Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Forest Fire News

Michelle Erdie is the Sawtooth National Forest's North Fire Zone fire prevention and education specialist.


Local Sawtooth Forest fire managers were busy this past week with the report of two fires in the Sawtooth Wilderness. Each fire was managed differently because of how they were ignited and their specific locations.

The Saddleback Fire, detected Friday, was human-caused and started off the trail leading into Saddleback Lakes. About 20 firefighters with the aid of the Sawtooth Forest helicopter contained and suppressed the fire, keeping it to two acres in size.


The Alpine Fire was started by lightning and is located in a remote area northwest of Alturas Lake. It was detected Thursday but had probably been burning for some time. This naturally caused fire was not immediately suppressed and is being managed to achieve resource benefits.

Allowing fire to take its natural course opens a seedbed for new plants, helps control disease, naturally thins smaller trees and prunes lower limbs of larger trees. Additionally, fire reduces underbrush that could fuel a much larger fire, protects plants and animals that depend on fire by improving habitat and watersheds, and reduces wildfire suppression costs.

To report a wildfire, call (800) 974-2373.

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