BLM: fuel breaks stopped spread of Centennial Fire

The BLM fuel breaks are initially created by using herbicides

BLM fuel break

Above: screenshot from the BLM video showing a fuel break.

(Originally published at 10 a.m. MST December 2, 2017)

The Bureau of Land Management produced this video that explains their philosophy of creating fuel breaks in Idaho by using herbicides followed by planting fire resistant vegetation such as “Stabilizer” Siberian wheatgrass. The 2017 Centennial Fire west of Twin Falls would have grown much larger, they claim, had it not stopped at a fuel break 275 feet wide.

fuel break herbicide aerial application
An aircraft sprays herbicide on a BLM fuelbreak. Screenshot from the BLM video.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills.

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5 thoughts on “BLM: fuel breaks stopped spread of Centennial Fire”

    1. Of course they do, but there are many types of containment lines that are well under 275 ft that are effective. This area has frequent large fires due to an unbroken sea of cheat grass and long response times.

      I think it is definitely a good plan to make strategic fuel breaks in southern Idaho. Although herbacide wouldn’t be my first choice. I have wondered how wells with expansive drip lines and native bunch grasses in strategic positions/patterns would do. (I can keep them green year round with about 100 gallons per week.) Not to mention what it could do for maintaining some sage grouse habitat…

  1. “totally lost it” good example of Mother Nature showing who is boss, probably didn’t have a chance for quick containment, not unusual. (Southern California this week) I’m surprised that the environmentalist haven’t bought a judge to stop this project.

    1. Why would they? Likely killing two birds with one stone with all the cheatgrass on BLM basin lands. Fuels reduction and invasive plant reduction, all with one application.

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