The following is a press release from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office.
November 29, 2018
Bonneville County, Idaho -- Starting on Saturday, December 1st, and for several days thereafter, residents and travelers in the Palisades area and along Hwy 26 (Swan Valley Hwy) may see burning and smoke covered areas due to a prescribed burn of wood piles and slash materials left over from previous fuels reduction projects in the area.
This is all part of a cooperative effort between several private property owners, Bonneville County, and the Idaho Department of Lands. This project has been a joint effort to improve forest health in the Jack Branch and Booth Canyon areas, and along Hwy 26, near Palisades Reservoir. The project has been in progress over the last few years, culminating in the burning of several acres of trimmed and removed forest debris.
The burning will take place on private property along Hwy 26, between the Blowout Boat Launch and Indian Creek Road.
Motorists traveling through this area may experience brief periods of lower visibility over the roadway depending on weather conditions. We urge drivers to slow down and use appropriate caution in those areas and avoid traveling directly in or around areas affected by the burn.
As mentioned above these are prescribed burn events, but as always, we ask the public to report any unattended fires or smoke to the Idaho Falls/Bonneville County Dispatch at (208) 529-1200, so appropriate resources can be dispatched to investigate.
In 2015 Bonneville County entered into an agreement for grant funding with Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) to complete fuels mitigation and forest health improvements to private lands. Several landowners in the Jack Branch – Booth Canyon areas took advantage of forest management activities such as limbing (removal of low branches), thinning of dead and live trees, piling and pile burning. These efforts serve to improve forest health, protect property values-residences, and improve life safety for firefighters and residents in the event of a wildland fire. Additionally, fuels mitigation treatments increase the probability of private values surviving a wildfire event by decreasing fire behavior and providing for improved wildfire and incident management response.
Bonneville County, High Country RC&D Area, Inc. and Summitt Forests, Inc. are coordinating efforts to complete pile burning as the final treatment step for several private landowners within the Indian Creek drainage, east of Palisades Reservoir. Slash piles created during mitigation efforts will be burned by Summitt Forests, Inc. fire management personnel over the next several days. Pile burning is typically conducted in the fall/early winter, with moisture on the ground, to provide greater security from fire creeping away from the ignited piles. Completion of the project will meet goals found in the Bonneville County Wildfire Protection Plan.
Smoke may be visible from Highway 26 or local area residents during ignition operations.