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April 4, 2007
Contact: Rey Adame


BLM Resumes Salt Wells Basin Prescribed Burn

The BLM Western Zone Fire Management Team will pick up the Salt Wells Basin Prescribed Fire where they left off in March. The BLM will resume the prescribed fire operation starting Thursday, April 5.

"We had a good start on the Salt Wells Basin burn, but a cold front which brought snow and rain in late March cut us short from reaching our goal of 9,000 acres," said Kyle Cowan, Fire Management Officer for the BLM’s Western Zone. "Conditions are looking favorable starting on Thursday," he added.

The prescribed burn is completely within the Salt Wells grazing allotment. This week’s burn is a continuation of last year’s effort, which was also shortened because of bad weather. So far, the BLM has managed to treat more than 6,500 acres of the targeted 9,000 acres.

The remainder of this project is expected to take 2-3 days. The BLM would like to thank the public land users in advance for their cooperation with this important public land management activity.

Salt Wells Basin prescribed burn is located approximately 30-35 miles south of Rock Springs. Project is lined by Highway 191 on the west, the top of Mellor Mountain on the north, Salt Wells Creek on the east, the Salt Wells/Pine Mountain allotment boundary fence on the southeast and Red Creek rim on the south

Some temporary closures of Sweetwater County roads 34 and 27 can be expected. Closures will occur only as needed and will be at major intersections. Travel on Highway 191 South should be uninterrupted. BLM asks that all travelers in the area slow down and use caution from Highway 191 milepost 25 to milepost 35. Given prevailing and forecasted wind direction the BLM does not expect smoke to be a problem for those using Highway 191, but be prepared to slow down or stop should smoke conditions limit visibility.

The BLM plans to treat approximately 9,000 acres of sagebrush/mountain shrub and aspen vegetation types within a 35,000 acre burn block. Project objectives are to improve watershed condition and fisheries habitat conditions in upper Sage Creek, reduce hazardous fuels, and improve terrestrial wildlife habitat. Grazing permittees in the allotment have agreed to rest the project area from livestock grazing for two years after the treatment.

Should favorable weather conditions prevail the BLM also plans to treat approximately 600 acres of federal and state lands in Vermillion Creek on the north slope of Pine Mountain. The project will occur within the Vermillion Creek Special Use Riparian pasture of the Pine Mountain grazing allotment.

The treatment will consist of burning Grass Group 1 (short grass foot), Brush Group (brush 2 feet) sagebrush, sagebrush/mountain shrub and riparian vegetation types to improve watershed and wildlife habitat conditions.

For more information, call the BLM at 307-352-0399.