Forest Fires: How Do Ranchers Plan Ahead in 2022?

The idea of investing in ranchland can be both inspiring and rewarding. You get to enjoy a fresh breeze and the quiet rural life away from the hustle and bustle of the big city for a start. With sufficient capital, you can turn your ranch into a self-sustaining investment. When buying a ranch, it is critical to analyze your budget, ranch location, and ranch capacity. So let’s talk about a forest fire.

A ranch with an enormous capacity will offer the property owner the opportunity to venture into activities like large-scale mixed farming. MIRR Ranch Group is a premier ranch real estate company with a stellar reputation for marketing Colorado ranches for sale

Besides marketing, our brokers have extensive expertise in ranch acquisition, stewardship, and conservation. The properties we deal with include cattle ranches, mountain ranches, hunting properties, equestrian properties, fly-fishing properties, farms, and conservation properties.

We encourage clients interested in these properties to visit our website and check the offerings organized based on ranch type and locality. From experience, we know ranch owners experience numerous risks, including that of forest fires. Below are ranch and forest fire mitigation strategies to help ranchers plan in 2022:

Study Internal and External Threats

The first assessment is to audit the investments in your ranch. Once that is done, it helps to create a defensive plan for the properties in the ranch. Besides the main entry point, farm owners need alternative access points for emergency services. Outside the ranch, a comprehensive mitigation effort is needed for dealing with forest fires. Remember, a forest fire is an effective management tool that helps in creating ecological balance. 

Ensure Buildings and Infrastructure Remain Safe

Flammable vegetation, fluids, and materials such as propane tanks and barns should be kept safe from the ranch houses to mitigate the risk of internal fires. The same level of attention should be taken to protect critical legal documents and insurance information.

Forest Timber Management

Forest Fire

Source: oregonstate.edu

Ranch owners need to adequately manage dead timber and slash to create a clean and productive environment. National entities like the Natural Resources Conservation Scheme are at the forefront of providing grants and incentives, which ranch owners can use to implement a comprehensive timber management plan. 

Ranch Management

Once the fire risk is gone, you can take advantage of the enriched soil to grow native grass and fast-growing nitrogen-fixing vegetation as part of ranch management. If Possible, ranch owners should consider a rotational farming strategy, where activities like grazing and tiling are postponed for a while before resumption.

Boosting Ranch Water Supply

Forest Fire

Source: mckinsey.com

An adequate supply of water is vital in a ranch. Ranch owners need to find the best strategies to harness the water supply to mitigate and fight fire outbreaks in the ranch and nearby forest. A sound investment strategy that caters to emergencies includes investing in additional water storage, power backup systems, power generators, and water pumps.

Also Read: An Introductory Guide to Fire Safety Engineering for Architects

Safeguarding Ranch Forage and Livestock

Proper planning is necessary to protect livestock and forage against the risk of fire. If your farm has grazing animals, forage can be safeguarded through targeted grazing. The grazed field can be used to create fuel breaks in case of a fire outbreak from within. Similar grazing can be applied in areas near ignition sources to curtail fire threats.

For this reason, you need to analyze the area topography and fuel type used in the ranch when formulating a plan. Ranchers should also make every effort to ensure livestock stay away from harm’s way. One of the strategies is creating a safe shelter with sufficient feed and water. Also, include a post-fire animal health plan to deal with respiratory issues and injuries.

Aspen Regeneration as a Tool to Suppress Forest Fire

Forest Fire

Source: natgeofe.com

The Aspen forest plays a vital role as a fire buffer zone in the US, Western forest circle. For effective forest fire management, the forest should be managed well by all stakeholders.

What to Do After the Forest Fire

The ecosystem relies heavily on periodic fires to balance the ecosystem. Forest fires promote plant and wildlife diversity and help clear the dead plant materials. The two popular strategies to regrow forests are embarking on soil health improvement and reseeding. Forest fires often help accelerate the decomposition of organic matter on the soil surface. 

The whole process is critical in improving soil health and creating an abundant green cover. When carrying reseeding, always choose seeds or plants that work well in the given area. For the Rocky Mountain Region, consider planting the following types of trees: Lodgepole Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Chaparral, and Aspen, among others.

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