Fishlake National Forest-Richfield Ranger District and Utah Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands-Central Area, has teamed up with private landowners and plan to burn 2,000-3,000 acres in a series of units. Crews plan to start implementing the Old Woman South Prescribed Fire Project on April 6-10, 2022, utilizing both hand and aerial ignitions.
Partnerships: Fishlake National Forest (USFS), Utah Forestry, Fire, and State Lands (UFFSLs), Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR), Private Landowners, and Utah’s Watershed Restoration Initiative (WRI)
Planned Date: Spring, 2022; April 6th– June 15th
Location: This prescribed fire area is in a series of units east of the city of Salina and southwest of the community of Emery; located in the Salina Creek and the Old Woman Plateau area. The project area is comprised of Forest Service and private land that are part of the Old Woman Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit (CWMU) located in Sevier County.
Planned Action: To date, nearly 5,200 acres of mechanical work has been completed in the nearby vicinity. This work has primarily been aimed at removing pinyon and juniper trees from the sage, mountain brush, and oak communities that occur in the area. Prescribed fire treatments will be implemented across approximately 6,400 acres this spring, within Units 1-6 in a mosaic pattern to further reduce the pinyon and juniper cover and thus improve the overall habitat in the area. This important work is also being done to help reduce the risk of unwanted catastrophic wildfire.
- Reduce the risk of unwanted catastrophic wildfire on lands managed by the Forest Service, near communities, and in the Salina Creek watershed.
- Reduce the uncharacteristically high pinyon and juniper cover in the sage, mountain brush, and oak communities.
- Improve wildlife and rangeland habitats.
- Improve the overall conditions in the Salina Creek Watershed.
To protect public and firefighter safety during active fire operations, an area, road, and trail closure will be in effect at 00:00, on April 8, 2022, and will remain in effect until 21:00 on April 10, 2022 or until rescinded, whichever is earlier.
As of April 21, 2022, Fishlake National Forest-Richfield Ranger District (USFS) and Utah Forestry, Fire and State Lands (UFFSLs), in cooperation with private landowners, and assistance from the Bureau of Land Management-Color Country District (BLM), were able to apply fire and successfully burn 3,531 acres of private and USFS administered lands, on the Old Woman South Prescribed Fire Project.
The project area received 0.06″ of precipitation from a storm on April 22. Since then, fuel conditions have dried out enough for ignitions to continue. On April 28, crews plan to utilize aerial and ground firing techniques on eastern and western slopes, and between areas of previously burned southern slopes. Approximately 1,000-2,000 acres within units 6, 4, and possibly 3 will be burned in a mosaic pattern, to reduce pinyon and juniper cover, improve the overall habitat in the area, and help reduce the risk of unwanted catastrophic wildfire.
No ignitions are planned for Friday (April 29), as a cold front is forecasted over the project area. If conditions are favorable, aerial ignitions utilizing a Helitorch (an aerial ignition device hung from or mounted on a helicopter, to disperse ignited lumps of gelled gasoline) will continue Saturday, Sunday, and possibly Monday (April 30-May 2, 2022), focusing on units 1 and 3.