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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tools of the trade- The Masticator (Partridge Fire)

When talking about wildfire, there are many tools used to manage it. First and foremost, there are firefighters, but other tools of the trade are engines, chainsaws, dozers and masticators.

The tool that is making a huge impact on the Partridge fire is the masticator.
A masticator is a piece of machinery (ran by highly qualified fire fighters) reduces the size of forest vegetation and downed material by grinding/shredding, chunking and chopping.  This reduction of fuels helps slow or stop the fire in these areas.

“It’s quicker, safer and more efficient than having crews in there with chain saws.” said Martell Gibbons, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, acting Zone Fire Management Officer. “We wanted to create that fuel break as safely as possible, and the masticator is the prefect tool for that.”

The masticator will remain on scene, chew and creating fuel breaks, for the duration of the incident.