LAS VEGAS – Bureau of Land Management fire managers are anticipating favorable weather conditions for pile burning on BLM-managed public land along the Muddy River, approximately 5.5 miles northwest of Moapa. The prescribed fire is anticipated to commence on February 4 or 5 on 200 piles on 20 acres of BLM managed public land where invasive tamarisk has been thinned and piled as part of an ongoing effort by the BLM Southern Nevada District to reduce hazardous fuels for the surrounding community.
In 2013, BLM began restoration efforts on 204 acres along the Muddy River, formally the Perkins Ranch. During the restoration process, invasive tamarisk was cut down and stumps treated with herbicide to prevent the regrowth of tamarisk in the project area. Most of the cut vegetation was either chipped or hauled away. The remaining tamarisk that was not accessible by roads was piled so that it could be removed by prescribed fire. In January 2017, prescribed fire was used to remove 250 piles of tamarisk in a 20-acre area. In January 2018, prescribed fire was used to remove 100 piles of tamarisk in a 100-acre area.
With the cooler temperatures and increased precipitation of fall and winter, fire managers anticipate using prescribed fire to remove additional piles of dead tamarisk. The prescribed fire will follow a prescribed fire burn plan, which considers weather, moisture of the vegetation, conditions for the dispersal of smoke, and a low risk of fire spreading to the adjacent landscape.
Twenty firefighters will be assisting with the prescribed fire, including two who will work overnight to ensure the prescribed fire is confined to the piled tamarisk. Resources on-site will also include three fire engines and two UTVs with fire suppression equipment.