Wildland fire collaborative meeting next week

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On Wednesday, April 26, from 4 to 6 p.m., the Sawtooth Valley Wildland Fire Collaborative will have a meeting at the Stanley Community Center, which will be open to the public. The meeting will present the latest plans that have been developed over the past four years. This will include a discussion regarding prescribed fire and tree-thinning operations for two projects of 3,000-4,000 acres each to the west of Stanley on Highway 21 in the Salmon-Challis Forest and Sawtooth NRA. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to explore the current implementation of the Road 210 project and tentative future projects between Redfish and Alturas lakes.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend and suggest any other wildfire hazard mitigation issues that are of interest. For more information, contact Steve Botti at sjbotti@gmail.com or Gary O’Malley at gary@sawtoothsociety.org

A diverse array of attendees at the Collaborative meetings are necessary to advise the Forest Service with a better understanding of community values and interests and also allows everyone a chance to better understand the role the community can play.

“It’s through those shared opinions and the respectful dialog that follows that allows all of us to work together to promote healthier forest and safer communities,” said Sawtooth NRA and Sawtooth National Forest Area Ranger Kirk E. Flannigan.

The Collaborative maintains that there is extreme catastrophic wildfire risk in the Sawtooth Valley, as evidenced by the 2012 Halstead Fire that burned 175,000 acres just north of the town of Stanley.

The goal of the Collaborative is to identify and recommend to the Forest Service the location, type and scale of fuel treatments and other wildfire risk reduction strategies for the Stanley area. There is a belief that without large-scale hazard fuel modification, there is a high probability of another wildfire along the northeast and east side of the Sawtooth Mountains, and along the west and north sides of the White Cloud Mountains.

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