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More on fires

September 7 2017 at 9:46 AM
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Bob  (Login reboyles)

Response to Thoughts on past & current Forest Service Fire Policies.

I too worked on fires and in forestry beginning in the late 60s through the late 70s. The company I worked for provided helicopter services to the Forest Service throughout the western U.S. and in Alaska. We were on the big (for the time) Okanagan and the Trapper peak fires which burned over 50,000 acres. These fires were considered "project fires" where all of the resources that were available were put into action to suppress them. For their time, these were some of the largest modern fires that had occurred in the west.

If I look at the large fires that have happened since 2000, 250,000 acre fires now seem to be the new "norm". Last year I heard that half of the Boise National Forest had burned and when I looked it up I found this document.

As for the Salmon River fires, don't forget about the 2007 fire that burned down the South Fork from Warm Lake to near the Krassel Ranger station. I've been visiting that area almost every year since 1997 and while the lodgepole is recovering much faster than I expected, the other species are not. The loss of the old growth spruce, pine and fir down by the river has resulted in much of the river losing the shade and cooling that the trees used to provide. The salmon that run in the river have changed their migration habits due to the loss of cover.

I know the country is focused on hurricanes at the moment but it seems like the entire western U.S. has been burning up for months. The fires are at a level 5 where all of resources available are being used. Perhaps it's time to start focusing our wealth and resources towards the disasters that are happening here instead building a new nuke arsenal or the next generation of super jet.


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