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Forest service will let wildfire near Soda Springs burn to benefit ecosystem

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Courtesy Caribou-Targhee National Forest

The following is a news release from the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

SODA SPRINGS — A small slow-moving fire is going to be mostly left alone in order to benefit the local ecosystem.

On July 30, the Tincup Fire was discovered some 30 miles northeast of Soda Springs near the Grays Lake Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. The lightning-caused fire is approximately .5 acres in size and creeping in dead and down fuel with minimal fire activity observed. The fire is slowly spreading towards the northeast.

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is aware of several unique values in the area including private in-holdings, recreation trails, Idaho High 34 and range infrastructure. Due to the location of the fire and the observed fire behavior, fire officials feel it important to let the Tincup Fire play its natural role in the ecosystem.

The mixed conifer and aspen ecosystem found in southeast Idaho has evolved with and depends on fire. This does not mean the fire will burn without human intervention. Active measures will occur to create fuel breaks on forest service lands between public and private lands to prevent fire spread onto private lands. Should fire activity increase or threaten private resources, additional firefighting tactics will be implemented. As the fire increases or decreases, incident staffing will grow or shrink accordingly. Fire officials will continue to monitor weather and fuel conditions daily to predict the fire’s spread.

Smoke from the Tincup Fire will be visible likely until a major precipitation event occurs or until it snows. Fire managers urge individuals to use caution and stay out of the area due to fire hazards.

Allowing the Tincup Fire to burn naturally will assist the forest in achieving a variety of resource benefits including:

  • Reducing heavy dead and down fuel loading that is above the historic range due to past suppression activities, which will reduce the risk of future high-intensity wildlife by removing excessive fuel loading.
  • Stimulating aspen regeneration through fire’s natural disturbance, which will increase habitat for a variety of big game species.
  • Reducing the risk of firefighter exposure
  • Increasing plant diversity

For more information on the Tincup Fire please visit inciweb at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6489/.

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