HYRUM — Residents who live in the south end of Cache Valley may notice heavy amounts of smoke near Blacksmith Fork Canyon, as authorities conduct a prescribed burn Wednesday and Thursday. The fires are burning in Richard’s Hollow, northeast of Left Hand Fork Canyon.
Toby Weed, with the U.S. Forest Service, said the 1,944 acre burn has been planned for years. It is intended to help regenerate aspen, reduce encroaching pine trees, and reduce hazardous fuels.
“We are targeting the conifer stands,” explained Weed. “If we are able to get the conifer stands to burn, we want to kill them. That will allow the aspens to take over. The other thing is, and this is true with most prescribed burns, it will reduce the potential for really big fires in the future.”
Smoke will be potentially heavy at times in Left Hand Fork Canyon and surrounding mountains. Smoke may also drift into the Hyrum and Bear Lake areas.
Weed said that during the prescribed burns, crews will be limiting access to trails and roads near where the fires are burning.
“We will have to close the Richard’s Hollow and the Cart Hollow trails Wednesday and possibly through Thursday. We are going to try and keep everything else in the area open. Those will be temporary closures, either for a few hours or maybe for the day. It is possible that we might have to do short closures on the Left Hand Fork road and the Herd Canyon road as well, but at this point we are going to try to leave everything open.”
Authorities are hoping to keep the fires on the hillsides above Richard’s Hollow, so as not to have too much of an impact on hunters or runners in the Bear 100 ultra-marathon, Friday and Saturday.