Missoula County Commissioners Visit Fire Lab

Submitted by fl_admin on Tue, 10/03/2017 - 07:36

On August 30, the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Montana hosted Missoula County Commissioners Jean Curtiss, Dave Strohmaier, and Nicole Rowley, and County Chief Planning Officer Pat O’Herren. The County Commissioners were interested in learning more about the Fire Lab’s role in the community, and also about the benefits of prescribed fire in light of this year’s significant fire season in Missoula County and throughout the Northern Rockies. FFS Program Manager Colin Hardy talked about the history of the Fire Lab and the diversity of staff and duties within the FFS program. Research Forester Mark Finney discussed the benefits of prescribed burning, with a focus on the current fire locations in Missoula County and demonstrating how logging and thinning offer limited benefit without prescribed fire. Mark also talked about the need to better understand the fundamentals of fire spread and led several live burning demonstrations illustrating the current research designed to better understand fire spread. The Commissioners were highly engaged and are interested in future meetings to discuss additional topics, and how Missoula County can become leaders in prescribed fire collaboration and coordination with fire management agencies.