MOULTONBOROUGH — The Lakes Region Chapter of the New Hampshire Audubon Society will present a program on White Mountain Forest Fires, Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Loon Center. The program will be offered by David Govatski.
Forest fires in the White Mountains are not common, but can occur under the right conditions, and are often difficult to suppress. In 1903, over 85,000 acres of the White Mountain region burned in an outbreak of multiple fires in logging slash and cut-over mountainsides. Entire communities were threatened, and the lack of organized suppression effort led to growing calls for forest protection and conservation. This led to the creation of the White Mountain National Forest.
The will program look at historic fires from the 1800s and early 1900s, and more recent forest fires such as the Lucy Brook, Covered Bridge, and Dilly Forest Fires. Included are early leadership efforts by the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, along with the business community, as well as the cooperative role of local, state and federal agencies after the passage of the Weeks Act in 1911 to work together on the forest fire menace.
Govatski, a naturalist and author, retired after working for the U.S. Forest Service for over 30 years. He served as a fire management officer, on a national interagency incident management team, and worked on numerous large forest fires including the 1988 Yellowstone fires. He has also worked on numerous prescribed fires throughout his career.
The Loon Center is on Lee's Mill Road; follow signs on Blake Road from Route 25 near the Moultonborough Central School, or from Route 109, turn on Lee Road and turn left on Lee's Mill Road. Refreshments will be served.