National fire management strategy over the past several years has undergone enormous changes and the CCFZ program has restructured to meet the challenge of expanding goals and objectives. In general, the fire management program administers the following activities for the three field offices: fire suppression and aviation; fuels management including prescribed fire and non-fire landscape treatments; post-wildfire emergency stabilization and rehabilitation; and fire prevention and mitigation. The CCFZ collaborates in all aspects of fire management with local and federal agencies including the National Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Utah State Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, and community and county partners. Details about ongoing and planned fuels management activities in the Moab Field Office can be found by clicking on the fuels management section of this website. Up-to-date information on wildland fires in the Canyon Country Fire Zone can be found at the Utah Fire Information website.
Moab Field Office Fire Management
The 1.8 million acres of public lands within the Moab Field Office engage many aspects of the Canyon Country Fire Zone program. The public lands within the field office area average 58 fires a year, burning an average total of 13,000 acres each year. However, the average acres burned is affected by several significant catastrophic fires, in particular the Rattle Complex of 2002 which burned over 90,000 acres in the Book Cliffs, the northern portion of the Moab Field Office. When a wildland fire does occur, fire management decisions must consider a variety of resources particular to the Moab Field Office such as the high number of recreation areas, critical riparian and threatened and endangered species habitat, several wilderness study areas, and oil and gas development, just to name a few.
Recent development and home building in the greater Moab and Castle Valley areas also presents a challenge for fire managers. The wildland/urban interface (WUI) between private and public lands requires a management response to wildland fire that will protect human life and private property while also considering potential benefits to public lands from the natural ecological process of wildland fire. The CCFZ fuels program collaborates on projects to mitigate hazardous fuels on public lands in and around the twelve communities in the Moab Field Office area that have been identified as at risk from wildland fire.
Since 2001, thousands of acres of hazardous fuels have been treated in the Moab Field Office area through the use of prescribed fire and by mechanical means such as hand thinning and brushhog [bullhog]. More information on the fuels program as well as other aspects of CCFZ management activities can be found by clicking in the box on the upper right side of this page.