As part of the larger Teton Canyon Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project, the Caribou-Targhee National Forest will start cutting trees to reduce the risk of wildfire near Teton Canyon starting Aug. 19. “Fuels work allows us to improve ecological conditions in a safe manner,” said Jay Pence, Teton Basin District Ranger. “The Teton Canyon project removes high density fuels in the area, which will ultimately reduce the intensity of wildfire should one ignite near private residences.
Crews will create a buffer along the forest boundary near the creek to help keep future wildfires in the forest and away from private residences. The treatment will focus on cutting smaller diameter trees that act as ladder fuels, which can draw the fire from the ground up into the tree canopy resulting in devastating crown fires. The vegetation removed by crews will be piled and burned the following year. Piles are specifically built to burn during the wetter months of the year when fire spread potential is minimal, so forest officials ask you to leave them alone.
Crews will work along the Sheep Bridge Trail (130) between the hours of 6 A.M. to 3 P.M. over the next several weeks. The Sheep Bridge trail will be closed while crews are working in proximity to the trail. The trail will open once work adjacent to the trail is complete. Some dispersed recreation sites north of Teton Creek will be affected for several days. The Forest is requesting visitors respect closures for their safety and the safety of our crews. Maintain high situational awareness regarding changing conditions as some material may be found on or near the trail.
The treatment within the Sheep Bridge area has received extensive public input and community support. It is part of a larger treatment that will occur within the rest of the Teton Canyon area over the next several years to help protect forest visitors, private residences, and firefighters in the event of a wildfire.
To learn more about how you can make your home resilient to wildfire go to http://firewise.org.
For up to date project information and closures, or for other trail recommendations please contact the Teton Basin Ranger District office at 208-354-2312.