Maintenance Q&As

How can we reduce forest fires through better preventive maintenance?

Answered September 04 2019

With the recent rise in catastrophic wildfires, we began to think about how maintenance might be able to help.

Forest fires can be reduced by protecting areas around young forests and good sanitation practices in mature forests. These forest-related preventive maintenance tasks can go a long way in reducing and containing forest fires.

upkeep, forest fire preventive maintenance

Protecting Young Forests

Defined as a forest planted within six years, young forests are particularly vulnerable to forest fires. They are not yet well established and cannot naturally recover on their own. A fire would mean the complete destruction of the new ecosystem.

As a result, preventive maintenance should revolve around isolating this young forest from potential danger. Foresters often graze the area around the new forest to promote clearing as well as small plant growth. Though a little controversial, herbicides can assist to clear a protective area as well. Using a centralized computer system, you can plan and schedule these and other preventive activities.

Maintaining Mature Forests

Preventive maintenance around mature forests is related to good sanitation practices. Foresters should be methodical about thinning and pruning sections of the forests regularly. Clearing fallen limbs and trees from area roadways helps to eliminate excess material on the ground. However, the priority is removing debris as much as possible within forests to minimize dry, flammable material.

Scheduling Preventive Maintenance

Managing preventive maintenance tasks for forest areas is often challenging due to the area and distance that must be covered. A centralized computer system helps prioritize the most urgent tasks. It also helps foresters track the physical condition of particular sections, noting when the risk levels for fires increase.

If one area shows perfect conditions for starting or spreading fire, its place on the priority list escalates. Barriers between forests and residential areas should also be a priority to prevent expensive damage to surrounding communities.

Tip: Consider using a CMMS to organize and manage preventive maintenance tasks as related to forestry.

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