Does logging help prevent forest fires? - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Does logging help prevent forest fires?

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With so many fires spreading across Montana, is there anything that could have been done to prevent them. What about logging? 

Some have said if the state had done some aggressive logging in certain areas we wouldn't be in this dire situation. While others said that's not the case at all.

This is kind of a double edged sword. We contacted the University of Montana's College of Forestry & Conservation program. Associate Professor Andrew Larson said there's truth to both sides of those statements.  For example thinning areas can be great because it removes fire fuel and reduces the likelihood of the fire's severity. Meaning the fire won't kill all the trees.


"But under extreme weather conditions your past logging or fuel reduction treatments might not a effect at all and sometimes it can have the exact opposite effect," said Larson.

For example he says in the process of logging, if limbs and tree tops are left behind that creates a different kind of fire fuel. Because you're increasing the surface fuels and with the absence of a canopy cover everything on the ground dries much faster and burns hotter.

He said the biggest contribution to fire season is the weather. This year is so hot and dry that it's the perfect recipe for an active wild fire season

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