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Pocatello wildfire fuel mitigation project begins

The Two and a Half Fire near Chubbuck burned around 8,700 acres in 2022. | Courtesy BLM Idaho Fire
POCATELLO — The city of Pocatello will begin an East Bench wildfire fuel mitigation project Wednesday.
Funded by the U.S. Forest Service Western Fire Managers Grant, the project will see the removal of junipers from around 70 acres of city-owned gullies. The project is expected to be completed by March 1, according to a news release from the city.
“Based on input received at our September 2022 open house and follow-up discussion with agency professionals, trees will be thinned into groups of one to six trees, with 20 to 30 feet between each group of trees,” the release says. “This work will help to reduce the potential of a significant wildfire.”
Last year, four major fires in and around Pocatello — the Two and a Half, Gap, Ross Fork, and Michaud Creek fires — burned an estimated 15,626 acres, or roughly 24.5 square miles. Mitigation projects like this are designed to limit any potential fire’s ability to spread.
Some of the removed junipers will be chipped, while others will be trimmed to be scattered or burned by the Pocatello Fire Department when the weather permits.

The project map viewable at the city website — Red areas indicates junipers that will be chipped. Junipers in the blue area will be trimmed and scattered while junipers in the green areas will be piled for burn. | Courtesy City of Pocatello
Residents who live in the areas around the mitigation project — as seen in the image above — can expect to see city crews working Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Gullies covered by the mitigation project will be marked with area closed signs. All residents are asked to stay away from these areas.
This project has been designed to clear wildfire fuels by clearing out junipers and other invasive vegetation. Once these areas are cleared, the city will seed native grasses and flowers to improve the habitat for local wildlife.
The post Pocatello wildfire fuel mitigation project begins appeared first on East Idaho News.

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