Fires have ravaged thousands of acres of forest around the town of Lincoln, but many locals say that the fires didn’t have to happen. Back in 2008, a group called the Lincoln Restoration Committee proposed a forest clean-up plan called the Stonewall Project.

"That particular piece of National Forest land was in terrible shape, just because of dead and dying trees from mountain pine beetles," said attorney and Lincoln Restoration Committee member KD Feeback. "It is situated geographically such that it is a threat to Lincoln. Lincoln Restoration Committee approached the Forest Service to make up a treatment plan."

The Forest Service went through the process of environmental review on the project and were about to commence, but last winter the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and the Native Ecosystems Council sued, preventing the fuel reduction work. An act that Feeback says led to the current blaze.

"Brainless, I think, is a good way to look at it," Feeback said. "The whole notion of their concern is to preserve the ecological integrity of the National Forest and to suppose that a 6,000 acre wildfire is instead of a controlled treatment option is a better way to do that is just crazy."

Two fires are burning in areas that the Stonewall Project would have helped clear. The Arrasta Creek Fire has burned over 2,800 acres as of this week, The Park Creek Fire is even bigger, having chewed through over 3,500 acres of forest.

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