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The 2012 Barry Point Fire

Posted by Renee Magyar on November 20, 2013

Oregon Forest Resources Institute takes stock of lessons learned on last year's fire.

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Photo courtesy of the Fremont-Winema National Forest

Last August, 93,000 acres of pine, juniper and rangeland burned over the course of three weeks, 20,000 of which was FSC certified pine forest. Fortunately there was no loss of life, but there was significant loss of resources.

Oregon Forest Resources Institute features a story on their site with lessons learn from last year's fire. Among the lessons, is further evidence that an increased pace and scale of restoration efforts is urgently needed. 

Jim Walls, Executive Director of Lake County Resources Initiative, runs the local forest collaborative group, the Lakeview Stewardship Group. It had been moving restoration projects through the long, complicated pipeline for years, doing environmental analyses and getting permits. It had been on track to start work this past summer. But the fire beat them to it by a year, burning in a few days an area that the group expected would provide two or three years of restoration work.

"The fire threw a big curve into that one, and took a whole bunch of years right out from under us," Walls says.

Moreover, the fire completely missed some earlier restoration projects that had been done in the Fremont-Winema, places where thinned-out fuel might have slowed the fire. The location of the Barry Point Fire was a stroke of wrong-place, wrong-time bad luck.

Read the full story here.