Prescribed Fire Project Update

May 13, 2010
Weather permitting, Teton interagency fire personnel and Grand Teton National Park natural resource managers plan to burn a 310-acre Elbo East unit on Saturday, May 15.

This unit is part of a 4,000-acre native rangeland restoration project along Grand Teton’s east boundary with the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The Elbo East burn will be conducted in lieu of the planned Elbo West burn that was originally schedule for this spring. Park personnel discovered a sharp-tailed grouse lek (a mating arena) on the Elbo West burn site, postponing the burn until grouse are no longer using this breeding site.

This project involves a multistage effort to convert pasture land back to native vegetation as part of the 2007 Bison and Elk Management Plan for the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park.

Located southeast of the Teton Science Schools’ Kelly campus and Ditch Creek Road, the Elbo East burn unit was an irrigated hayfield prior to the 1970s. Despite a decades-long recovery time, non-native grasses and a host of noxious weeds still dominate the area.

Firefighters will only ignite burn units when favorable weather and fire behavior conditions exist. Smoke will be evident during the day of the burn and may persist for several days after, especially in mountain valleys during early morning and evening hours.

Local residents and visitors should be aware that minimal traffic restrictions may occur during the burn for safety concerns and fire equipment access.