“The establishment of firelanes along property boundaries is an important part of every landowner’s best management practices,” said Mark Brian, Senior Vice President and Forester at Bird & Crawford Forestry. Firelanes, or firebreaks as they sometimes are called, are a cleared path requiring regular maintenance to a minimum of 10-feet in width used to gain access to forestlands for emergency traffic.
“The establishment and maintenance of firelanes becomes important in the unfortunate occurrence of a wildfire event as the ability of responders to access your timberlands is a key component to suppressing the fire. Often it is a volunteer fire department that shows up first, and having ready access for their tanker trucks can lead to a quicker suppression.”
More often than not, forest access roads and firelanes can serve dual purposes as part of a forestland access system. External firelanes on property boundaries serve many functions, according to Mark.
“They aid in patrolling your property and as an identifiable path for boundary line and/or fence maintenance. In fact, they are often a byproduct of newly-established fence lines,” he added. “Internal and external fire lanes also provide access to your property for recreation and timber harvesting,” Mark continued.
“Cleared fire lanes along boundaries are also additional boundary protection to guard against accidental trespassing. Easy visual references help timber harvesters or hunters on either your property or the adjacent lands from inadvertently straying onto neighboring property.”
“During a timber harvest is the opportune time to establish firelanes because the equipment needed is often already on the property. Prior planning and arrangements with harvesting contractors can expedite this process. Bird and Crawford Forestry has expertise in planning and implementing road and firelane systems on private forestlands,” Mark concluded. “Contact us for help setting and reaching your forestland goals, including firelanes.”