Trails, campgrounds in Wasatch Mountains close during controlled burns
The U.S. Forest Service has closed trails near Lambs Canyon through the middle of October while it burns slash piles.
The Forest Service has been burning slash piles in Lambs Canyon for the past few days as part of a watershed restoration project, focused on protecting the Salt Lake Valley’s drinking water.
The slash pile burning comes with trail closures. The Lambs Canyon Trail and the adjacent Mount Aire Trail in Millcreek Canyon will be closed until Oct. 14, unless the Forest Service announces otherwise.
That will give the Forest Service time to complete the prescribed burns. As spokesperson Sierra Hellstrom explains, the Forest Service waits for Goldilocks conditions, when the piles can ignite but not burn out of control.
“It has to be the right temperature, the right relative humidity—incoming precipitation helps,” she said. “We test the fuel moistures and the conditions in the area, as well as the air quality and many other factors.”
The stars aligned over the past few days, which were cold and wet. The next few days will be warmer and dryer, so the Forest Service is pausing the burns in Lambs Canyon.
“We may get back into that prescription, or those favorable conditions, and be able to start again [Oct. 8], possibly [Oct. 9],” Hellstrom said.
In the meantime, she said, the Forest Service will start burns between Spruces Campground and Jordan Pines Campground in Big Cottonwood Canyon, closing those campgrounds. The burns are also intended to protect the watershed.
Burns are anticipated to continue through late October. For the latest updates on prescribed burns and related closures, check the Facebook page for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.