The Lolo National Forest announced last week it will proceed with a salvage-logging project on 1,761 acres within the burn area of last summer’s Copper King Fire.
Forest Supervisor Timothy Garcia signed the decision June 6, authorizing timber salvage and roadside hazard-tree removal, along with about three miles of temporary road construction, 88 miles of road maintenance, 6,000 acres of tree planting and motorized use restrictions on five miles of trail.
Road and watershed stabilization work will begin this month, with burned tree salvage beginning in July after timber sale contracts are awarded.
The Copper King Fire started last summer on July 31, burning quickly across steep slopes in the Thompson River drainage approximately 5 miles east of Thompson Falls. After about three months of firefighting efforts and local evacuations, the fire was contained on Oct. 14 and declared controlled on Nov. 28. The blaze burned about 29,000 acres of private, state and federal forest land.
Salvage on adjacent private lands was completed last fall and early winter, while salvage on state lands is still ongoing. The project will leave about 91 percent of the burn area to recover naturally.