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Biomass fuel: Biomass is plant or animal material used for energy production. All biomass is biologically-produced matter based in carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Crown Fuel: The branches and foliage of the trees and large shrubs (over 6 feet in height) make up crown fuel.

Embers: Embers are burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris and other objects.

Fine and Small Fuels:  Small fuels are needles, grasses, leaves, and small twigs. Small fuels are crucial to the spread of fire. Removal, burning and decomposition are the only means for reducing fine and small fuels.

Firebrand: A firebrand is a piece of burning wood

Fuel: Fuel is accumulated live and dead plant biomass.

Fuel ladders:  Fuel ladders are continuous fuels, especially of fine and small fuels, between the ground and the tree crowns.

Fuel Load:  Total fuel accumulations that contribute to fire intensity and damage.

Ladder Fuel: Ladder fuel consists of intermediate-sized trees or shrubs that provide a fuel conduit that can allow a surface fire to “climb” into the crown fuel. Fuel treatments can remove shrubs and small trees or the lower branches of trees to reduce ladder fuel.

Large fuels:  Large fuels include twigs larger than pencil-diameter, branches, and logs. Larger fuels contribute primarily to fire intensity.

Mastication: Mastication is the mechanical grinding, crushing, shredding, chipping, and chopping of fuel that can reduce the intensity and rate of fire spread. Mastication is most commonly applied in the restoration rather than in maintenance of wildland ecosystems.

Prescribed Burning:  Prescribed burning is the deliberate use of fire in specific areas within prescribed fuel and weather conditions (e.g., fuel moisture content, relative humidity, wind speed).

Surface Fuel: Surface fuel is composed of small shrubs, grasses, and plant debris lying on the surface of the ground.

Thinning:  Thinning is the mechanical cutting and removing of some of the trees in a stand. The three basic approaches to thinning include:

  • Low thinning, or thinning from below, which removes the smallest trees and those with the poorest form;
  • Crown thinning, or thinning from above, which removes the larger trees to open the canopy and stimulate growth on the remaining trees; and
  • Selection thinning, which removes the least desirable trees for the future stand, commonly the less desirable species and trees with poorer form.

Vegetation Management: Vegetation management is the general term used to describe the targeted control and elimination of unwanted vegetation. 

Wildland fire:  Wildland fire is the term used for allowing a wildfire to be used like a prescribed burn (i.e., within specified areas and conditions). 

Wildland urban interface (WUI): Wildland urban interface is where residences mix with undeveloped forest and open lands.

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