Bulldozed Fire Breaks Don’t Work, Firefighters Group Claims

Written by on March 15, 2019

Using bulldozers to cut fire breaks to stop fires is ineffective and ruins the environment … with no effect in reducing massive firestorms.

That’s the conclusion of a group called “Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology.”

This comes as some Malibu residents have organized an effort to carve out better fire breaks above the city …. and to place water lines there to strategically stop fire fronts as they arrive.

The environmental group points to last year’s big fire outside Redding … where bulldozer drivers cut 305 miles of fire lines through scenic forest land in a desperate bid to stop a massive wildfire’s advance.

The report concluded that flying embers driving the fire rendered the bulldozers’ cutting of “catlines” as almost useless.

“Flying embers that were lofted in hot, dry, fast-moving winds that spread flames over the catlines,” the report said.

“Months after the wildfire was over, the damage left behind by the vast network of catlines is now revealing itself.

The bulldozed fire breaks “displace soils and destabilize slopes, denude native vegetation and help spread flammable invasive weeds, degrade water quality and closed canopy forest habitat, destroy Native American artifacts and heritage sites, and despoil the scenery of fire affected wildlands,” the report concluded.

Local activist Don Schmitz says a combination of 85 miles of fire breaks … plus the strategic use of water sprays … could save Malibu from future fire storms.

Schmitz says helicopter and ground crews can use the fire breaks to stop the major front … and then put out the spot fires that jump the bulldozed breaks.

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