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Caribou-Targhee plans slash-pile fires

With cooperative weather, Caribou-Targhee National Forest crews will begin burning slash piles behind the Yale Creek subdivision in October.

Crews prefer to burn piles when snow is present or after some significant rainfall. That provides a little greater security from the fire creeping away from ignited piles. It also minimizes heat production and reduces effects to surrounding trees.

Crews began thinning areas along the Forest boundary next to the subdivision last year. It was stacked into piles to give it a chance to dry. A total of 313 acres were treated.

“This project was designed to reduce the amount of dense vegetation and fuels adjacent to the Yale Creek subdivision,” said Jon White, Assistant Fire Management Officer.

Removing heavy vegetation will contribute to the defensibility and protection of these private residences from wildfire while promoting healthier understory by allowing sunlight to hit the forest floor.

Predicting the exact time of ignition is difficult, but on the actual day, orange “Fire Activity” signs will be posted along the Yale-Kilgore Highway. The ignitions will require approval from the Idaho and Montana smoke monitoring agencies. Smoke may be visible from the surrounding areas along U.S. Highway 20.

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