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Westside Ranger District planning prescribed fire in Toponce Drainage

Photo by Arik Jorgensen Caribou Zone Fuels Specialist

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) — Starting Oct. 1 through Nov. 15, the Westside Ranger District plans to ignite a 1,259-acre prescribed burn in the Toponce Basin area, seven miles west of Chesterfield.

Ignition of the burn units on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest will proceed when weather and fuel conditions are favorable.

Smoke may be noticeable from the Inkom area and a majority of western Caribou County, particularly in the vicinity of Toponce Creek and Chesterfield.

“This burn unit is part of the Toponce Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Project in collaboration with Idaho Fish and Game,” Westside District Ranger Kim Obele said. “The goal of this project is to promote wildlife habitat by burning pockets of thick and decadent sagebrush, snowberry, serviceberry, and bitterbrush within the burn units.”

Some conifers in aspen stands may also burn, creating openings in the thick brush, allowing for the renewal of browse for wildlife and promoting younger aspen stands within the project area.

The burn will also create natural fuel breaks to help manage wildfires while improving vegetation conditions and age-class diversity for forested and non-forested vegetation. Signing along the roads and trails within the affected area will notify the public when prescribed burn operations are in progress. During prescribed fire operation, expect increased traffic along Toponce Creek Road and Maggies Road.

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