Date: September 18, 2008
Contact: Dick Fichtler (406) 329-3884
Greg Albright (406) 896-5260
Garnet Ghost Town To Be Closed Another Week
Garnet Ghost Town will be open Sept. 20-21, but closed again the following week while more dead and dying timber is removed from the area.
“The project turned out to be much more complex than anticipated,” said Dick Fichtler of the Bureau of Land Management’s Missoula Field Office. “So we need to close Garnet for one more week to provide for public safety while we get the fuels out.”
Garnet was also closed to visitors this week as workers began clearing hazardous trees from the town and surround forest. Logging equipment is being used within the town, and closure is the only way to guarantee public safety.
The project is part of an effort to reduce the threat of wildland fire in the forest surrounding Garnet. Unless the heavy loads of dead and dying timber are removed, a wildfire is virtually inevitable at some point and could leave the historic ghost town in ashes.
An infestation of mountain pine beetles in recent years has added to the steady buildup of dead trees, killing nearly all of the lodgepole pine in the area.
About 300 acres are being treated near Garnet. When completed, the forest will be more open, greatly reducing the area’s susceptibility to catastrophic fire.
Managers expect to finish the work next week and re-open Garnet to visitors on Sept. 27.
For more information on the project, contact the BLM Missoula Field Office, 406-329-3914.