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Forest service team to oversee post-fire salvage, reforestation in Montana, North Idaho

FILE - In an Aug. 31, 2017 photo, the Rice Ridge Fire burns in the Lolo National Forest near Woodworth Road northeast of Salmon Lake, Mont. (Rion Sanders / AP)
FILE - In an Aug. 31, 2017 photo, the Rice Ridge Fire burns in the Lolo National Forest near Woodworth Road northeast of Salmon Lake, Mont. (Rion Sanders / AP)

After more than 700,000 acres of national forest land in Montana and Northern Idaho burned this summer, the Forest Service has created a team to oversee post-fire salvage and reforestation efforts.

“We’ve had many years where we’ve had fire on the landscape and we’ve learned there is a lot of work left to do on the ground for the resources and for the communities when the flames go out and the smoke clears”, said regional Forester Leanne Marten in a news release. “How we do that and work together across landscapes is imperative to our success, and based on feedback we’ve had from our employees and community’s from previous fires… we’ve learned a regional approach is the most effective.”

Work has already begun assessing burned ground, removing safety hazards and replacing “safety related structures.” The team will also focus on erosion and water run-off control, protecting endangered species’ habitats and preventing the spread of noxious weeds. The 11 fires scheduled to be salvaged are: the Caribou fire, Cub Creek, Rice Ridge, Sheep Gap, Sunrise, West Fork, Moose Peak, Liberty, Gibralter Ridge and Meyers and Little Hogback.


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