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Mon Jul 1, 2019, 06:16 AM

3,000 Black Hills acres targeted for thinning to reduce wildfire risk

Black Hills National Forest officials are proposing to thin nearly 3,000 acres of forest in a portion of the southern Black Hills they say is especially vulnerable to catastrophic wildfires.

The Tepee Canyon Project would be conducted on 2,669 acres (about 4 square miles) located 17 miles west of Custer, along the south side of U.S. Highway 16 between Jewel Cave National Monument and the Custer Highlands residential area.

Matthew Daily, the acting timber program manager for the Black Hills National Forest, said the area targeted by the project is prone to dry conditions and is densely forested, making it susceptible to the kind of wildfire that spreads quickly and climbs to the treetops, wiping out everything in its path.

That kind of fire could endanger lives and property in the neighboring residential area and at the national monument, so Forest Service officials hope to thin the area with methods including selective logging of larger trees and the removal of smaller trees. Project documents say the project would create a “defensible space.”

Read more: https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/black-hills-acres-targeted-for-thinning-to-reduce-wildfire-risk/article_70c066dc-70fa-5064-9980-dcce37dbab82.html

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