RICHFIELD, Utah (ABC4) — Fishlake National Forest will be conducting prescribed burning operations on Monroe Mountain this week, Oct. 9-12, as part of the mountain’s Aspen Ecosystem Improvement Project.
Prescribed burning is used to restore health to ecosystems that depend on fire, according to the U.S. Forest Service, which is exactly what Fishlake National Forest is hoping for.
The Central Utah Fire Interagency said that this “important work is being done to improve forest health and wildlife habitat,” as well as to allow the Fire and Smoke Modeling Evaluation Experiment scientists to conduct smoke-modeling research on-site.
Fire managers are reportedly planning to prescribe burn nearly 1,400 acres of aspen and mixed conifer in the area between Manning Meadows Reservoir and Upper Box Creek Reservoir, using a helicopter to help with the burn.
The primary goal of the burn is to apply good fire to the fire-dependent aspen ecosystems in the area, the Central Utah Fire Interagency said. Without fire, they said, the aspen strands in this area will eventually die. This burn will also help reduce the risk of bad catastrophic wildfire, improve overall forest health, enhance wildlife and rangeland habitats, and provide additional forage for a variety of animals in the area.
Additionally, this project reportedly serves as an opportunity for researchers from NASA, Great Basin Science Exchange, and other agencies that are part of FASMEE to conduct research and work with Fishlake National Forest fire managers.
The interagency warned that with big game hunts taking place, hunters and other people enjoying fall weather and scenery should exercise caution and avoid the area. A temporary area closure has been put into place by the Fishlake National Forest, and Fishlake National Forest will reportedly reopen the area as soon as it is safe to do so.
Prescribed fire updates and other fire-related information throughout the state of Utah can be found on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @UtahWildfire, or by visiting www.utahfireinfo.gov.