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Report: Forest Thinning Helped Protect Homes From Sisters Wildfire

OPB | Oct. 1, 2012 7:06 a.m. | Bend, Oregon

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A new report from the U.S. Forest Service says recently completed forest thinning projects played a role in protecting homes from a wildfire burning outside Sisters.

Back in 2009, the Deschutes National Forest began a number of forest thinning projects to protect the community of Sisters in the event of a wildfire.

When the Pole Creek Fire began three weeks ago, fire managers knew there was a good chance they’d have a front row seat to see if those efforts worked.

Bill Aney is a fuels specialist with Forest Service. He helped write the report. Aney says it’s clear the those treatments did what they were supposed to do.

He explained, “Instead of having fire in the crowns of these trees the fire was just on the ground as it approached these areas. And as a result the forest stand and the area that was treated is in tact, survived the fires, looks really nice.”

Firefighters aren’t expecting to have the blaze fully contained until mid October. Aney says even then the fire is likely to smolder until first snows of Winter.

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