Alternatives to burning

"Alternatives to burning" refers to treatments employing manual, mechanical, chemical, or biological methods to manage vegetation or fuel loads or land management practices that treat vegetation (fuel) without using fire. Examples include the use of mechanical equipment for thinning, chipping, and masticating, the decomposition of rice straw, and the use of goats, sheep, and other ungulates for hazardous fuels reduction.

Typically a treatment or practice may only be considered an alternative if it has successfully been used to take the place of fire for a certain period of time, this length of time may vary from state to state. For example, periods of three to five years have been specified in some states.


State of New Mexico. 2011. New Mexico Administrative Code Title 20, Chapter 2, Part 65. Accessed on 5 December 2011. Available at

State of Utah. 2011. Index of Public-Interest/Public-Commen-Hearings. Accessed 5 December 2011. Available at:

Hardy, Colin C., Ottmar, Roger D., Peterson, Janice L., Core, John E., and Seamon, Paula. 2001. Smoke Management Guide for Prescribed and Wildland Fire 2001 Edition. Produced by the National Wildfire coordinating Group Fire Use Working Team.