Plan now or pay later
"Firefighters are bulldozing fire lines around numerous subdivisions and communities including the small mountain town of Cuchara, CO as the virtually-unimpeded Spring Creek fire chews up thousands of acres" (Denver Post 7/2/18). Here at Anchor Point we are frequently asked to try and define the value of wildfire planning. The ongoing Spring Creek fire is a clear example of plan now or pay later. Communities that have have had a plan developed and diligently implement the plan, are much less likely to be at the mercy of the fire management team, utilizing the fastest techniques to protect communities. This often involves heavy equipment such as dozers, tractor plow units, along with multiple saw crews cutting trees with the goal of getting it done quickly before the fire arrives. Don't get me wrong, these resources are essential to protect communities and an a structure protection specialist I use them on almost every fire and... liberally. The idea is to NOT WAIT until the fire but get this work done BEFORE the fire.
Thoughtful planning involves the citizens and landowners and fuel breaks can be placed with input from those that must live with them. Often, well planned fuel breaks can serve multiple purposes such as increasing mountain views, equestrian trails and even enhanced edge cover for wildlife. When a dozer operator is cutting a fuel break, I guarantee there is no consideration other than get it done safely, quickly and get it done right. This is the only option when fire is on the doorstep.