Forest service to start prescribed burns in Chugach National Forest

Forest service to start prescribed burns in Chugach National Forest

A prescribed burn to improve moose habitat and reduce wildfire risk will begin later this month in the Chugach National Forest.

Slash piles created in winter 2016 will be burned across 80 acres of forest near Devil’s Pass trailhead, according to information provided by the U.S. Forest Service.

The burn is part of a Church National Forest Devil’s Pass area vegetation management project, which aims to reduce wildfire fuel created by recent spruce bark beetle infestations and to increase the availability of trees moose rely on during winter months.

Winter moose range is declining in the Quartz Creek Watershed because trees moose prefer, such as aspen, are maturing out of their reach, according to the forest service.

The forest service may burn 20-30 acres a day. Residual smoke may be visible for several days after each burn.

Smoke may affect areas east of Cooper Landing on Sterling Highway between Mile 40 and 42, as well as parts of the Seward Highway from Summit Lake to the intersection of Seward and Sterling Highways, between Mile 37 and 42.

Burning will take place from about March 12 to the end of the month.

Reach Erin Thompson at erin.thompson@peninsulaclarion.com

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