Smoke on Tavaputs is prescribed burn to improve habitat
The smoke you may see rising from the Tavaputs Plateau is no cause for alarm. The Utah Division of Forestry is conducting a prescribed fire on land overloaded with dead and dying timber.
The operation is taking place on more than 1,000 acres of state and private land on the Tavaputs The closest burn area is seven miles northeast East Carbon.
The fire will be ignited aerially via helicopter or "helitorch." Hand crews and fire engines will manage the fire's spread and confine it to the prescribed areas.
Fire managers and local public safety officials are hopeful that the public is aware of the burn so 911 call centers are not flooded with calls as the operation proceeds. Smoke will be visible from the surrounding valleys, but fire managers plan to ignite small, separate parcels to keep smoke production to acceptable levels. Most of the smoke and flames will be limited to the next 4-5 days. Smoke may be visible in the following weeks, but crews will monitor the fire and keep it contained to the prescribed areas until it is out.
Land managers are anticipating a productive fire that will consume the buildup of dead trees.
The burning will simulate the natural occurrence of fire which promotes healthy, new growth and greater plant diversity. Not only will the reduction in built up fuel benefit the ecosystem, it will also reduce the severity of future wildfires in the area.
The fire area is east of Range Valley Mountain Road. Caution is advised as traffic from fire vehicles can be expected on all roads near Bruin Point. To ensure public safety, access to Range Valley Mountain Road will be closed at Bruin Point.
Updates on the progress of the burn will be available at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/