BLM plans to burn 250 acres of juniper cuttings near Rush Valley

Published: Monday, Dec. 10 2012 2:45 p.m. MST

RUSH VALLEY, Tooele County — An estimated 250 acres of juniper wood piles may be torched this week about five miles southwest of Rush Valley — rangeland debris that is left over from efforts to reduce wildfire hazards on federally owned land.

The Bureau of Land Management of Utah said the burnings, which are ideal this week because of the snow on the ground and cold temperatures, will happen over several days.

Cutting the juniper is a way to break up wide swaths of the conifer brush, which adapts easily to an arid landscape but fans large wildfires because it burns so fast and so hot.

BLM-Utah fire managers have completed similar thinning treatments over the last several years, which help restore sagebrush ecosystems in the area, as well as reduce wildfire risks.

Over the years, BLM-Utah fire managers have completed similar thinning treatments, which also help restore sagebrush ecosystems in the west desert area.

In the burnings planned this week, the agency said it plans to coordinate with the Utah Division of Air Quality to ensure proper conditions exist for smoke dispersal, and fire crews will monitor burn piles following ignition. 

Amy Joi O'Donoghue

Twitter: amyjoi16

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