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Wildfire reduction project underway in Caribou-Targhee National Forest

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

ALPINE, Wyoming – The Caribou-Targhee National Forest will resume fuel reduction work on June 3 to reduce the risk of wildfire adjacent to private lands in the Rees and Aspen Ridge subdivisions. Work was initiated last summer but not completed due to a busy wildfire season with fire management resources assisting in suppression activities across the west.

Crews will be working along the Forest Service and private land boundary between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. over the next couple weeks. Some dispersed recreation sites may be closed or impacted during this project. Forest visitors should avoid the area. If you do happen to enter a work zone, follow all warning signs, and listen for chainsaws or equipment running to ensure you are not in harm’s way.

The Alpine Fuels Project was designed to reduce forest vegetation in the vicinity of the Town of Alpine, in response to public concern over forest fuel buildup in areas adjacent to homes. The project will focus on cutting smaller diameter trees which can act as ladder fuels carrying the fire from the forest floor to the tree canopy causing a crown fire. The treatment will modify potential fire behavior and mitigate wildfire risk to public and emergency responders.

The brush and limbs generated from the treatments will be piled on site and burned next year when we have cool, wet weather conditions. Please do not disturb the piles as they are specifically built to burn during the wetter months of the year.

The Alpine Area Wildfire Protection Coalition (AAWPC) was established in 2019, by private landowners/homeowners, local, county, state and federal partners in response to the need to mitigate wildfire risk on public and private lands in the Alpine area. AAWPC has been integral in the planning, outreach and implementation of various wildfire awareness programs, community chipper days and mitigation treatments on private and federal lands like the Alpine Fuels Project.

As recent as two weeks ago, AAWPC facilitated a mock wildfire exercise adjacent to Rees subdivision to provide an opportunity for local and federal response agencies to practice critical decision-making skills before an incident occurs. Information was provided to homeowners in Rees and Aspen Ridge subdivisions on how to strengthen their homes against wildfire and how to utilize grant programs like Community Assistance for Adjacent Lands (CAFA).

Grant programs like CAFA provide assistance for fuels mitigation work on non-federal lands adjacent to national forest lands to maximize strategic risk reduction treatments across jurisdictional boundaries. AAWPC’s combined efforts of advocating fuel mitigation on national forest and private lands, raising community wildfire awareness and building positive multiagency relationships will help address the increasing complexities of wildland fire management.

To learn more about how you can make your home resilient to wildfire, click here.

For up-to-date project information, contact the Palisades Ranger District office at (208) 523-1412.

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