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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Roaring Lion Salvage Project Slated For January

The Roaring Lion fire burning five miles southwest of Hamilton, MT, July 31, 2016.
The Roaring Lion fire burning five miles southwest of Hamilton, MT, July 31, 2016.

Forty-five acres of trees killed by a major wildfire last summer are slated for harvest. The Bitterroot National Forest today announced it’s moving forward on the salvage project in the Roaring Lion draining southwest of Hamilton.

The Roaring Lion fire started July 31. It burned close to 8,700 acres of National Forest and private lands.

Eric Winthers, District Ranger on the Darby/Sula Ranger District, says the salvage operations will occur near the Roaring Lion, Sawtooth and Ward Mountain trailheads, all of which remain closed to the public:
"The goal is to reduce the hazards of the burned trees around the trailhead and the trees that might fall on hikers and/or the cars that are parked there," Winthers says.

All the trees will be removed using ground-based logging methods. No temporary roads will be built.

Winthers estimates the project will yield about 100 truckloads of timber, but could not yet place a value on the wood.

He expects the salvage operation to begin by mid-January.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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