NewsMontana News

Actions

Forest Service calls Rodney Ridge wildfire mitigation a success

Rodney Ridge.jpg
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jun 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-16 19:00:59-04

What does success look like? When we're talking about fire prevention, success looks a lot like an open meadow surrounded by a healthy, non-overgrown forest.

Up on Rodney Ridge, an area that was treated about a year ago, can now act as kind of a catchers mitt. So if a fire rolls through - and it’s only a matter of time before it does - the fire will be low intensity here and this area will act as a buffer.

“As we hiked up in here today, and I’m driving around you see the grass is waist high and it’s green, and we know it’s going to be curing out and become an issue," Forest Service Fire Staff Officer Kendal Wilson told MTN. "You know, we work really well with our partners and having those meetings and pre-planning. One of the things we’ve done recently is with all the counties and fire departments and DNRC is the pre-planning of the areas that have some, a fuel break like this, and incorporate it. So if we do get a fire started, that gives us an option. You know, we have a fire we don’t want, where is the safest spot and gives us the highest chance of success and this would be one of those areas.

And in other spots across the state that don’t look like this, other actions and plans are being put into place to find success.

“We’ve been so luck here to be able to be able to invest so much with our partners in this particular landscape around Helena, but we have not had that opportunity to do that across the forest like we would like," said Forest Service Supervisor Emily Platt. "So, some areas like up around Lincoln, we haven’t been able to invest in so much of the vegetation treatment. So one of the things we’re doing there is fuel breaks, strategically placed. To give us more options when fires do come though there so we can keep the fire out of the town of Lincoln and away from people’s homes and other things that people value.”