American Fire restoration plan advances

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2014 - 1:12 pm

Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn approved a plan Tuesday for restoration of forest lands burned by last year’s American Fire.

The fire, which started in August near Foresthill in Placer County, burned about 27,000 acres, including more than 22,000 acres on the Tahoe National Forest.

The Big Hope Fire Salvage and Restoration Project calls for tree planting on approximately 7,300 acres to speed regrowth and prevent soil erosion, salvage harvesting of about 3,440 acres and hazardous-tree reduction on 125 miles of roads and trails.

The project will also protect important wildlife habitats.

Public safety in the fire area is a top concern for the Forest Service, officials said in a news release, as dead and dying trees in a post-fire area are at risk of falling. To address this danger, hazardous trees adjacent to roads and trails have been marked for removal or felling.

The popular Western States Trail has been entirely reopened to the public after volunteers worked with the Forest Service to rehabilitate it. However, the bridge across the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River is closed due to fire damage and will be repaired in the fall.

Although traffic will be managed during felling operations to ensure safety, no road or trail closures are planned, a forest spokesman said.

Read more articles by Barbara Barte Osborn

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