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Prescribed fire operations on Pine Creek Pass delayed

Prescribed Burn operations in Teton Canyon, October 18, 2022
USDA Forest Service photo by Jay Pence
Prescribed Burn operations in Teton Canyon, October 18, 2022

TETON VALLEY, Idaho (KIFI) – UPDATE 3:45 p.m. Officials decided prescribed burn operations will not be performed on Pine Creek Pass in the Red Creek Prescribed Fire Project.

Current wind conditions are outside of prescription due to an associated incoming weather system. Fire personnel will continue to reevaluate and watch for favorable conditions this fall or push treatments into next spring.

Additional resources will be in Teton Canyon as a precautionary measure to monitor and provide continued staffing on areas treated earlier this week.

ORIGINAL: Firefighters on the Teton Basin Ranger District will continue prescribed fire operations on the Red Creek Prescribed Fire Project, located on Pine Creek Pass. This project will improve wildlife habitat and manage forest vegetation. Ignition operations may start as early as Thursday, October 20 of this week.

The Red Creek Prescribed Fire Project Area is located, just north of Highway 31, in the area of Pine Creek Pass (Unit 10). During operations, Forest Service Trail #230 (Rocky Peak) will be closed from 11AM Thursday to 11AM Struday. The public is encouraged to choose another recreation location while operations are in effect. Fire managers have selected this timeframe to take advantage of fall moisture typically forecast this time of year. “Our overall goal is to reduce the amount of hazardous vegetation near public/private borders and to stimulate aspen regeneration to improve wildlife habitat,” said Deb Flowers, South Fork Zone Fuels Assistant Fire Management Officer.

Prescribed fire is generally implemented on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest during the spring, late
summer, or fall seasons. Late fall provides good burn windows to conduct prescribed burn operations especially ahead of anticipated precipitation expected this coming weekend.

If weather conditions do not allow for ignition, the Forest Service will continue to monitor for an extended clear weather pattern that will meet the combination of fuel moisture, temperature, wind and smoke dispersal conditions necessary for a successful operation. During any season, weather and fuel conditions are the key elements needed to safely implement prescribed fire and meet project objectives. Fire managers plan to continue prescribed fire operations later this year as conditions allow.

These important projects could not be accomplished without the support from various partners including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and local public officials. For more information, or to learn about the benefits of prescribed fire and the role wildfire has in the ecosystem, contact the Teton Basin Ranger District Office at 208-354-2312.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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