MTPR

roaring lion fire

Caption The US Forest Service has proposed several thinning projects this fall aimed at reducing fuels in dry pine forests like this in the Bitterroot National Forest.
Nora Saks

Montana lawmakers are scoring political points by blaming environmentalists for suing to shut down logging projects on public lands. But public lands logging is both feeding area sawmills and reducing wildfire risk. MTPR's Nora Saks reports on a couple of projects in the Bitterroot Valley.

A timber sale that aims to reduce fire danger has been approved by the Bitterroot National Forest near last year’s Roaring Lion fire site.

Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor Julie King announced Tuesday that Pyramid Mountain Lumber of Seeley Lake has been awarded a timber contract for the Westside Collaborative Vegetation Management Project on the Darby/Sula Ranger District.  The project includes over 2,000 acres of National Forest System lands between Lost Horse Creek and Roaring Lion Creek southwest of Hamilton.

Preparations are underway for a fuels reduction project in western Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. The Westside Vegetation Management Project and timber sale will take place between Lost Horse and Roaring Lion creeks on the valley’s west side.

“We’ll be doing some thinning, and those logs will be taken to a sawmill somewhere," says Darby District Ranger Eric Winthers. "There’s about 5 million board feet coming out of there – about 680 truckloads total."

The Roaring Lion fire burning five miles southwest of Hamilton, MT, July 31, 2016.
Inciweb

Forty-five acres of trees killed by a major wildfire last summer are slated for harvest. The Bitterroot National Forest today announced it’s moving forward on the salvage project in the Roaring Lion draining southwest of Hamilton.

3 Men Deny Negligent Arson Charges For Roaring Lion Fire

Nov 18, 2016
Roaring Lion Fire hours after it blew up on July 31, 2016.
Inciweb

HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — Three 18-year-old Hamilton men have pleaded not guilty to negligent arson. Prosecutors alleged they failed to fully extinguish a campfire in the Bitterroot National Forest in late July that days later sparked a wildfire that burned more than 13 square miles, destroyed 16 homes and led to the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

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