Forest Service Studies Western Fires

Sep 24, 2012

The aggressive fire season of the last few years has gotten the attention of the U-S Forest Service.

Officials say they are trying to study the fires to determine how to reduce both the number of fires and their severity to get a better understanding of their impact on the environment.  It’s been widely thought that fires are good for forests, but Department of Agriculture officials want to know more.  U-S-D-A Deputy Under Secretary Butch Blazer says there is concern that there may be negative impacts.

“As we have seen these wildfires become more intense, we need to see how this intensity is impacting the landscapes.”

Blazer says the forest service is also looking at impacts to wildlife.   He says they are also looking at climate issues, the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic and the means they use to attack fires.

“We are seeing more and more of these catastrophic situations that makes it imperative that we all come together in a very strategic way and have the discussions we need to have to figure out how to address these wildfires.”

Blazer says those discussions should involve the forest service, conservation groups and area residents.

Blazer was in Cheyenne attending the National Association of State Foresters meeting.