Forest Fire Burning Near Mackay Is A Prescribed Burn


By Paul Johnson

Mackay, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - On May 29, 2014, the Forest Service implemented portions of the White Knob Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project by igniting two prescribed fire units, totaling roughly 1,800 acres. This project is located approximately two (2) miles southwest of Mackay. This is a continuation of the White Knob Hazardous Fuels Project, which began in 2011 and includes prescribed fire, as well as thinning and logging trees. The purpose of the project is to reduce hazardous fuels within the City of Mackay municipal watershed and to reduce the risk of potential wildfire impacts to the watershed and historic mining structures within and adjacent to the project area. Prescribed burning was planned in nine units which total approximately 4,700 acres, of which approximately 3,000 acres have been treated.

The present forested and non-forested vegetation stand structures and species diversity is not presently in line with the desired future condition for these vegetative communities as outlined in the Challis Forest Plan. The desired results for this project are to bring the Mackay municipal watershed closer to historic and desired future conditions for forested and non-forested vegetation. An additional benefit is reducing the chance of severe, intense wildfire moving across the drainage threatening the municipal water supply for Mackay, as well as the historic mining values located throughout parts of the project area.

Smoke will continue to be present in the Cliff Creek drainage as well as Horseshoe Canyon until significant rainfall occurs or available fuels are consumed. These areas are being monitored by fire and fuels personnel from the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Action is taken as needed to achieve objectives.

The Lost River Ranger District has closed FR 532 from the bottom of Cliff Creek to Ausich Cabin to help ensure public and fire personnel safety.

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