Information for Woodland Owners

Protecting your woodland from wildfire is important for maintaining the overall value of your property, its aesthetic appeal, and for producing wildlife habitat and clean water. There is a lot you can do to protect your forest property and make it more fire resistant.

In order to sustain a fire three essential elements are needed: fuel, heat, and oxygen. This is known as the fire triangle. Take one element away and the fire goes out. For example, when a grease fire starts on a stove and a chemical fire extinguisher is used to put the fire out, it is essentially removing oxygen.

Another triangle you should be aware of is the fire behavior triangle, which is comprised of weather, topography, and fuel. If one or more of these 3 elements change during a fire, the behavior (e.g. how fast it moves or how hot it burns) of the fire changes. For example, hot, dry, windy weather will cause a fire to burn more intensely. On steep slopes, wildfires tend to burn faster and hotter moving up a slope because the flames are tilted toward the oncoming fuel, which more effectively preheats the upslope fuel.

The common denominator in these two triangles is fuel -- and it is the only element that foresters and woodland owners have some influence over. Reduce the amount and arrangement of fuels can improve reduce fire intensity and it’s damaging effects. This webpage provides information for woodland owners on how to increase the chances your property and trees will survive a wildfire.

Fuel Reduction Publications

Thinning (pdf)
This publication discusses how thinning forest stands can improve fire-resistance.

Pruning (pdf)
Illustrates how to prune to reduce ladder fuels forest stands.

Mechanical Fuels Reduction (pdf)
Discusses techniques like slashbusting, mowing & mastication, and crushing for reducing fuels on your woodland.

Disposing of Woody Material (pdf)
Fuel reduction activities can create a lot of slash. This publication shows techniques to dispose of slash to reduce the fire hazard on your woodland.

Fire and Fuels Related Websites

Oregon Department of Forestry
The Oregon Department of Forestry provides wildfire protection to private forest lands in Oregon. This website provides information on protection from wildfire, fire laws and regulations, and other helpful tips for protecting your property from wildfire.

Fire Triangle

Fire Behavior Triangle