The Highline Fire is burning on the Jackson Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest near Granite Creek. The fire was discovered Sunday, June 19, 2016 and is approximately 2/10
an acre and smoldering. Firefighters are managing this fire by allowing it
to play its natural role in our ecosystem.
"The Forest Service does not manage all wildfires the same way," said
Public Affairs Officer Mary Cernicek. "Response can range from monitoring
a fire that is beneficial to an ecosystem to aggressively putting out a
fire that threatens people or resources they need," she said.
"Wildland Fire Managers on the Bridger-Teton National Forest have the
option to manage naturally ignited fires to achieve resource benefits where
fire is a major component of the ecosystem," said Cernicek. "The forest
has specific pre-stated resource management objectives in predefined
geographic areas and fires like the Highline Fire can be useful in helping
those objectives be accomplished," she said.
Using fire on the landscape can burn off surface fuels in the burn area,
helping to create a more natural situation for the fuels in the area, and
helping to decrease the likelihood of a high-intensity fire in the future.
Removing fire from the landscape can cause ecosystems that need periodic
fire to become unhealthy: trees are stressed by overcrowding,
fire-dependent species disappear, and flammable fuels build up and become
Healthy, thriving ecosystems are less vulnerable to extreme fires that can
devastate watersheds, destroy wildlife habitat, and risk lives. Healthy
ecosystems can adapt to climate change, invasive species, and insect
"Reducing flammable vegetation to restore ecosystems is important, but it
is not enough," said Cernicek. "Wildfire does not stop at property
boundaries. Communities must prepare for it', she said. To help
communities near wildlands, the Forest Service provides grants to train
firefighters, buy firefighting equipment, and develop community wildfire
protection plans. "We couldn't be as successful without the support of the
Counties, communities and partnerships like what we have with Teton
Interagency Fire", she said.
Feature Photo: BTNF / Pitchengine Communities