Ponderosa Forests

Coconino National Forest

Wildfire seasons in the West are growing longer and more intense. So more prescribed burns are happening to protect forest towns in places like northern Arizona. That can be hard on the health of residents and firefighters. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, not much is known about the long-term effects of breathing forest fire smoke.

Melissa Sevigny

Yesterday we heard about northern Arizona’s tree thinning projects and who makes the decision on which trees to cut. In part 2 of that story, what happens to those trees afterward? Flagstaff has always been a logging town, but things have changed. When the U.S. Forest Service began to thin the woods almost a decade ago reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, some thought it would bring a second economic boom for the logging industry. As KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, that heyday hasn’t happened.

Melissa Sevigny

Northern Arizona is home to the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world. If you’ve ever hiked through it, you’ve probably seen trees marked with brightly colored paint. That paint is a kind of map for the logging companies that thin the woods and make them more fire-resistant. But which trees get to stay and which have to go—and who makes those decisions? KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Eric Brekke, BLM

Forest managers want to restore fire to northern Arizona’s ecosystems, and a tiny owl is a big player in that plan. For the first time, state biologists have designed an experiment to learn how the threatened Mexican Spotted Owl responds to prescribed burns. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Michael Collier

Next time you pass a mature ponderosa pine, notice its broad plates of orange-red bark etched with black crevices. That thick, puzzle-shaped bark helps the tree survive moderate forest fires by protecting the inside of the trunk from overheating; severe fires though can kill even the thickest-barked trees.


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