The Richfield Ranger District on the Fishlake National Forest plans to conduct a prescribed fire project in late October or early November near Annabella Reservoir. The project is a continuation of similar prescribed fires that have been implemented as part of the Monroe Mountain Aspen Ecosystem Restoration Project.
The purpose of this prescribed fire is to help restore aspen ecosystems by reducing conifer competition and stimulate new aspen sprouting across the landscape. Additionally, through the use of prescribed burning, hazardous fuel accumulations will be reduced, which in turn reduces the risk to life, property and natural resources, while promoting aspen regeneration, according to John Zapell, Forest Service public affairs officer.
The project area is located approximately nine air miles southeast of Richfield, near Annabella Reservoir on Cove Mountain.
Prescribed fire treatments will be implemented utilizing aerial and hand ignition over approximately 800 acres.
In conjunction with the prescribed fire, research scientists associated with the Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment will be onsite using a variety of instruments and ground measurements, including pre- and post-fire fuels inventories, ground and aerial-based Light Detection and Ranging, infrared sensors, fire hardened cameras, heat measuring instruments, weather balloons and smoke-sampling packages mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.
This array will be used to measure fuel loading, fuel consumption, fire behavior, heat release, plume dynamics, atmospheric profiles, smoke emissions and fire effects. The data gathered from these burns will be used to advance fire and smoke modeling systems.