Scott Fitzwilliams: Fire as a tool in the national forest |

Scott Fitzwilliams: Fire as a tool in the national forest

As the United States Forest Service deals with a major outbreak of mountain pine beetle in the Rocky Mountains, one of the tools the agency is exploring is using fire to manage large expanses of affected forest.

White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams speaks with Jon Ington on Mountain Public Radio – 88.7 or 100.7 FM – at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on the subject.

Fire has been excluded from the forest by government policy for about 100 years with unintended consequences. The effects of the pine beetle include a major fuel buildup in the western United States. But burning that wood now could mean preventing a more dangerous situation – higher wildfire risk when the dead lodgepole pine trees fall. The latter circumstance could have more severe consequences, such as soil sterilization as well as effects to mountain homes, watersheds and wildlife habitat.

For more information on fire as a tool, visit

To listen to the interview online, visit .

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