Shaded fuel breaks, such as the one that will soon be done in the Robie Point area, are necessary anti-wildfire precautions.
However, recent follow-up on other fuel breaks has shown that many invasive plant species have found a foothold in these areas once the underlying vegetation has been cleared out.
Star thistle and Scotch broom thrive in these newly cleared areas. These, and other invasive species, will force out native plant species. What proves counter-productive is that these invasive species are even less able to withstand the ravages of a wildfire.
So, when you do a shaded fuel break, be conscientious in your follow-up to keep invasive plants species from taking over, eliminating your native plants and making fire resistance worse than before.
Pat Ferguson, Meadow Vista