By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
The 151,000-acre Mullen Fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest shows the need for proper forest management, Gov. Mark Gordon said Monday.
Gordon, speaking during his regular press briefing, said the fire has shown how important it is to limit the amount of dead timber within forests to limit the severity of such fires by mixing old growth with areas of new growth.
“It is clear our forests need to be managed and it is clear we are making progress where there has been logging that has happened or there has been some burnout activity before,” he said. “This is just something that is valuable in getting a mosaic in the forest.”
Removing dead timber such as trees killed by beetles would also help reduce carbon dioxide releases from trees that are oxidizing as they decompose, he said.
Gordon also thanked the more than 1,000 firefighters battling the fire for their efforts.
“They face extraordinarily challenging conditions,” he said. “With warm and dry conditions forecast for this week, there is no let-up for what we see coming ahead. Those crews need a significant change in weather to make more progress.”