North Fork wildfire mitigation meeting July 10

There’s a big informational presentation on fire mitigation coming up July 10, sponsored by the North Fork Landowners Association.

Larry Wilson turned over his monthly column to Molly Shepherd to announce the meeting and provide background . . .

On July 10, the North Fork Landowners Association will host the biggest educational/informative meeting of the year. From 9:30 a.m. to noon, there will be an educational program on wildfire.

When I asked Molly Shepherd, chairperson of the Fire Mitigation Committee, for information, she wrote an excellent report and it follows as she wrote it. Thanks Molly.

Ten years ago, on July 18, 2003, a lightning strike in the Whitefish Range ignited the Wedge Canyon Fire. Before the fire finally died out in the fall, it had destroyed seven homes and 29 outbuildings between Whale Creek and Trail Creek. A total of 54,400 acres burned. The costs of fighting the fire and protecting structures exceeded $50 million.

The Wedge Canyon Fire was only one of many large wildfires that have burned across the North Fork Valley. Indeed, fire has been second only to glaciation in shaping the valley’s landscape. But because of its cost, destructiveness and duration, Wedge Canyon served as a catalyst for change. The North Fork Landowners Association appointed a diverse committee to explore what might be done to mitigate the effects of future wildfires.

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