Firefighters say thinned forest stopped monster Idaho blowup

Posted by Renee Magyar on November 28, 2012

A wildfire near Salmon, Idaho came under control when it reached a restoration area

Smoke from the Mustang Complex fire fills the Salmon River canyon. Photo courtesy USFS, Sandy Nelson.

When a large wildfire erupted this summer in the Mustang Complex outside of Salmon, ID, our partner, Salmon Valley Stewardship, and the local collaborative group watched and waited to see how the fire would react to the Hughes Creek thinning treatment and restoration work that they had completed recently.

The Missoulian Newspaper recently covered the impacts of this collaboratively designed and implemented restoration project on the behavior of the massive wildfire.

Our partner, Gina Knudson, of Salmon Valley Stewardship, gave her thoughts on the news to the paper:

"It's hard to imagine that anything good came out of this fire. But I think we showed that by doing this, future fires won't be as costly financially or in loss of resources. We can't fireproof a forest. But we can make it more resilient."

Partners and local leaders like Gina, local non-profits like Salmon Valley Stewardship, and collaborative groups that include small business owners, environmentalists, federal agencies, and many other diverse groups of people, are finding ways to work together to implement large scale forest restoration and create family-wage jobs on landscapes and in communities across the west. 

To learn more about our work to create healthy landscapes, vibrant communities, and reduce the impacts of wildfire, visit our Dry Forest Zone program page.