Firebreak & Trail Management

The effectiveness of a fire break as a mitigation strategy is dependant upon it's condition. Firebreaks work as a physical barrier, preventing or slowing the passage of a fire front or facilitating back burning operations to combat wild fires. For firebreaks to be effective they must be free of all combustible or vegetative materials. Furthermore, to enable effective fire fighting operations to be conducted from firebreaks, they must also be easily passable. i.e. free from erosion etc.

Traditional firebreak management practices have revolved around annual grading. Grading however does have some drawbacks, including the capacity to increase erosion and to leave a windrow of combustible vegetative debris at the edge of the firebreak.

Accordingly, Total Earthworks and Environmental Services with our experience and qualifications in the field of disaster management and more specifically bush fire management, have identified the need for and developed new firebreak management practices, which aid in minimising erosion, whilst providing an effective mitigative device.

Through the utilisation of our soil profiler to remove vegetative debris from fire trails, whilst grading and profiling the surface, we are able to leave the surface of the fire break level, free of vegetation and with a surface which provides greater resistance to water and wind erosion than traditional graded surfaces.

Through our utilisation of compact equipment, Total Earthworks and Environmental Services are able to construct and maintain breaks which are smaller in nature or maintain tracks which are impassible to large graders. This means reduced environmental damage during the construction phase and minimal environmental impact during maintenance operations.

Soil profiling is quick, efficient, effective and provides better environmental and mitigative outcomes than traditional practices.


Before (Left) - A firebreak before profiling - note the leaf, grass and other vegetative debris upon the track.

After (Right) - The firebreak after 1 pass profiling - note the clean and level mineral earth surface, lack of wind rowing and minimal environmental impact.


Before (Left) - The existing firebreak is ineffective due to a heavy layer of vegetative debris including leaves, sticks and grass.

After (Right) - The firebreak after 1 pass profiling - note the provision of a clean mineral earth surface required for fire mitigation


Before (Left) - Firebreak prior to profiling, currently of little mitigative value.

After (Right)- Firebreak post profiling, now an effective fire mitigation and combatant tool.