A firebreak is a gap in vegetation or other combustible material that acts as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a bushfire or wildfire.
A firebreak may occur naturally where there is a lack of vegetation or "fuel", such as a river, lake or canyon.
Firebreaks may also be man-made, and many of these also serve as roads, such as a logging road, four-wheel drive trail, secondary road, or a highway.
Depending on the environmental conditions, and the relative effectiveness of a given firebreak, firebreaks often have to be backed up with other fire fighting efforts.
Even then, it is still sometimes possible for fire to spread across a seemingly impenetrable divide.
The primary goal is to remove deadwood and undergrowth down to mineral soil.
Various methods may be used to accomplish this initially and to maintain this condition.
Ideally, the firebreak will be constructed and maintained according to the established practices of sustainable forestry and fire protection engineering.