Targeted Grazing for Fuel Reduction

Article Written by:
Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA

Targeted grazing is the intentional use of livestock to modify vegetation by consumption to accomplish management goals. In terms of wildfire fuel reduction, targeted grazing is often used to reduce the amount, height and continuity of vegetation. For targeted grazing to be effective, it should be tied to fuel management objectives and tightly managed. Because targeted grazing focuses on modifying fuel characteristics and not animal production, it …

Using Mulch to Control Erosion after a Wildfire

Article Written by:
Yvonne Barkley, University of Idaho Extension, Moscow, ID



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Using mulch to control erosion after a wildfire is a very common practice. Research has shown that mulching is the only treatment which consistently and significantly reduced erosion rates after a burn by immediately increasing the percent of ground cover, compared to gradually increasing cover by growing vegetation such as grass.

Mulch is used to cover the soil, thereby reducing rain impact, overland flow, soil erosion and the rapid …

Ensuring Firefighter Access and Your Escape During a Wildfire

If there is a wildfire in your area you may need to get out and firefighters may need to get in, so build fire safety into your road or driveway designs and make plans for evacuation and access.

First, the road. Having more than one way into and out of a residential area is good in case one road gets blocked. Roads should be at least two lanes wide, with gentle curves and with enough space at the end for …

Evacuation Preparations for Your Livestock

Photo source: Susie Heffernan

Prepare before the fire occurs by keeping the corrals and barns free of fuel (vegetation or hay) and have halters or facilities to load and remove the animals. Have an evacuation plan for livestock, including routes, transportation needs, and host site. Share your plan with your neighbors in case you are absent. Do not wait to the last minute to transport livestock as roads can become clogged and difficult to maneuver with a trailer. Make sure …

The Healthy Forest Restoration Act

Article Written by:
Janean Creighton, Oregon State University Extension, Corvallis, OR

Photo by Andy Perleberg, WSU

The Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush in December 2003. The legislation is intended to reduce the threat of destructive wildfires while upholding environmental standards and encouraging public input early in the planning process. The HFRA strengthens public participation in developing high priority areas, uses the best science available to actively manage public lands, allows for …

The Concept Behind Australia’s Stay and Defend or Leave Early Policy

Article Written by:
Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA

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The concept for this and other similarly named programs (e.g., “Stay or Go,” “Leave Early or Stay and Defend”) is that if you have carefully planned for fire, implemented the plan before the fire starts, and are well prepared, then the risks of staying are greatly decreased. Preparation includes:

  • Creating and maintaining a defensible space by reducing fuel around your home,
  • Incorporating “fire-safe” designs and materials into

What It Is Like to Be In a Wildfire

Article Written by:
Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA


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What It Is Like to Be In a Wildfire

What it is like to be in a wildfire depends on the wind speed and the fuel in the area of the home. Embers will come first, followed by the fire front that can create intense heat, smoke, and noise. The darkness and roar of the fire can be great and extremely scary. Common descriptions are of a …

Items to Take When Evacuating

Article Written by:
Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA


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When preparing to evacuate, deciding what you should take depends on how much time you have, but you should plan on being evacuated for 72 hours. You can reduce preparation time by planning ahead what you want to take and organizing these valuable items in such a way that they are easy to assemble. It is a good idea to keep important papers, irreplaceable photos and inventory …

Emergency Automated Telephone Notification During Fires

Article Written by:
Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA


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In some areas, residents will receive a recorded call and/or text message from an automated telephone notification system on their cell phone. If authorities have enough time and personnel, fire services, law enforcement, or emergency responders generally attempt to stop at homes to personally alert residents during the evacuation. Media outlets may announce the evacuation, or it may be placed on local government Web sites.

The automated …

What To Do if Trapped in Car by Fire While Evacuating

Fire near dirt road

A structure offers more protection than a car, so if there is a building nearby, get inside it. If there is no building, then stay in your car. It will be safer than being out in the open with direct exposure to flames and radiant heat.

  • Park the car in a safe place that has little or no vegetation.
  • Turn on headlights and emergency flashers to make your car more visible during heavy smoke.
  • Close all windows and doors, shut