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Rehab Dozer Lines - Long Island Wildfires
Bulldozers use is an approved wildfire suppression tactic, rehab is essential. Dozers create nuisance access to illegal all terrain vehicles, increase invasive species threats, hinder vegetation regrowth, compact soils, strip top soil, plow organic matter into piles, increases fire threat from felled trees; all of which further expose fragile ecosystems. When dozers impact parks, it's flagged by Quality Parks as a park need.
Why isn't rehab being done now? It's not part of emergency response and there's an assumption that nature can recover on it's own, given time, even from dozer lines. But time is what we don't have. Our fundraising campaign is regenerative: by rehabbing fire breaks we also bring back healthy forests that improve nature based solutions to climate change.
The funds raised will be spent on advancing what governments and others are doing to help rehab firebreaks with monitoring, training, and continuous improvement.
What bulldozers leave behind as part of approved firefighting suppression tactics . . .
Bulldozers compress soils with their large treads. The softer organic material is scraped up and pushed aside. Though there can be post fire recovery in bulldozed areas, as pictured below, much of the scrape shows poor recovery response. Approved fire suppression tactics also leave uprooted trees too, create clearcuts that fragment the forest, enable illegal ATV access, increase fire threats, and are vulnerable to invasive species. For example, mile-a-minute has impacted an area less than one mile away. Pictured below is the 2023 Calverton Ponds Preserve Fire.
. . . as opposed to the natural wildfire scenario.
Natural fires look more like this; regrowth is vibrant, especially after rain. This photos were taken about a month post fire. Pictured below is a hot spot, that may have been put out by hand tools applying a backpack water sprayer used by forest rangers. This impact is minimal. Brush trucks may have been used to put out hot spots as well, but I didn't see any evidence of their presence, because of the larger dozer impacts.
The Rehab Fire Break Campaign's goal is to raise $10,000. Contact us with your questions and interests.
Though you can't help a ripped up tree. You can make repairs by pulling back piled up soil and using fallen debris to redefine trails and to block vulnerable areas. In some cases regenerative planting maybe needed for deeper bulldozed scrapes. But this isn't being done. Why? It's not normally part of the overall wildfire response procedure, especially on Long Island. Coupled with the assumption that nature can heal itself, given time; which we don't have as healthy forests are essential to nature-based solutions to climate change, there's no more excuses for informed action and advancement of new protocols for the rehab of fire breaks.
- Monitoring: visiting sites, differences between natural fire recovery and dozer impacts
- Tactics: What is the best approach? Will hand tools be sufficient? What are others doing?
- Procedures: Is dozer line rehab part of the emergency response or the emergency recovery? How are dozer fire line impacts reported?
- Finances: Who pays for recovery or response, at the federal, state, county, etc. levels? Does funds target such suppression impacts?
- Training: Is dozer line repair part of dozer or chainsaw training class? Who can we work with us to prepare a local training course?
- 09/12/23 - Actionable Items: Rehab Fire Breaks (News)
- 09/08/23 - Question: Can this be a lesson under Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center as a first step to its recognition by the fire community, and the Academy? Response: waiting for response
- 08/16/22 - Question: Can the NY Wildland Fire Academy develop and offer a rehab fire break training class? Response: This is what we found out: The courses at the Academy are normally NWCG certified so we need to contact the NWCG training group.
- 08/15/22 - The Lahaina Banyan Tree and the Fallen Pitch Pine (News)