Forest Trimming Continues in North Lake Tahoe - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Forest Trimming Continues in North Lake Tahoe

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The U.S. Forest Service is currently doing forest-thinning operations all throughout the Lake Tahoe basin. Thinning is done as an effort to restore the area to pre-Comstock era conditions.

But thinning out the forest isn't just for aesthetic purposes; it can also mean the difference between a small fire and another Angora Fire. 

"Its way more beneficial to thin a forest prior to a fire than to try to stop a fire in a forest that's not thinned. By thinning that forest along the highway and out here in the general forest as a buffer, it allows emergency vehicles in and out," said Dan Ohalloran with the Tahoe Basin Management.

This was true at both the Angora Fire in 2007 and the Emerald Fire in 2016. The areas of these fires that had forest thinning were not as affected and were able to grow back a lot faster, because many of the trees were left standing after the blaze. As well as creating this defend-able space for fires, these tree trimmers are also providing an important service restoring the forest's ecosystem.

"Flora will change a little bit as far as some flowers and shrubbery and different brush come back, and you will see a lot of hardwoods and a lot of different stuff you wouldn't see until you thin the forest and the sunlight is getting on the forest floor more than it used to,” said Dan.

By doing these trimmings, the forest service is also helping prevent against insect infestation by cutting down and hulling away dead or diseased trees. They aim to treat nearly 4000 acres of North Shore Lake Tahoe.

Officials expect to continue forest thinning throughout the fall until winter weather begins. For more information about the project, head to www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/InclineFuelsProject

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