South Fortification Mountain prescribed burn scheduled

PINEDALE – The Bridger-Teton National Forest is planning a South Fort prescribed burn in the Pinedale District as part of the Skyline Wildland Urban Interface Fuels Reduction Project in the upcoming weeks.

The South Fort prescribed burn has three separate burn units in the vicinity of Kelly Park and Sweeney Creek. Unit 1 and 2 are located on the south aspect of Fortification Mountain adjacent to the White Pine Ski area. United 3 is adjacent to Sweeney Creek, Kelly Park and Skyline Drive. Fire managers consider a range of potential days and weeks in which the units will be available, to accommodate local forecast and climatology data. This includes ensuring the units are free of snow, as well as potential smoke impacts and fuel moistures are conducive for burning while meeting objectives.

The current predication for when ignitions could occur is sometime later this month to mid-May. Operations will occur over the course of two to five days. Each unit will be ignited and secured before moving on. The burn units are approximately 380 total acres. Ignitions will be accomplished with fire crews using drip torches and a helicopter utilizing a plastic sphere dispenser for aerial ignitions.

The project’s objective is to remove hazardous fuels within and around the wildlife urban interface, to minimize the intensity of any future wildfires in the area, according to a statement from the Forest Service. Additional resources benefits include aspen enhancement/restoration, Douglas-fir restoration, old growth tree enhancement and recreational benefits.

Smoke will be visible from Highway 191/189 as well as Pinedale and the surrounding area during ignition.

Sweeney Road and Kelly Park will both be closed during operations out of safety precautions. Public information will be available at the Sweeney Creek and Kelly Park parking areas throughout the ignitions.

This project is supported by the Sublette County Forest Collaborative.

More information can be attained by calling the Pinedale Ranger District at 307-367-4326.