Two prescribed fires were ignited by different agencies Sunday — both with similar goals.

The Utah Department of Natural Resources oversaw a fire on Cove Mountain, near Big Lake, that was ignited to burn some 80 acres.

“We had actually cut the fuel break four or five years ago,” said Matt Christensen, wildland urban interface coordinator for the DNR. “We just didn’t have a burn window until now.”

The goals of the project are to help with fuels buildup, spur aspen regeneration and help create defensible space around private property in the area. 

“We’re actually burning on private land,” Christensen said.

The DNR paid area fire departments to help ignite and monitor the fire Sunday and Monday. 

“We have a lot of volunteer firefighters up here helping with the project,” Christensen said. The burn includes volunteer firefighters from Richfield, Elsinore and Sanpete County. 

From the floor of the Sevier Valley, the smoke from the DNR fire was the most northern plume, coming off of Cove Mountain. 

The southern plume, originating from the south side of Monroe Mountain, was part of a project undertaken by Fishlake National Forest. 

The 270-acre prescribed south Monroe fire project will be ongoing through Saturday, Nov. 9, depending on weather conditions, said Jill Ivie, Central Utah Interagency Fire range technician.

In all, the plan is to burn between 1,200-2,000 acres located in Piute County —and approximately eight miles west of Greenwich, according to Ivie.

“Ignition areas include Langdon Mountain, Big Table and Bean Hill,” Ivie said. “Hand ignitions using drip torches will be used on Sunday and possibly on Monday. 

Helitorch ignitions are planned for later in the week if burning conditions are right.”

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