By Ann Jantz, wyo4news.com
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (Oct. 16, 2019) — Prescribed burns being conducted in the Ashley National Forest is the cause of the heavy smoke seen today in Rock Springs.
Sweetwater County Fire Chief Mike Bournazian said the prescribed burns are happening on the Utah side of the Ashley National Forest, south of Manila, Utah.
The Ashley National Forest started the prescribed burns near East Reservation Ridge on the Duchesne Ranger District on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12 and 13, and additional prescribed burning near West Reservation Ridge will take place once the eastern units are complete and may continue into the following week, according to a Ashley National Forest Facebook post.
The prescribed burning will take place on Fossil Ridge within the Reservation Ridge East Sagebrush Project area, which is north of Reservation Ridge Road. The total project area is 1,400 acres but will be broken up into smaller areas for burn management.
The additional prescribed burn is located in the West Beaver Unit of the Reservation Ridge West Sagebrush Project. This is within in the vicinity of Big Beaver Springs, east of Willow Creek Ridge and contains a total of 366 acres.
The purpose of the prescribed burns is to improve wildlife habitat, reduce fuel loading and decrease the potential for larger wildfires in the future.
Forest visitors to the Reservation Ridge area may experience smoke and possible reduced visibility along Forest Service roads. Fire personnel will ignite the fires by hand. Engines, hotshots, and/or hand crews will monitor the fire until it is completely extinguished.
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