|The fire in the Jungle clears out old debris to make way for new growth. Burn area at Rush Pond and Big Mountain.|
Mesia Nyman and Brandon Hoffman of the US Forest Service Ferron Ranger District presented an update concerning the Jungle fire at public lands meeting recently. This particular prescribed burn has been waiting since 1996 for the right conditions to do the job. Several times in the past years, ignition has been attempted, but with little or no results.
On June 28, during the hottest time of the summer and during the driest conditions, a heliotorch was brought in and several spots were hand ignited and the burn was on. "It was like the burn read our plans," said Hoffman. "It burned exactly where we wanted it to go and it self ignited in all the right spots."
Nyman stated on July 3, late in the evening, the fire did escape containment and was listed as a wildfire for a short time before the crews regained control. "The purpose of this prescribed burn was to clean up deadfall in the Jungle area, and to regenerate aspen growth. Our objectives were met, and now with a little clean up of snags near the roadway, we may open the road within the week," said Nyman.
|Burn area north of Rush Pond looking northeast.|
Hoffman added that OHVs are asked to stay off the trails in the area of Singleton Flat and Indian Creek for at least four-six weeks to allow crews to remove the dangerous snags. These trees are over the trails and they do not want anyone to be in danger of a tree fall. "Safety of the public is our number one concern now," he said. "We had a lot of risk with this fire, being the hottest time of the summer so far, and it is so dry, but everything worked perfectly. In two-three years, the aspen regrowth will be 12 feet tall. The area is so wet that regrowth will do very well."
Nyman added the BAER (burn area emergency rehabilitation) crew will be in the area making assessments. They will assess the soil damage and level of sterility. This will help the Forest Service to project regrowth in the fire area.
Following the update, the Emery County Public Lands Council and Rick Larsen of the Utah Division of Wildlife Control thanked the Forest Service for their cooperation during this burn. Everyone involved was given updates and those parties considered this burn very successful. The final total of burned acres is 5,333. This figure is as close as the GPS numbers can get.