Wildfire discovered on Pinedale Ranger District, prescribed burn planned

PINEDALE, Wyo. — On Sunday, April 11, a wildfire was discovered around 4:20 p.m. just north of Half Moon Lake along Sweeney Creek Trail in the Pinedale Ranger District.

Sublette County Unified Fire, Sublette County Sheriffs’ office, Sublette County Emergency Management, along with engine crews from USFS, responded and assisted with the firefighting effort.

The fire was contained just after 7 p.m., crews are continuing to work towards full suppression. The fire burned about 2.20 acres, the cause is still under investigation.

South Fort prescribed burn

The Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) announced today, plans to implement the South Fort prescribed burn, a continuation of the Skyline Wildland Urban Interface Fuels Reduction Project on the Pinedale District in the coming weeks.

A date has not been set but ignition is predicted to begin in late April to mid-May. Ignition operations will occur over the course of 2-5 days.

Considering local forecast and climatology data, Fire Managers consider a range of potential days/weeks in which the units could be available to burn. This includes ensuring the units are snow-free, potential smoke impacts, and fuel moistures are conducive for burning while meeting objectives.

The South Fort prescribed burn has three separate burn units in the vicinity of Kelly Park and Sweeney Creek. Units 1 and 2 are located on the south aspect of Fortification Mountain adjacent to the White Pine Ski area. Unit 3 is adjacent to Sweeney Creek, Kelly Park, and Skyline Drive.

Each unit will be ignited and secured before moving on to the next. The burn units are approximately 380-acres in total size. Ignitions will be accomplished with fire crews utilizing drip torches and a helicopter utilizing a plastic sphere dispenser for aerial ignitions.

Smoke will be visible from Hwy 191/189, Pinedale, and the surrounding area during ignition operations and for a short time after lighting has been completed. For the safety of the public and firefighters, Sweeney Road and Kelly Park will be closed during operations.  Public information will be available at the Sweeny Creek and Kelly Park parking areas over the course of ignitions.

According to BTNF, the Project’s overall objective is to remove hazardous fuels within and around the wildland urban interface (WUI), The WUI is the zone of transition between unoccupied land and human development. The project also aims to minimize the intensity of any future wildfires in the area.

The project will also benefit aspen enhancement/restoration, Douglas-fir restoration, old-growth tree enhancement, and recreational areas.

For more information on prescribed fire, fuels reduction projects, and defensible space, visit www.tetonfires.com or call the Pinedale Ranger District at 307-367-4326.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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