timber or tall shrubs, offer the best opportunity for a running crown fire.

Surface Fuels

Surface Fuels are all materials lying on or immediately above the ground including needles or leaves, duff, grass, small dead wood, downed logs, stumps, large limbs, low shrubs, and reproduction. Surface fuels are less compact than ground fuels and have other characteristics more favorable for faster rates of spread..

Surface fuels include litter, grass and shrubs to about six feet in height. If no aerial fuels are present, surface fuels have an open environment subject to stronger winds and more heating and drying by solar radiation. Fires burn through this fuel level with low to high rates of spread. Surface fuels generally carry a prescribed fire.

Subsurface Fuels

Subsurface Fuels include all combustible materials lying beneath the surface including peat, roots, rotten buried logs and other woody fuels.

Peat fires burning in peatlands tend to produce long-lasting, smoky, underground blazes, burn a smaller area than fast-moving forest fires, and can burn up to 10 times more fuel mass per acre, producing far more smoke. They have widespread public health impacts, and can contribute to respiratory ailments and premature deaths in an affected region. Peat is soil comprised of partly decayed plant material formed in wetlands.