Thinning work under way near Ruhenstroth |

Thinning work under way near Ruhenstroth

Staff Reports

Work to thin brush, juniper and piñons around Ruhenstroth is being conducted by the Bureau of Land Management.

The project consists of mechanical thinning of 189 acres, mostly between the community and the Pine Nut Mountains.

The 2011 Ray May Fire and the 2012 Preacher Fire both burned within two miles of the Ruhenstroth community, according to BLM spokeswoman Lisa Ross. “The project is designed to help minimize negative impacts of wildland fire burning from public land onto private land and minimize the potential of wildland fire that starts on private land burning onto public land.”

Ross said the Douglas County Wildfire Risk-Hazard Assessment Project in 2005 rated Ruhenstroth in the moderate hazard category, and recommended the project to reduce wildfire risk. “The piñon-juniper woodland on the east side of the community is of particular concern,” Ross said. “Piñon-juniper is highly flammable and supports intense wildfire.”

Because the brush is so close, firefighters are concerned that in the event of an intense wildfire, the neighborhood would be difficult to defend, property damage could be substantial and the lives of the public and firefighters could be at risk, Ross said.