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BLM plans burn in Price Canyon

The Bureau of Land Management Price Field Office and the Canyon Country Fire Zone will be conducting a prescribed burn this fall or winter near the Price Canyon Recreation Area. A burn near East Carbon/Sunnyside has already been completed.

The 2009 Columbia project reduced dense pinyon-juniper in the East Carbon and Sunnyside wildland/urban interface, where trees and brush were hand-cut last fall and debris was stacked into piles for drying and later burning. Project design included aerial seeding of hundreds of acres before cutting was implemented. The burn eliminated about 260 acres of debris piles Groundcover is expected to re-establish with the help of winter moisture and further germination of seeded species.

The 2008 Price Canyon project targeted the dense mixed-conifer forest and heavy Gambel oak around the Price Canyon Recreation Area and on the steep slopes above the recreation area. Crews hand-cut and scattered debris on the forest floor. A broadcast burn is planned for the project area, where fire will be introduced within a controlled boundary under specific weather and moisture conditions to help assure the safe incineration of surface fuels.

These low-intensity burns are sometimes called "understory burns" and will not only clear an area of excessive ground fuels while leaving existing trees intact, but will also increase soil nutrients and stimulate growth of desired trees, grasses, and forbs.

The understory burn may create smoky conditions that are clearly visible to residents. Prescribed fire is carefully planned to comply with Utah Department of Air Quality regulations, which provide for maximum smoke uplift and dispersal to reduce localized haze and smoke inversion.

BLM Fuels Technician Matt Madariaga said the date of the Price Canyon burn cannot be determined exactly yet because the date will depend on weather and fuel conditions.

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