In a temporary change in wildland firefighting policy, the U.S. Forest Service announced recently that it would now attempt to suppress all wilderness fires in an effort to conserve resources.
The Duluth News-Tribune has the story HERE.
Prior to the temporary policy change, small wilderness fires that were not a threat to lives and property were allowed to burn in wilderness areas, since fire is a natural disturbance in most forest ecosystem. Now, in the midst of what is a major wildfire year across the country, officials want to conserve money, personnel, aircraft, and equipment.
Had the policy change been in effect last year, the Pagami Creek Fire, which started as a small, smoldering fire in the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness in August, would likely have been snuffed out in its first days, rather than growing into the huge blaze that consumed more than 90,000 acres of forest.