Forest Service works to turn wildfire into a friend

By Peter Aleshire
The Payson Roundup
September 7, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Lightning strikes sparked three more wildfires in the last week: one near Springerville, one North of Forest Lakes and one near Young. Last week the Valentine Fire had grown quickly… But the 154 firefighters who scrambled to respond weren’t putting it out; they were putting it to work. Crews have also opted to confine the low-intensity Labor Fire on the Black Mesa Ranger District to allow it to consume brush, grass and downed and dead wood. …The return of thunderstorms and rain this week means crews use backfires to contain the fire in an area of about 4,000 acres, reducing the risk of future, high-intensity fires. …We’ll have to figure out how to live with fire… That’s the only way to restore the fire-adapted ecosystem unbalanced by a century of logging, cattle grazing and fire suppression. But one hopeful study has demonstrated that thinning and managed fires work.

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