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Questions Swirl About Forest Service's Handling Of Whitewater Fire


The Whitewater Fire in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area continued to grow in size since this photograph was taken on July 26, 2017. 

The Whitewater Fire in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area continued to grow in size since this photograph was taken on July 26, 2017. 

Willamette National Forest/U.S. Forest Service

Heavy rain and snow brought the Whitewater Fire to an end nearly three months ago, but questions about how the blaze was managed have remained controversial in the Santiam Canyon.

The 11,500-acre fire, that burned in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, was among Oregon’s most damaging of 2017. 

It cost $39 million to fight,threatened private land, torched some of Oregon’s most popular hiking trails and was blamed for harming summer tourism in Detroit and Sisters, especially during August’s solar eclipse.

The main accusation is that the U.S. Forest Service either ignored or didn’t take action against the fire in its early stages, essentially allowing it to grow out of control.

Read the full story at the Statesman Journal.

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