(City of Pocatello Press Release, December 9, 2022)
The City of Pocatello plans to conduct wildfire fuels mitigation on approximately 70 acres of City-owned gullies located east of Satterfield Drive. The gullies are located off Summit, Granite, Ridgewood, Shadowpines, and Satterfield Drive. This project is funded with a US Forest Service Western States Fire Managers Grant.
The project will start December 14, 2022, and is anticipated to be completed by March 1, 2023. Junipers in some areas will be chipped (masticated), while in other areas, the trees will be piled up for future burning (lop and pile) or chopped up into 3’ lengths and scattered (lop and scatter). The Pocatello Fire Department will burn the slash piles when weather permits, likely in winter 2023/spring 2024.
Based on input received at our September 2022 open house and follow-up discussion with agency professionals, trees will be thinned into groups of 1-6 trees, with 20-30’ between each group of trees (see map). This work will help to reduce the potential of a significant wildfire.
The project aims to reduce the dense ladder fuels on City property in the Wildland-Urban Interface areas of the East Bench. The project includes the removal of juniper trees and other vegetation through mastication, lop and scatter, and piles. The gullies will also be seeded with native grasses and flowers to provide improved habitat for area deer and other wildlife.
While the project is underway, please stay out of the gullies. These areas will be marked with signs saying “AREA CLOSED.” Landowners adjacent to the project areas can expect to see and hear crews working Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a job foreman on site while work is being conducted.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Fuels Project Manager at High Country RC&D at 208-710-0763. For more information, please visit pocatello.us/eastbench.