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Our woods are a mess and we've got to fix it

by webmaster |

The national debate over wildfires and forest management may be explosive, but it has a decisively calmer tone among top firefighters.

Three of the country's most experienced fire hands say incident commanders, fire management officers and line bosses across the nation are single-minded about the need for active forest management to serve as a surrogate for fire in forests that have evolved with fire.

Mutch, 69, fought his first forest fire in 1953 and was a smokejumper. He played a key role in the Forest Service's first prescribed natural fire in a wilderness, the 1972 Whitecap Creek fire in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. He also developed the agency's use of prescribed fires elsewhere.