Managed fire on Tavaputs Plateau
Starting Wednesday, June 11th, the Utah Division of
Forestry will ignite a prescribed fire on land overloaded with dead and
dying timber. The operation is taking place on more than 1,000 acres of
state and private land in the Tavaputs Mountains of Carbon County. The
closest burn area is seven miles northeast of the town of Sunnyside. The
fire will be ignited aerially via helicopter or "helitorch". Hand crews and
fire engines will manage the fire's spread and confine it to the prescribed
Fire managers and local public safety officials are hopeful that the public
is aware of the burn so 911 call centers are not flooded with calls as the
operation proceeds. Smoke will be visible from the surrounding valleys, but
fire managers plan to ignite small, separate parcels to keep smoke
production to acceptable levels. Most of the smoke and flames will be
limited to the next 4-5 days. Smoke may be visible in the following weeks,
but crews will monitor the fire and keep it contained to the prescribed
areas until it is out.
Land managers are anticipating a productive fire that will consume the
buildup of dead trees. The burning will simulate the natural occurrence of
fire which promotes healthy, new growth and greater plant diversity. Not
only will the reduction in built up fuel benefit the ecosystem, it will
also reduce the severity of future wildfires in the area.
The fire area is east of Range Valley Mountain Road. Caution is advised as
traffic from fire vehicles can be expected on all roads near Bruin Point.
To ensure public safety, access to Range Valley Mountain Road will be
closed at Bruin Point.