The Blackfoot Fuel Reduction Program is a partnership between local fire departments, state and federal agencies, and private landowners. Fuel reduction grant funds are currently available for private landowners in the entire Blackfoot watershed. Grants typically provide funding for up to 50% of the total fuel reduction or forest health improvement project cost. The landowner is responsible for providing the other half. Revenue from wood products that are sold can help offset the landowner’s cost.
Fuel reduction projects generally include several components:
1) removing ladder fuels (small trees) from around the base of larger trees to reduce the risk of fire spreading into the large tree canopy;
2) thinning large trees when necessary to increase the space between tree crowns (the tips of the upper branches) to reduce the risk of crown fire (fire burning through the tops of trees); and
3) removing excessive woody fuels (branches and fallen trees) from the ground to reduce the spread of fire burning on the forest floor.
When a severe wildfire reaches a forest where fuels have been properly reduced, the fire can quickly lose intensity, stop burning through the tree canopy and therefore be safely approached and controlled on the ground by firefighters.
In the Blackfoot watershed forest types, fuel reduction projects usually accomplish multiple objectives by increasing the growth rate and health of the remaining trees and increasing the forest’s resistance to common insect and disease problems, including mountain pine beetle and spruce budworm. The Blackfoot Challenge Forestry Coordinator works closely with landowners to ensure that these forest health objectives are met.
Ready to get started? Complete the Hazardous Fuels Reduction Grant Application.