McLeod (tool)

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This combination heavy duty rake and hoe tool is used by firefighters to cut through matted litter and duff and to clear loose surface materials.

The McLeod rake is a two-sided blade on a long, wooden-handle. It is a standard[1] yet esoteric tool during wildfire suppression and trail restoration. The combination tool was created in 1905 by Malcolm McLeod, a US Forest Service ranger at the Sierra National Forest,[2] with a large hoe-like blade on one side and a tined blade on the other.

The McLeod was designed to rake fire lines with the teeth and cut branches and sod with the sharpened hoe edge, but it has found other uses. It can remove slough and berm from a trail, tamp or compact tread,[3] and can shape a trail's backslope.

The tool can also be used for hand crimping straw mulch into soil a minimum depth of 2 inches, and is sometimes specified by the State of Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety for use during erosion control and soil amendment activities.[4]

Because of its shape, the McLeod is an awkward tool to transport and store. Some McLeod [5] tools are made with a removable blade to partially mitigate this problem. Ideally it is carried with the tines pointing toward the ground for safety, with a sheath over the cutting edge. However, the mass distribution makes it difficult to carry in this orientation consistently.[6]

See also


  1. "Guardsmen fight fires with special friends". 2008-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Davis, James B. (1986). "The True Story of the Pulaski Fire Tool" (PDF). Fire Management Notes. US Department of Agriculture Forest Service. 47 (3): 19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Pacific Crest Trail Association (March 2011). "Course 107 Hand Tool Maintenance" (PDF). p. 2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. American Trails Retrieved July 15, 2006
  6. Archived from the original on November 28, 2005. Retrieved May 13, 2008. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> U.S. Forest Service - Heritage Resources Retrieved May 13, 2008