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Mechanical Treatments

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Many manual and mechanical methods are used to reduce hazardous fuels on woodland properties. This publication describes three of the most common methods: Slashbusting and grinding Mowing and mastication Crushing Mechanical methods use several types of equipment to chop, chip, crush, or otherwise break apart fuels—such as brush, small trees, and slash—into small pieces or chips. The processed fuels carpet the ground, forming a relatively dense, compact layer of woody material. The material may be integral to the prime mover or may be then is left to decompose or is burned.Mechanical treatments can reduce the potential for destructive crown fires by: Reducing “ladder” fuels, due to the gap created between surface fuels and crown fuels Reducing the oxygen supply to fuels, thus reducing the potential for ignition and fire spread Mechanical fuels reduction may be used either as a stand-alone treatment or to “step down” fuels before prescribed burning.

M. Bennett; S. Fitzgerald

Bennett M, Fitzgerald S. Mechanical Treatments. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University; 2008 p. 4. Available from:

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