The Impact of Fire Suppression continued
detrimental to fisheries as it was in 1987 when Clear Creek, one of the Klamath Riverís most productive tributary streams, was contaminated, killing an estimated 500-summer steelhead.
Fire retardant use in waterways can also impact human health by contaminating springs, rivers, and streams used for rural drinking water sources and municipal watersheds. It appears such contamination may have recently affected the municipal water supply for the town of Orleans, California due to irresponsible retardant use in their municipal watershed.
The impact of fire suppression tactics have impacted wide swaths of the Klamath-Siskiyou, in our wilderness landscape, in less remote public lands, and directly adjacent to human settlement. Unfortunately these impacts are sustained nearly every summer in the Klamath-Siskiyou. The Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) is working hard to address these impacts and find solutions that encourage characteristic fire effects, appropriate suppression tactics, the restoration of fire, and the sustainability of the regionís forests, fisheries, waterways, and the preservation of wilderness quality landscapes.