South Monroe Prescribed Fire Begins October 9 to Improve Forest Health and Wildlife Habitat and Collect Smoke Data

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Elizabeth Wharton


[email protected]

RICHFIELD, UT, October 8, 2023 – As part of the Monroe Mountain Aspen Ecosystems Improvement Project, the Fishlake National Forest will be conducting prescribed burning operations on Monroe Mountain during the October 9-12, 2023 timeframe. This important work is being done to improve forest health and wildlife habitat. The project will also allow the Fire and Smoke Modeling Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE) scientists to conduct smoke modeling research on-site.

Fire managers are planning to prescribe burn about 1,400 acres of aspen and mixed conifer in the area between Manning Meadows Reservoir and Upper Box Creek Reservoir. Fire managers plan to use a helicopter to help with the burn. The primary goal of this burn is to apply good fire to the fire-dependent aspen ecosystems in this area. Without fire, the aspen stands in this area will eventually die. This burn will also reduce the risk of bad catastrophic wildfire, improve overall forest health, enhance wildlife and rangeland habitats, and provide additional forage for a variety of animals that use the area.

This project also serves as an opportunity for researchers from NASA, Great Basin Science Exchange, and other agencies that are part of FASMEE to conduct research and work with Fishlake National Forest fire managers. The FASMEE is a multi-agency, interdisciplinary collaborative effort that works to identify and collect critical data that will give scientists and managers a better understanding of how fire and smoke behaves and its effects on firefighters health and the general population.

Ignitions will occur when the project can be undertaken safely and successfully. The National Weather Service is providing frequent updates and will be on site during the burn. Recent precipitation and colder temperatures have created favorable conditions for burning. Public and firefighter safety is always the number one priority in prescribed fire operations.

With big game hunts occurring, hunters and other people enjoying the fall weather and scenery should exercise caution and avoid the area. Monroe Mountain is a large area that provides many hunting opportunities away from the burn area. With time and recovery after the burn, the burn area will also provide much improved habitat for wildlife. 

A temporary area closure has been put into place by the Fishlake National Forest. See the closure and map for details. The Fishlake National Forest will reopen the area as soon as it’s safe to do so. 

This work is being done in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands, Utah’s Watershed Restoration Initiative, and FASMEE.

Prescribed fire updates and other fire-related information throughout the state of Utah can be found on Twitter @UtahWildfire, or by visiting Please follow the Fishlake National Forest on Twitter @FishlakeNF or Facebook, at U.S. Forest Service-Fishlake National Forest, for forest-related facts, news, photos, and updates. 

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