Volunteers Work To Thin Areas of Black Forest

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To commemorate Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service, volunteers in Black Forest gathered to thin areas of dense vegetation in hopes to reduce the potential for a wildfire in the dry forest.

The event was sponsored by Black Forest News and Greenleaf Forestry. Volunteers worked to remove dead trees and overcrowded “doghair pines” near Shoup Road, a major evacuation route if a wildfire was to break out in the Black Forest area.

“In conservation,” Judy Von Ahlefeldt, a mitigation expert explained, “What you leave is just as important as what you take for fuel reduction.”

The volunteers were supervised by Von Ahlefeldt. The goal was to mitigate the area while preserving enough of the forest to promote a safe habitat for woodland creatures.

Doghair pines are large groups of small pine trees that grow together, too close to grow healthy. The clumps of small trees become a major fuel for wildfires.

The area is bordered by Kettle Creek to the south and Shoup Road to the north. Crews not only thinned the area, but also cut a trail for firefighters to use through the vegetation.