Action: Cut strips of shrubland vegetation to reduce the spread of fire
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of cutting strips of vegetation to reduce the spread of fire on shrublands.
'We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Cutting of ‘firebreaks’ creates gaps in shrublands that can act as a barrier to slow or stop the spread of fire. These firebreaks are commonly used to protect human property and life, rather than to benefit biodiversity. For the purposes of this synopsis we only considered studies that examined the effect of firebreaks that were explicitly cut to protect shrubland biodiversity. In addition, many of the studies of the effect of firebreaks are not empirical, and use modelling approaches to assess their effects on the spread of fire and effects on biodiversity (e.g. Cary et al. 2009, Taylor et al. 2013).
Cary, G.J., Flannigan, M.D., Keane, R.E., Bradstock, R.A., Davies, I.D., Lenihan, J.M., Li, C., Logan, K.A. & Parsons, R.A. (2009) Relative importance of fuel management, ignition management and weather for area burned: evidence from five landscape fire succession models. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 18, 147-156.
Taylor, M.H., Rollins, K., Kobayashi, M. & Tausch, R.J. (2013) The economics of fuel management: Wildfire, invasive plants, and the dynamics of sagebrush rangelands in the western United States. Journal of Environmental Management, 126, 157-173.