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BLM > Arizona > What We Do > Fire & Aviation > Fuels Management
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Fuels Management
“You’ve got to fight fire with fire.” It’s an old adage that can literally prove itself true. In fact, a major fire management consideration for BLM fire specialists across Arizona is the vegetation which can fuel a wildfire, and the cautious process used to exam potential hazards.
Fuels are considered any type of combustible material.  The primary objective of hazardous fuels reduction or vegetation treatments is to remove enough of this fuel to reduce the risk posed by wildfire.  In general, fuels treatments reduce surface fuels and/or maintain healthy forests using thinning and limbing techniques.  Treatments have been proven to successfully lessen the severity and threat of wildfires to the public and firefighter safety as well as making fire suppression easier.
BLM fuel program managers examine conditions on public lands to assess potential wildfire hazards. In areas where the risk of a wildfire is high due to vegetative conditions, managers develop strategies to reduce the amount of fuel and improve the health of the land. Once plans are developed they are implemented using a variety of methods.

Fire & Aviation

fire mgmtTo ensure that wildland vegetation is managed in a manner that provides for public safety, and at the same time preserves the environment, BLM fuel program managers work hand in hand with other natural resource specialists to assess fuels which can feed wildland fires. Together, these professionals develop vegetation management strategies which address hazardous fuel loading within the Wildland Urban Interface (areas where homes and human lives are adjacent to public wildlands). Plans are put in place which provide for vegetative growth that is sustainable both environmentally and economically.
A broad range of tools are used to ensure on-the-ground conditions are met to reduce and manage fuels. These include: prescribed fire; mechanical treatments; biological treatment; and the judicious use of herbicide applications to control undesirable exotic or invasive species. Before any of these tools are utilized, careful consideration is given to potential impacts. Federal land management agencies are required to analyze any fuel management technique and its impact to air quality, water quality, public safety, firefighter safety, threatened and endangered species and other environmental concerns.
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