Red Rock Biofuels was founded to help address the growing problem of catastrophic wildfires in the Western United States. Two types of waste woody biomass are used from the surrounding forests: slash and pre-commercial thinnings. Slash piles (leftover tops and branches from timber harvest) would otherwise be burned as part of standard timber harvest management. Red Rock’s usage of this material means that it will no longer be burned in the forest, avoiding significant air and greenhouse gas emissions. Red Rock also uses pre-commercial thinnings, which local timber managers generate to help keep forests healthy and mitigate the risk of wildfire in overgrown timber stands.

“The Western forests have serious issues with wildfires, particularly on the federal lands. Despite the best efforts of the U.S. Forest Service, which spends half its annual budget on fire suppression, and other agencies, we still get these catastrophic wildfires,” CFO Jeff Manternach said. “That’s because of decades or centuries of suppression activities. Once we moved into the forests, we didn’t want them catching fire and burning down our homes, businesses and communities and so the dominant management tool is suppression. The problem is, fires are a natural part of the landscape and should come through once every 20 or 25 years. When that doesn’t happen, a tremendous load of fuel builds up on the land — and when you do get a fire, it’s an inferno.”

Pine Beetle Destruction

Fire Devastation

Wildfires 2020