Mastication Research Fire Surrogate Treatments

Brush masticator thinning shrubs and small trees
ASV Posi-Track working in a masticated treatment unit.


Brush Mastication
Brush mastication is a mechanical fuel reduction technique that uses a tracked vehicle to shred brush and small diameter trees. This technique is used to reduce ladder fuels, provide defensible space for firefighters in the event of a wildfire, and create prescribed burn unit boundaries.

An ASV Posi-Track rubber tracked vehicle with less than 3.5 PSI ground pressure was chosen to complete this work.
firefighters hand thinning shrubs
Fire crew working in a hand-thinned plot.


Hand Thinning
Fire crews performed "heavy" thinning of shrubs in selected treatment units to mimic the level of thinning by the brush masticator. After cutting, brush was removed from the site and burned in piles outside the study area.

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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