Forest Service burning slash piles

STAR VALLEY/SUBLETTE COUNTY, WYO – With colder temperatures and snow conditions fast approaching in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Teton Interagency Fire crews will begin igniting debris piles created from fuels reduction projects, commercial timber sales, and fencing projects in the Greys River and Kemmerer Ranger Districts of the Bridger-Teton National Forest as early as this week.

The pile locations on the Greys River Ranger District may include Star Valley Ranch and Alpine Bench, along with Murphy Campground, Bug Creek, North Corral Creek and Spring Creek of the Greys River drainage. On the Kemmerer Ranger District pile locations may include East Fork of the Hams Fork, Hams Fork Ridge, Basin Creek, and Big Park.

Pile burning is part of an ongoing program to improve forest health and reduce hazardous fuel accumulation. The Bridger-Teton National Forest depends on mixed-intensity fire to reduce accumulated vegetation, enhance wildlife habitat, and to recycle valuable nutrients back into the soil. “Fire plays an important role in the health of Forest lands,” said Kurt Thiel Fire Management Officer for the Bridger Teton National Forest. “By using this change of weather as a window of opportunity we can take advantage in reducing these hazardous fuels, making the Forest more fire resistant for the future.”

Pile burns require more moisture in the surrounding vegetation and has fire behavior typically be slower moving and with shorter flames. Please be aware that smoke may be visible in the vicinity of the burn especially in the low laying areas.

Pinedale, Big Piney burns

The Bridger-Teton National Forest will begin burning slash piles on the Pinedale and Big Piney Ranger Districts in the weeks to come.

Piles to be ignited on the Pinedale Ranger District are located:

White Pine Ski Area, Halfmoon Campground, New Fork Lake, Fremont Campground, Elkhart Park, Temple Creek Summer Homes

Sylvan Bay Summer Home Area, Fortification Mountain, Red Cliff Bible Camp, Mulligan Park, Half Moon Campground, Big Sandy Lodge, Union Pass, Fish Creek, Green River Lakes, Willow Creek Guard Station.

Piles to be ignited on the Big Piney Ranger District are located:

Noble Pastures, Middle Piney Dam, Riling Draw, Marge’s Delight, Nylander, Hoback Guard Station

The material to be burned is the result of hazardous fuels reduction projects, timber sales, fencing, and other miscellaneous project work. Slash piles are created by thinning out timber stands and removing lower limbs from trees, as well as removing dead wood and brush from the forest floor.

Forest personnel and contractors place the slash in piles and leave them to cure before burning them. Most of the wood is of small diameter and the piles are designed to burn efficiently so that all material is completely consumed. Fire managers ask that the public not take wood from the piles so they will burn more effectively.

Firefighters will light piles by hand after the area has received significant moisture to provide greater security from fire creeping away from piles and to minimize negative effects to nearby trees. Ignitions will cease early in the afternoon each day to allow piles and fuels to burn down prior to evening inversions and reduce smoke impacts to the area.

Crews will patrol and monitor the pile areas to ensure they do not spread. Smoke will be visible during ignition operations and for a short time after lighting has been completed.

For more information visit www.tetonfires.com or call the Pinedale Ranger District at 307-367-4326.

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