Tractor plows are heavily used in the southeast, but many firefighters in other parts of the country are not familiar with this type of equipment. A plow can rapidly construct a fireline 6-8′ wide in almost all fuel conditions as long as it is not steep or rocky–which eliminates much of the western United States. Some plows are mounted on the front of a dozer, but many are rear-mounted.
And then there is the substantial disturbance to the ground with which many jurisdictions have a problem. It can be difficult to rehab a tractor plow fireline. It’s not exactly a “light hand on the land”.
Here are a couple of photos I took while assigned to the Blackjack Bay fire on the Okeefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia and Florida in 2002.