Snow handy for BTNF controlled burns

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SUBLETTE COUNTY – Slash piles of cleared wood are dotted throughout the Pinedale and Big Piney ranger districts and current wet conditions in the Bridger-Teton National Forest are perfect for keeping its controlled burns under control.

Burning started May 2 and could carry on through this month or June, depending on weather, access and fuel conditions, according to BTNF’s Evan Guzik. The slash piles – branches, limbs and trunks – are products of mechanical or hand thinning, timber sales and other projects piled and left to cure so the slash is completely burned.

Managers won’t start a blaze until they “are confident that the project can be undertaken safely and successfully,” Guzik noted.

Remaining snowdrifts and moist ground in the forest now will help patrolling firefighters contain the fire’s spread during and after the burn.

Smoke and flames will probably be visible across the Pinedale and Big Piney districts and BTNF roadside signs will alert travelers to the sources. For more, call the Big Piney District at 307-276-3375 and the Pinedale District at 307-367-4326 or visit the BTNF at www.usda.gov/btnf, on Facebook and Twitter.