Forest Management Helps Tame Wildfire, Even in High Winds
April 15, 2022: The Wabash Springs fire ignited on the Black Hills National Forest, near Custer, South Dakota, last week. The area was relatively dry and was experiencing high winds (estimated between 40 and 60 mph).
“Everybody just came together almost like it was clock work” said U.S. Forest Service Public Affairs Officer Scott Jacobsen. “The fuels treatment and the thinning that’s been done in and around that area for the last 8-10 years certainly made a difference.” (Quoted here).
“The firefighters did not sit back on this and used a dozer to connect forest roads and get a line around the fire quickly – undoubtedly helped by good roads access and thinned stand conditions,” said Ben Wudtke, Executive Director of the Intermountain Forest Association.
“Forest management played a critical role in reducing the fuel loads and forest density, creating stand conditions that exhibited textbook resilience to wildfire,” Wudtke added. “I walked a good portion of the burn area and flew over the entire fire with a drone. Based on what I saw, I could count the number of dead trees taller than breast height on one hand.”
Wudtke said this was the second fire the Black Hills had seen in recent months that ignited during critical fire weather conditions but was kept at bay through a combination of forest management and quick actions from firefighters.
For more information, contact Bill Imbergamo, Executive Director, at 703-629-6877 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About the FFRC: FFRC is a national coalition of wood products companies, local governments, conservation groups united by concern for the National Forests. FFRC supports improving the management of the federal lands to support healthy forests and vibrant rural communities.