Minimizing the Risk of Wildfires


The photos on newspaper pages and Internet sites are dramatic – acres of timberland decimated by wildfires, along with images of charred trees and desolate acreage. stock-footage-forest-fire-smoke-through-black-charred-burned-trees-dangerous-destructive-blaze-destroyed-dozens

So what can be done to minimize the risk?

For Potlatch-owned properties, wildfires are relatively rare – occurring on less than 1/10 of 1 percent of our properties each year – and when they occur, they tend to be very small. That said, we believe that quality land management minimizes the risk of fires and also reduces the loss when a fire occurs.

Skillful management includes ensuring good road access to all areas of a property, along with taking an aggressive approach to putting out fires.

Here are four key risk-reducing tips for timber and recreational property owners and managers:

  1. Prescribed fires remove undergrowth, brush, and ground litter from a forest, eliminating potential fuel for wildfires.
  2. Other fuel reducing strategies include thinning and pruning trees, clearing brush around structures and creating firebreaks.
  3. When camping, take care when using and fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling. Avoid spilling flammable liquids.
  4. Contact 911, your local fire department, or the park service if you notice an unattended or out-of-control fire.

To sum up, common sense, coupled with effective land management, can reduce the risk of wildfires. For more information, check out Wildfire Safety Tips from National Geographic.

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