JACKSON, Wyo. — Don’t be alarmed to see smoke rising over the next few days, say officials from the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Forest crews are burning slash piles on Phillips Ridge and in the Pinedale Ranger District today, Oct. 25, through Oct. 29.
Crews will be burning slash piles on Phillips Ridge today through Oct. 29. Pile burning in Pinedale, near the White Pine Ski Area, could start as soon as tomorrow and continue through November depending on weather and fuels conditions.
Fuels reduction programs, which involve mechanical or hand thinning projects, remove trees to reduce forest density and improve forest health. Hand piles result from crews using chainsaws to thin the forest and then piling the sawn unmarketable limbs, saplings, and brush.
Piles are only ignited when fuels managers are confident that the project can be undertaken safely and successfully. Snow cover, fuel moisture, precipitation, wind, temperature, and available firefighter staffing are all taken into account before beginning a pile burn.
Piles that are ready for burning are prioritized based on elevation, aspect, access, and proximity to homes. Smoke, flames, and glowing embers are often visible, and are a normal part of pile burning operations. Snow helps contain the piles and firefighters monitor the area during and after the burn.
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