Central/New Harmony fuelbreak project September 2014-May 2015, Central, Utah, circa September-November, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Dixie National Forest, St. George News
ST. GEORGE — The Central/New Harmony fuelbreak project is underway. The contractor began work Sept. 24 near Central and the 302-acre fuelbreak has been completed. Contractors will soon begin work in New Harmony, where 1,650 acres is slated to be completed near the end of May 2015, weather permitting.
“Creating a more robust fuelbreak around the communities of Central and New Harmony will allow firefighters to safely and more aggressively fight fire threatening these communities,” said Skeet Houston, the Pine Valley Ranger District assistant fire management officer in charge of fuels treatments.
The purpose of the project is to remove heavy concentrations of fuel on Forest Service land to decrease fire behavior in the event that a wildfire is threatening the communities of Central and New Harmony. This phase of the project will be performed by heavy equipment (mastication) and chain saws (thin and pile). Some hand piles will be created and burned at a later date.
Aerial seeding will soon be occurring in both Central and New Harmony. This will involve fixed wing aircraft flying at low altitude while releasing seed over the fuelbreaks in an effort to replace highly combustible cheatgrass with less flammable vegetation.
For questions pertaining to the Central New Harmony Fuel Breaks please contact the Pine Valley Ranger District at 435-652-3100.