2017 Military Reserve Fuel Break Preparation
The dominant vegetation in Military Reserve is cereal rye; an invasive grass species capable of producing fuel loads ten times greater than cheatgrass or medusahead rye. In 2016, the Wildfire Mitigation Team hired a contractor to mow 22-acres of cereal rye along Mountain Cove Road to reduce wildfire hazards to the surrounding community. However, to create a more sustainable, long-term fuel break, herbicide was applied to the same 22-acres in spring 2017, and shortly thereafter, the area was mowed to reduce any residual fuels not affected by the herbicide treatment. This prepared fuel break was then seeded with native, fire-resistant and resilient grass species in fall of 2017. The seed mix applied contained fire resistant and resilient species and wildflowers.
Results of herbicide application to cereal rye (left frame). Grasses were mowed after herbicide application to reduce hazardous fuels (right frame).