The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Amanda Eggert
Montana Free Press 

Land managers anticipate pivot to 'fast and furious' wildfire strategy in light of COVID-19


Fire ecologist Philip Higuera (left) in the fire scar of the Lolo Peak Fire that burned near Missoula in 2017. Credit: Sarah Sunu

On a late-June bikepacking trip from Superior, Montana, to Hailey, Idaho, fire ecologist Philip Higuera studied wildfire's impact on the landscape, as is his habit when he's in the woods. He started his trip in a rugged and thickly forested area along the Montana-Idaho border that burned in 1910 and continued south through fire scars new and old before arriving in an open, high-elevation area studded with sagebrush 630 miles later.

Along the way, Higuera noted the abundance of standing dead trees that burned in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in 2012, but he also observed the emergence of...

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