Human ignitions, facilitated by access along logging roads, lengthen the fire season

By George Wuerthner
The Missoulian
September 7, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The latest attempt by the Forest Service to make logging palatable is using the terms “temporary” and “closed” roads. The implied message is that road impacts are magically eliminated if they are temporary or closed. Roads, temporary, closed, or permanent, are among the most significant effects on forest ecosystems.  However, “temporary” roads and so-called “closed” roads are not the same as no road. Worse for the ecosystem, these “closed” roads are seldom rehabilitated to restore the road lens and slope. …The miles of roads are one of the factors in the growth of wildfires since most of these human ignitions occur when natural ignitions from lightning are not happening. Human ignitions started 76% of the wildfires that destroyed structures, and those fires tended to be in flammable areas where homes, commercial structures and outbuildings are increasingly common.

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