Control of Eastern red cedar in Oklahoma urged
BY Associated Press
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY — Conservationists and fire-control experts are urging state lawmakers to focus more resources on controlling the spread of Eastern red cedar trees to better control wildfires.
Members of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee met Tuesday to learn more about red cedar trees, which are a major source of fuel for wildfires.
Rep. Richard Morrissette of Oklahoma City says cedar trees contributed heavily to wildfires in April in Midwest City and elsewhere that destroyed more than 100 structures. Damage was estimated at $30 million.
Oklahoma Conservation Commission director Mike Thralls says the infestation of red cedar trees involves about 10 million of Oklahoma's 44 million acres.
John Weir of the Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Council says controlled burns are the best way to control their spread.