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Teton Basin fuels reduction project to begin this month

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is preparing to launch a fuels reduction project along Sheep Creek in the Teton Basin Ranger District.

It is part of an effort to reduce the risk of wildfire near Teton Canyon. Beginning August 19, crews will create a buffer along the forest boundary, near the creek, to help keep future wildfires in the forest and away from private residences.

Crews will work along the Sheep Bridge Trail between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. over the next several weeks. The trail will be closed while crews are working. Some dispersed recreation sites north of Teton Creek will be affected for several days.

The project has been under development for some time and will be implemented over the next several years.

“Fuels work allows us to improve ecological conditions in a safe manner,” said Jay Pence, Teton Basin District Ranger. “The Teton Canyon project removes high density fuels in the area, which will ultimately reduce the intensity of wildfire should one ignite near private residences.”

The treatment will focus on cutting smaller diameter trees that act as “ladder fuels”. Those can draw the fire from the ground up into the tree canopy and result in devastating crown fires.

The vegetation removed by crews will be piled and burned the following year, when the potential for fire-spread is minimal.

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