It is obvious that US Forest Service fire crews have been working tirelessly to help stop these terrible fires that are threatening all of us. But it’s important to also give them credit for other work that has moved the Gateway Trail Project forward. Several weeks ago, USFS fire crews from Missouri and Colorado joined our local crew from McCloud to engage in fire training. As part of that, they were assigned to consolidate and cover existing slash piles on some newly constructed Gateway Trails, and then remove brush on another new trail (Community Zone segment 6). This work is slow, hot, and very difficult, but it’s essential to prepare the trail corridor for Trail Labs to begin the excavation. Without it, there are no new trails through the heavily overgrown forest sections. In addition, every hour of this work done by the USFS saves MSTA on construction costs. Shown are Nick and Orion as they chop up a brush pile so it can be covered and burned this winter. The second photo shows the wide corridor and huge piles in preparation for the next phase of construction.