White Mountain Forest Steps Up Wildfire Prevention Efforts In High-Risk Neighborhoods

Dense forest undergrowth that will be part of an upcoming controlled burn is seen along both sides of a trail in the White Mountain National Forest in Conway, N.H., on June 10, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz for NPR)

The warming climate is raising the risk of wildfires across the entire U.S., even in states like New Hampshire. Now, forest managers in the White Mountains are stepping up their efforts to prevent major damage, and warning neighbors: It could happen here.

On the edge of the White Mountain National Forest in Conway, N.H., public lands with dense woods fill the backyards of houses.

District forest ranger Jim Innes lives around here. He’s one of the forest managers trying to warn residents of the White Mountains about forest fires.

When we visited last month – the hottest and driest June on record in New Hampshire – Innes dug down into the leaf litter just within the forest boundary, and all he saw was fire risk.

Click here for the full story from New Hampshire Public Radio.