Mitigation Efforts Underway in Lincoln County to Reduce Wildfire Risk | Nation

LINCOLN COUNTY, Mt. – Montana has already seen thousands of wildfire sparks this year. According to Montana’s Forestry Action Plan, Lincoln County is one of the counties most at risk for wildfires, like the Weasel Fire currently burning in areas of Eureka.

In order to roll out this plan, officials are talking about investing in nine different long-term projects.

Seeking to reduce fuels in and around wildfire-prone areas, improve long-term forest conditions, and partner with local organizations to provide opportunities for both the land and the community.

Two of these projects aim to increase the pace and scale of land management in and around the Kootenai National Forest to provide more fire prevention resources to public and private landowners.

Speaking to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, they share the need to act now.

“We need to do more because there are approximately 70,000 acres of high-risk land in Lincoln County’s urban wildlife interface. And the rate at which we’re getting into those 70,000 acres is far too slow,” said Steve Kimball, local government. forest advisor to the DNRC.

Kootenai Forest Service partnership coordinator Gary Kedish shares that this is critical, as the forest makes up 73% of the area of ​​Lincoln County alone.

“Most of the time in the areas where we do treatments we thin the forest, remove the scale fuels and give an opportunity if we have a wildfire, the wildfire can doom more at ground level where it is safer for us to engage with fire,” Kedish said.

Making trees smaller is one of Lincoln County’s biggest problems.

“Part of what we’re doing here is working with the county and some of the private companies to look at new manufacturing for this little material,” Kimball said.

The objective is to bring in more factories to process the kindling in order to continue the work that is still in progress.

These projects are expected to be completed over the next 5 to 10 years. There is no timeline as to when these projects will roll out, as the federal litigation process is still ongoing. However, officials assure us that as the rollout progresses, there will be time for your public input in the near future.