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Friday, August 18, 2017

Brush Creek Fire


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 18, 2017                         
Contact:
Kathleen Gorby
1405 Hollipark Drive
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
(208) 497-7270                      
kgorby@fs.fed.us

Brush Creek Fire

SODA SPRINGS, ID - The Brush Creek Fire was reported on Aug. 13, 2017. This 1/10 acre lighting caused fire is located on the Soda Springs Ranger District, Caribou-Targhee National Forest approximately 8 miles west-southwest of Freedom, Wyoming in the head of Brush Creek. The fire is currently burning in subalpine fir. This fire is being actively manage, allowing it to play its natural role in the forest ecosystem.

The Brush Creek Fire is very similar to last years’ Lanes Creek Fire and Tin Cup Fire and is located 300 yards away from last years’ Lanes Creek Fire.

The Lanes Creek Fire was discovered June 30, 2016 and was declared out Oct. 7, 2016, burning for a total of 100 days, covering 216 acres. The Tin Cup Fire was discovered Aug. 29, 2016 and was declared out Oct. 7, 2016, burning for a total of 40 days, covering 784 acres. Both fires were extinguished naturally by rain, snow and cold temperatures.

Naturally-occurring fires restore fire as an ecological process to achieve multiple land used and ecosystem objectives. Both the Tin Cup Fire and Lanes Creek Fire have had a number of positive outcomes on the forest, such as fuels reduction, improved wildlife habitat and Aspen tree regeneration. The forest services’ goal is to use the Brush Creek Fire to achieve similar ecosystem management objectives.

Natural fuels reduction is an important part of the lifecycle of a healthy forest. The lack of periodic fire in wild areas increases the risk of a catastrophic fire. Such high-intensity, destructive fires result for fuel accumulation. These types of fires may result in serious injuries or death for firefighters and the public, property loss or damage, damage to soil, watersheds and loss of plant and animal species and their habitats.

Wildlife also reaps the benefits of wildfires, fire produces a healthier, more productive habitat by killing the tops of woody plants such as conifers and willows, causing them to sprout from the base. The resulting shoots provide tender, nutritious browse for deer, elk and other animals.

Aspen tree regeneration could not happen without the assistance of fire or logging. These trees thrive on disturbance, warm soil and direct sunlight. Wildfires provide not only a disturbance source that will encourage new growth, but also remove large ground shading conifers that inhibit Aspen grown along with providing nutrients to the soil.

Fire managing doesn’t mean the fire is burning without human intervention: rather, fire resources are available to take action on the fire if it spreads to predetermine action points. The CTNF will manage the fire for protection of life, property and natural resource values and benefits.

There are two additional fires burning on the CTNF. The Maple Creek Fire and Maple Creek 2 Fire, are located southeast of Preston, ID on the Soda Springs Ranger District. The Maple Creek Fire was discovered June 25, 2017 and has burned a .5 acres. The Maple Creek 2 Fire was discovered July 22, 2017 and has burned a total of 2 acres. These fires are the result of lightning strikes and are being used for ecosystem management objectives.

-EIIFC-