ST. GEORGE — Much of the wood from the trees burned in this summer’s devastating Brian Head Fire is still useful, and the U.S. Forest Service is proposing a timber salvage along roads in the burn area.
Officials from the Cedar City Ranger District say standing dead trees comprising mostly ponderosa pine and incidental amounts of spruce, fir and aspen have merchantable value if they are harvested before succumbing to insects and disease.
The project proposal also cites public health and safety concerns, as some of the trees are along highly traveled routes and may produce road hazards.
The first phase of the project falls within approximately 250 acres of Dixie National Forest in Iron and Garfield counties. The project area is located southeast of Brian Head and northwest of Panguitch Lake along state Route 143 and Forest Service Road 050.
The salvage project is under review by the Cedar City Ranger District. The project is expected to go forward after an analysis concludes Dec. 1.
“The first analysis addresses the first couple hundred acres, but there will be more coming later – maybe a thousand-plus acres,” Richard Jaros of the Cedar City Ranger District said.