In Joes Valley snow is beginning to recede around the trunks of trees and the Forest Service will be taking advantage of the conditions to conduct a prescribed understory burn. The burn, scheduled for March 4-7, will focus on the litter at the base of trees.
Later, when more snow is melted, the fire crews will return to burn more of the forest understory. Burning in such conditions creates a low-intensity fire, leaving a mosaic of vegetation, and reducing the threat of large wildfires.
The project area is bordered by the Reeder Subdivision on the north end, Sportsman's Subdivision on the east, and surrounds the Swasey subdivision. Only about 80 acres of the 17,410-acre project area will be included in the burn.
The encroachment of pinion pine and juniper into ponderosa stands increases the likelihood of crown fires. In recent years the Forest Service has been mechanically treating pinion and juniper in Joes Valley. This fire will help reduce other ground fuels that threaten ponderosa pine.
Smoke from the fire will be obvious in Joes Valley and may occasionally be visible from Orangeville and Castle Dale. Only fire personnel will be allowed in the burn area.