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 Question about the Ash Creek Fire, Donator Richard Bonine, Jr., 7/4/2012 7:12:39 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, howdy, 7/4/2012 7:18:08 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, ocne, 7/4/2012 8:58:03 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, Earl, 7/4/2012 9:12:43 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, snorkie, 7/4/2012 9:53:24 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, howdy, 7/4/2012 9:55:59 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, snorkie, 7/4/2012 11:12:01 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek FireDonator Bridgier, 7/4/2012 11:18:43 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, Dan Mowry, 7/4/2012 11:20:50 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, howdy, 7/4/2012 11:37:21 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, Cindy Stalcup, 7/4/2012 2:48:34 PM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, roy, 7/7/2012 9:34:06 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, howdy, 7/7/2012 9:53:03 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek FireDonator Richard Bonine, Jr., 7/7/2012 11:11:17 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, Jon Bonine, 7/7/2012 1:47:30 PM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, howdy, 7/7/2012 2:07:38 PM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek FireDonator Richard Bonine, Jr., 7/7/2012 2:42:16 PM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, boxdmc, 7/7/2012 9:45:36 PM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, Jon Bonine, 7/7/2012 11:16:57 PM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, boxdmc, 7/8/2012 12:04:59 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, howdy, 7/8/2012 12:07:50 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek FireDonator Richard Bonine, Jr., 7/8/2012 7:22:30 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, gierke, 7/8/2012 8:05:03 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, howdy, 7/8/2012 9:05:59 AM
 RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire, Jon Bonine, 7/8/2012 12:45:28 PM
 Subject: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Donator Richard Bonine, Jr.  Posted: Wed Jul 4 7:12:39 AM MDT 2012 From: - WY
I suspect that anyone with the knowledge to answer this question is otherwise occupied with the fire;

Why hasn't command of this fire, now 204,000 acres (and growing) been handed off to a Type I Incident Management Team?
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: howdy  Posted: Wed Jul 4 7:18:08 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
Good question as it only took our Dahl fire two days to get a team one in here...and are they impressive...
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: ocne  Posted: Wed Jul 4 8:58:03 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
I heard from someone with the local DNRC office here yesterday that agencies involved are trying to get a Type I status and command team here. Not sure what the hang-up is...
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Earl  Posted: Wed Jul 4 9:12:43 AM MDT 2012 From:
Largest fire in the US and still no coverage they need water and food bad
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: snorkie  Posted: Wed Jul 4 9:53:24 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
Why? For the same reason that it has gotten minimal TV cover age...because there aren't enough people affected...and that came from the billings TV station. Makes me mad. I had to evac my folks from it.
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: howdy  Posted: Wed Jul 4 9:55:59 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
OK this is a cynical remark, but maybe they go by density of population and insurance companies are whispering in their ears, and if there isn't enough density they don't try very hard...Where we are which is where they seemed to make their stand on the Dahl is the most dense part of the Bull Mountains...If that is true it is sickening...
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: snorkie  Posted: Wed Jul 4 11:12:01 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
That is exactly the reason. frown
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Donator Bridgier  Posted: Wed Jul 4 11:18:43 AM MDT 2012 From: - OR
I think it comes down to money - there's only so much budgeted for fire fighting, and we're entering a period of relative resource scarcity.

Basically, if you want nice things, we need to make providing revenue for them a priority.

If you look across the nation, you can see signs of this everywhere, from reductions in vaccination programs, to library cutbacks, public employee layoffs, etc. When hard choices about resource allocation need to be made, low-population areas that don't provide a vital and immediate investment return are moved lower in the priority queue.

This is what austerity looks like. Better learn to enjoy it.
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Dan Mowry  Posted: Wed Jul 4 11:20:50 AM MDT 2012 From: - IA
I don't know - I'm seeing CO, CA, and MT fire coverage quite a bit here on Iowa news. Either way, I hope everyone stays extra safe and hope it gets under control really, really soon. Good luck everyone.
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: howdy  Posted: Wed Jul 4 11:37:21 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
Agree Bridgier, well put and hell let's vote in more Republicans and cut back more taxes...what the hell, let all these parts of Montana just burn up cause no money left to fight a fire...roll eyes (sarcastic)
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Cindy Stalcup  Posted: Wed Jul 4 2:48:34 PM MDT 2012 From:
Richard-
The type 1 management team that was at Dahl fire now has the fire by Hysham and all of Ash creek fire West of the Tongue.
I do know that type 1 hotshot crews have been on this fire. They are part of the 800 firefighters working Ash creek. The gusty wind and very rough country with heavy timber have to make building fire lines in some/most places dangerous if not impossible.
Yesterday and today a helicopter has been flying back & forth over us water bucketing out of the Tongue- I assume- going toward Sonnette.
I personally do not think either lack of resources or effort is the issue.... terrain, wind, and/or heavy timber combined is the problem.
I just read Taylor Creek is under type 1 management.

[This message has been edited by Cindy Stalcup (7/4/2012)]
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: roy  Posted: Sat Jul 7 9:34:06 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
No we need more tree hugging democrats not letting the forests be logged. Certainly that would help! Cause why would you want to prevent the fires from happening?
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: howdy  Posted: Sat Jul 7 9:53:03 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
grazing the forests is a good thing but sadly didn't prevent this fire as the Custer National Forest is grazed to my knowledge and that didn't help too much...they also have selective logging (spray trees that can be cut) which is good but again didn't help....this fire is the monster noone or no policy could have stopped maybe, but at least it is now mostly under control...
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Donator Richard Bonine, Jr.  Posted: Sat Jul 7 11:11:17 AM MDT 2012 From: - WY
Attached is the Record of Decision for the Beaver Creek Landscape Management plan. This was an on-going effort by the FS for several years. It was blocked on at least three occasions by groups who make a living off of suing land management agencies under the Equal Justice Protection Act over technicalities in the agency NEPA analysis.

The pictures on the front cover of this document tells the story of the management of this area.

http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/1155...88_FSPLT2_035457.pdf

While implementation of this plan may not have prevented the fire altogether, it would have significantly decreased the intensity and severity. Now we have a whole new set of issues and conditions to mitigate.
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Jon Bonine  Posted: Sat Jul 7 1:47:30 PM MDT 2012 From: - KS
This past weekend I had the opportunity to drive through the Bull Mountains, even through some of the area that had burned. I was surprised that in those patches that had not burned, it still seemed green.

Just south of that fire area, I got to see what the ground was like and what I can see as having contributed to the fire; lots of cheatgrass from years of overgrazing, and lots of last years growth.

How much of the fire was fueled by the surplus of grass from last year's record rainfall?

There are also areas in the mountains (the Bighorn Mountains of WY, particularly) where the pine beetle kill is significant, more than 25% of the mountainside was brown. When fire gets into those stands of timber, I would think that it would be very difficult to control. How much of the Ashland/Ash Creek fire area had problems with pine beetles?
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: howdy  Posted: Sat Jul 7 2:07:38 PM MDT 2012 From: - MT
Richard, cannot get your link to work...perhaps it is my computer but anyway, am trying to understand what you are talking about referring to groups that have sued these agencies...Cause if so I would love to write letters to whomever and let them know the damage folks think they have done...Ya gotta start somewhere but if these groups have done this type of damage they must be stopped IMO...
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Donator Richard Bonine, Jr.  Posted: Sat Jul 7 2:42:16 PM MDT 2012 From: - WY
In this case it was the Native Ecosystems Council and Alliance for the Wild Rockies that sued the Forest Service.

The link to the ROD in my last post should go to a pdf.

BILLINGS - A federal judge has blocked federal officials from proceeding with a commercial logging and prescribed burn plan on public lands near Ashland.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy ruled Monday that the U.S. Forest Service had not adequately considered the environmental consequences of the Beaver Creek Landscape Management Project.

Molloy says the agency must prepare a new environmental study before it can proceed.

The Forest Service plan would allow logging on about 1,500 acres and prescribed burning on more than 8,000 acres of the Custer National Forest.

Native Ecosystems Council and Alliance for the Wild Rockies sued the Forest Service last year to stop the project.

Alliance director Michael Garrity says the Beaver Creek proposal would add more roads, destroy habitat and pollute rivers and streams.


http://www.ravallirepublic.com/news...af-d3d7118b97f9.html

February 26, 2010 12:26 am  BRETT FRENCH Of The Gazette Staff(0) Comments
A fuel reduction project northeast of Ashland that was pulled last year after a threatened lawsuit has been repackaged with another one for public review, but it still doesn't answer the environmental group's concerns.

The Beaver Creek landscape management project could treat about 14,000 acres on public lands in southeastern Montana. The area is popular with deer, elk and turkey hunters because it's such a large tract of public land in a sea of private property in southeastern Montana. The Custer National Forest's Whitetail rental cabin and Holiday Springs Campground also lie within the project's boundaries, 17 miles east of Ashland and north of Highway 212.

The Ashland District, a predominantly ponderosa pine forest spread across sandstone badlands, commonly sees wildfires during spring and summer lightning storms. The Beaver Creek project is proposed to "increase resiliency of this ecosystem to future wildland fires" and create a "more natural fire-adapted state." These goals would be accomplished with logging, thinning and prescribed burns.

First life

A previous version of the 10,000-acre Whitetail fuels reduction project was pulled in September after the Alliance for the Wild Rockies threatened to sue. Since then, the Ashland District has tried to address the group's concerns about goshawk habitat and removal of old-growth timber. The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks had also expressed concerns about the loss of big game thermal and hiding cover.

Michael Garrity of the Alliance said the new project is no different from the previous proposal. "They really haven't changed anything," he said. "It would desecrate the area - it's a popular hunting area - and it would destroy it as big-game habitat so hunting would be over for the foreseeable future."

Garrity said the district's proposal equates to trying to fireproof an entire section of forest. He said the district instead should work with surrounding landowners to make structures more defensible against wildland fires.

"They're designing this as if there were structures right there, and they're not," he said. "The price is going to be heavy loss of hunting opportunity."

The new project also incorporates what was formerly the 4,200-acre East Otter fuels reduction project, which was approved last February and abuts the Whitetail area. That project would have treated portions of three grazing allotments on the Ashland Ranger District by removing ponderosa pine through harvest as well as prescribed fire.

Fire plans

Sparsely populated Powder River County identified the entire Ashland District as part of its wildland urban interface. In the Whitetail project, the Forest Service justified parts of its work under the 2003 Healthy Forests Restoration Act, which was designed to speed environmental review for projects that reduce the danger of catastrophic wildland fires near communities, watersheds and other "at-risk lands."

Garrity opposed the use of the act to cut large trees far from any community.

"It's a peninsula forest in the middle of a prairie," he said. "They're just going to mow through every last acre of it."

The Forest Service sees the project as preventive, reducing the chance of a large-scale fire that would wipe out wildlife habitat as well as marketable timber for local sawmills. The agency said the landscape is ripe for a destructive fire because of heavy fuel loads and a closed canopy that would promote fast-moving crown fires. With treatment, the Forest Service said, the timber would also have a more diverse age structure.

About 19 miles of new road would be built to access the timber. All of the roads would be removed and reseeded after the work is done. Other routes in the area may also be rehabilitated to meet the goals of the district's travel management plan.

Work could begin this fall with some fuels treatment if the weather cooperated, said Scot Shuler, acting Ashland District ranger.


Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/sta...6.html#ixzz1zyGZvd6n
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: boxdmc  Posted: Sat Jul 7 9:45:36 PM MDT 2012 From: - MT
Jon said-"Just south of that fire area, I got to see what the ground was like and what I can see as having contributed to the fire; lots of cheatgrass from years of overgrazing, and lots of last years growth."
I was unaware that cheatgrass was caused by overgrazing. I supposed foxtail is caused by overgrazing too. Just drive around and look this year at all the foxtail in strange places. Weeds thrive due to a number of reasons and overgrazing could be one but just driving by and assuming overgrazing is the cause is signifacantly oversimplifying the issue.


Managing the forest and prairie to reduce fire risk is part of the job the BLM and Forest Service plays. They don't always get it right but they can't ever get it right if we're tying their hands in court all the time.
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Jon Bonine  Posted: Sat Jul 7 11:16:57 PM MDT 2012 From: - KS
If you want to argue that overgrazing does not contribute to the increase in cheatgrass, go for it. You might be one of the first. The pastures south of the burn area in the Bull Mountains that I saw looked like they had been hammered for years.

Foxtail (in Eastern Montana) is dependent on moisture. More than likely, the spread of foxtail has been the result of high water flows last year, carrying seed downstream and spreading it across a wider area than normal.
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: boxdmc  Posted: Sun Jul 8 12:04:59 AM MDT 2012 From: - CO
I didn't say cheatgrass wasn't impacted by overgrazing I said you took a drive and assumed that. Foxtail this year is in high and dry places where no foxtail should ever grow. I'm just saying you can't figure weeds without knowing all the circumstances and sometimes not even then.
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: howdy  Posted: Sun Jul 8 12:07:50 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
From what I have observed, overgrazing is pretty much the norm in the Bull Mts. as most folks have small acreage and too much grazing.
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Donator Richard Bonine, Jr.  Posted: Sun Jul 8 7:22:30 AM MDT 2012 From: - WY
Foxtail (in Eastern Montana) is dependent on moisture. More than likely, the spread of foxtail has been the result of high water flows last year, carrying seed downstream and spreading it across a wider area than normal.


"Foxtail" meaning... Hordeum jubatum, Alopecurus aequalis, Setaria italica or Setaria pumila?

Assuming you're talking about Hordeum jubatum, much of the spread of this species, (especially in WY) is due to the discharge of CBNG water. Along the Musselshell, I am sure there was a lot of standing water last year in upland postions in the landscape that enhanced establishment of Hordeum jubatum.
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: gierke  Posted: Sun Jul 8 8:05:03 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
wonder what fish and game thinks now! as usual, they are too late! now they are haveing to go around and shoot the wildlife that are suffering from getting burned and blinded from the fire, and now there are no place for the wildlife to hide in most of the national forest north of highway 212
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: howdy  Posted: Sun Jul 8 9:05:59 AM MDT 2012 From: - MT
Fortunately, we are way too high to have been affected by the floods last year in Musselshell...Our pasture is an old hay field and very healthy but then again we feed round bales year round to our two horses so as not to run the poor field into the ground...We appear to have more grass than any of our neighbors and several have remarked on it but I guess we are fortunate and the habit of putting out the round bale is working...I just feel sorry for the animals that are expected to live on nothing...Owning a horse is just the beginning along with the responsibility of caring for them with proper food, minerals, shots, etc etc...IMO, the cheapest part of a horse is the purchase price...the price of hay this year should sky rocket sadly and am hoping the ranchers in the Ashland fire can find feed for their winters needs as well as graze for the rest of the summer..Our thoughts go out to them...
 Subject: RE: Question about the Ash Creek Fire
Author: Jon Bonine  Posted: Sun Jul 8 12:45:28 PM MDT 2012 From: - KS
Richard, you are right to note my assumption of species of "foxtail". Considering boxdmc compared cheatgrass with foxtail, I assumed he was referring to an annual grass, hordeum j. . Is there anything else in my posts that is not correct?

[This message has been edited by Jon Bonine (7/8/2012)]
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