Paradigm Project creates fuel breaks, slows wildfires

Paradigm Project creates fuel breaks
Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 20:25:39-04

The Paradigm Fuel Break Project is a fuel break project of 300 miles along the Bureau of Land Management-owned land in the corridor East of Boise along I-84. Partners with BLM are already planting firebreaks.

The BLM says 2015 saw more wildfire than in the prior decade of wildfires combined.

The BLM has had a plan to build fuel breaks replacing cheatgrass -- which provides ample fuel for wildfire and regrows quickly, displacing sagebrush -- with another slower burning vegetation that animals can eat.

The loss of sagebrush after wildfire affects more than 200 species that depend on it.  

The plan includes planting Forage Kochia, a low, green shrub that burns slowly due to its high water content relative to cheatgrass. It burns more slowly because ti has a higher water content, which must boil first before combusting and providing fuel to a wildfire. 

Right now only BLM partners are planting the kochia. The BLM has not been planting the kochia because of budgeting associated with last year's Soda Ash fire.  They say the partners efforts feed back into the original plan, so although the BLM's schedule for the Paradigm Project suffered a setback on their side, partners have gone ahead with it, and their efforts are aligned.