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Project Name: Shadow Lake Fire Restoration

Location: Deschutes National Forest, OR

Number of Trees: 100,000

According to NOAA’s State of the Climate: Wildfires for Annual 2011 report, wildfires in 2011:

 

  • Exceeded $1 billion in damages.
  • Burned 8.7 million acres.
  • Made up the third most-active year in history in terms of acres burned.

Hit particularly hard were southwestern states because of a combination of drier-than-average and warmer-then-average conditions throughout that region in 2011. Fires in Texas alone accounted for 43 percent of the acres burned in the U.S. With 8.7 million acres, though, the 2011 fires touched most of the U.S.

On one day in September, due mostly to lightning strikes and dry conditions, 14 major fires were flaring across Oregon, contributing thousands of acres to the state’s 285,000 acres destroyed in 2011. One of the largest of those September fires was the Shadow Lake blaze that was burning only about 20 miles from the site of 2010’s Rooster Rock Fire.

With Shadow Lake at the epicenter, the fire would eventually consume 10,000 acres around Mount Washington, a 2,000-foot-tall shield volcano for which the Mount Washington Wilderness is named. Natural regeneration of the forest has been difficult due to naturally poor soil and the high intensity of the fire (which killed seed stock), as well as competition from sedges which outcompete young saplings.

To help aid the natural regeneration process, American Forests is teaming with the USDA Forest Service to plant 100,000 ponderosa pines and Douglas-firs to restore areas of Mount Washington Wilderness.

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