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September 23, 2013

Sonora forum will look at Rim fire aftermath

A forum Friday in Sonora, sponsored by a pro-logging group, will look at forest management in the wake of the Rim fire.

A fire-weary audience will ponder a question Friday: What now?

A forum will take place on the Rim fire, which has burned about a quarter-million acres in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park.

It is sponsored by the Tuolumne County Alliance for Resources and Environment, a pro-logging group that long has urged aggressive thinning of dense timber stands to reduce the risk.

As of Monday, the fire stood at 257,126 acres, the third largest in the state’s recorded history. It grew fast after its Aug. 17 start, believed to be from a hunter’s campfire, but has leveled off in the last couple of weeks.

Fire officials had some good news Monday: The weekend storm apparently did not cause erosion, which is a major concern on the 7 percent of the burn area with severe soil damage.

“The 0.6 inches of rain that fell on the fire Saturday aided fire suppression by reducing fire activity and spread,” the update said. “It was not enough rain to erode deeply burned, water-repellent soils.”

The forum, Catastrophic Wildfire and Our Community, is this year’s version of TuCARE’s annual Natural Resources Summit.

The agenda:

• Keynote address by Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Granite Bay, whose district takes in the fire area
• Watershed restoration, professor Roger Bales, director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at the University of California at Merced
• Restoration of private forest land, Dan Tomascheski of Sierra Pacific Industries and Steve Brink of the California Forestry Association
• Restoration of public forest land, William Snyder of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and Barnie Gyant of the U.S. Forest Service.

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