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Teton Interagency Fire Managers Plan Spring Prescribed Fires

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Date: May 3, 2011
Contact: Jackie Skaggs, 307.739.3393

prescribed burn
Teton Interagency firefighter uses a drip torch to start a prescribed fire.

May 3, 2011

11-28

Teton interagency fire managers plan to conduct several prescribed fires during the month of May. If weather conditions are conducive, fire managers for Grand Teton National Park and the North Zone of the Bridger-Teton National Forest will initiate the following projects:

  • Lava Creek-this prescribed fire, primarily on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, contains 226-acres (including 20 acres in Grand Teton National Park) within the Buffalo Valley Fuels Management Project area. The location includes pockets of dead and down wood, continuous sagebrush, and some conifers within aspen stands. The project is designed to maintain or increase aspen coverage and reduce the potential for high-intensity fires.
  • Shadow Mountain-this 46-acre prescribed fire is designed to reduce fuel in wildland areas adjacent to the Shadow Mountain residential development. In conjunction with a recently completed fuels reduction project, this burn will break up the continuity of sagebrush and increase the ability to control a wildfire before it reaches private structures. The prescribed burn will also reduce the risk to firefighters by reducing the potential for a high intensity fire.
  • Elbo West-this 48-acre project was developed in conjunction with a multi-stage restoration plan to convert 4,000 acres of pastureland back into native vegetation. The site is south of Teton Science School Road and north of Kelly. The project is also part of a joint Grand Teton National Park/National Elk Refuge management plan for bison and elk.
  • Upper Palmer Creek-the Jackson Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest plans to implement this prescribed fire in early May, contingent upon weather and fuel conditions. Managers plan to include approximately 400 acres during this treatment, in an effort to rejuvenate aspen groves, reduce sagebrush fuels and increase defensible space around the community of Hoback Junction. This is the first step in implementing the larger Hoback Junction Fuels Reduction Project. Visitors to the area can expect temporary, short-term closures of the Palmer Creek Trail during burn implementation.
  • Lower Gros Ventre-if suitable weather and fuel conditions exist after May 16, interagency crews will continue the Lower Gros Ventre Prescribed Fire, a project that began last summer. The target area is located north of Lower Slide Lake and Gros Ventre Road, south of the Ditch Creek drainage, and east of Grand Teton National Park. Fire managers will burn the remainder of a 17,000-acre area. Crews will use fire to create a mosaic pattern of burned and unburned vegetation which should increase the availability of wildlife forage and improve the diversity of vegetation on an important wildlife winter range. Crews will also use fire in select portions of aspen stands to remove conifers and rejuvenate aspen growth. No closures for the area are planned after May 16; however it may be necessary to apply a temporary closure for public safety at a later date.

Fire managers will proceed with prescribed fire ignitions when favorable weather and fire behavior conditions exist. Smoke will be visible the day of the burn, and may persist for several days, especially in mountain valleys during early the morning and evenings. Please use caution in the area of the fires and be aware that minimal restrictions may be implemented to allow for public and firefighter safety and fire equipment access. For more detailed information, please go to www.tetonfires.com.

Did You Know?

Tetons from the north, photo by Erin Himmel

Did you know that a large fault lies at the base of the Teton Range? Every few thousand years earthquakes up to a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter Scale signal movement on the Teton fault, lifting the mountains skyward and hinging the valley floor downward.