Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wilderness blaze exempted from suppression order

A new wildfire in the Teton Wilderness is the first to be granted an exception to an all-but secret memo directing the U.S. Forest Service to fight all fires immediately this year. The exception was granted for the Butte Creek fire, a mid-size wildfire moving through the Teton Wilderness. Fire managers at the Bridger-Teton National Forest and other national forests around the West have a directive to pounce on all wildfires this year, regardless of size or location, unless special approval is granted. The directive to fight all fires, issued by Jim Hubbard, the U.S. Forest Service’s national deputy chief, was sent May 25 but managed to stay out of the press until last week. Hubbard’s memo says he expects “regional forester approval” before allowing any fire to burn for management purposes. That’s a departure from management strategies in recent years, which have emphasized allowing smaller, more remote wildfires to play a natural role in the ecosystem. In the congressionally designated Teton Wilderness, for example, natural events are supposed to run their course. The change in strategy was born from the drought year, rampant wildfires and a strapped Forest Service budget, Hubbard said in a telephone interview...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not only in the Teton Wilderness, but in every wilderness area. The green freaks would prefer ashes over forests.