A log deck along a fireline constructed for Hirz Fire suppression actions.
A log deck along a fireline constructed for Hirz Fire suppression actions. US Forest Service photo by Forestry Technician Jason Klotz

 The Shasta-Trinity National Forest sold several log decks created as a result of fire suppression activities associated with the Hirz Fire. In order to suppress last year’s 46,150-acre Hirz Fire, firefighters constructed over 150 miles of fire line, felling and piling trees and brush into log decks and debris piles. These log decks were purchased on May 29 by a local timber purchaser and will be milled into wood products.

This deck sale was one of the last steps taken during Hirz Fire suppression repair efforts. Fireline construction created excessive fuels, much of which was not burned by the Hirz Fire. Some of this material is sold as log decks, while the material that cannot be sold is being burned, chipped, or left on site to provide ecological benefits.  In addition, the fire lines themselves were repaired: crews pulled brush, timber, soil, and rocks across fire lines and built water bars. These efforts slow and capture runoff and ensure that vehicles will stay on designated roads. Finally, the roads that were used by firefighters were repaired in order to restore vehicular access and to minimize erosion.

“Special care was taken near meadows, wetlands, cultural sites, and historic resources,” explained Acting District Ranger Janine Book. “Areas most vulnerable to invasive weeds were seeded and mulched to help reduce new infestations.”

While suppression repair minimizes environmental effects of suppression activities, damage

 

caused by the fire itself is being addressed through Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER). Wildfires reduce vegetation and soil cover, and as a result, there is more runoff after a rainfall event, which makes erosion, flooding, and landslides more likely.  The area is also more susceptible to noxious weed establishment. During the winter, the Forest removed debris from culverts and improved drainage in order to reduce erosion associated with roads. A large boom was placed in the McCloud River arm of Shasta Lake to capture any logs washing into the lake, and signs were erected along main roads in order to inform the public of the increased risk within the area. For more information about BAER, please visit the Forest BAER website: https://go.usa.gov/xmeT8.

With the arrival of the summer season, the Forest is working to enlarge and upgrade culverts to fix winter storm damage. Noxious weed surveys will begin in the next few weeks to identify new populations of weeds. Newly established weed populations will be eradicated. If you are interested in volunteering to help pull weeds, please contact Rangeland Management Specialist Ashley Knight at (530) 226-2432 or ashley.knight@usda.gov. For other questions, please contact Janine Book at (530) 242-5500 or janine.book@usda.gov or visit the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/stnf.