Central Utah Post-Fire Restoration and Wildfire Risk Reduction Efforts
Contact: Kayli Yardley, 435 864 8676
The 2020 Canal Fire burned over 78,000 acres in Millard and Juab Counties causing the evacuation of Fool Creek and Leamington. The fire was deemed eligible for a FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) because of the numerous values at risk that were threatened by the wildfire during initial attack. Under this designation funding is made available to the county or counties receiving the grant, in this case both Millard and Juab Counties.
Utah Division Forestry, Fire and State Lands staff from the Central Area office have been assisting Millard and Juab Counties with an application for a Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant (HMGP), a subgrant of the FMAG declaration. Under this grant, FEMA will reimburse up to 75 percent of funds for post-fire restoration efforts and future catastrophic wildfire risk reduction projects. The remaining 25 percent can come from a variety of sources such as in-kind work provided by the affected counties for equipment or labor on projects relevant to the fire.
One eligible project that is underway addresses erosion control measures in order to mitigate future flooding and landside concerns near the Ash Grove Cement Plant. The Ash Grove Cement Plant will be reseeding 18 acres of their property surrounding the facilities that were severely affected by the Canal Fire. Implementing erosion control measures will safeguard the area surrounding the plant from future mud and landslide hazards.
A hazardous fuels reduction project will also take place to assist the town of Leamington. Dense growth of tamarisk and other vegetation will be physically removed from areas identified as high-risk. Efforts will primarily be focused on property surrounding private residences within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). Removing these hazardous fuels will establish a buffer around these communities to moderate and slow the spread of future wildfires. This project will be the cornerstone for other mitigation efforts planned for this area in the future.
Wildfire continues to be an ongoing concern for Millard and Juab Counties. These restoration and mitigation projects will not only benefit Leamington but also surrounding communities including Lynndyl, Oak City and Fool Creek by minimizing the threat of wildfire and further damage to values at risk including structures, property and natural resources in the future.
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