Park Service proposes spraying fire site

Park Service proposes spraying fire site

18 September 2006

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Zion National Park — National Park Service officials are seeking comments on an environmental assessment on the impact of the aerial application of herbicide on the area burned during the Kolob Fire.

The human-caused Kolob Fire started on June 24 and burned 10,615 acres within the park in the North Creek watershed.

The proposed aerial application of herbicide on up to 10,280 acres is intended to interrupt the grass-fire cycle that is perpetuated by cheatgrass, a non-native, highly flammable grass. Cheatgrass increases in abundance and density after fire. As cheatgrass continues to invade and increase after each fire, the time between fires becomesshorter.

The National Park Service proposes to treat the burned area with the herbicide Plateau, which targets cheatgrass, reducing the growth of cheatgrass which reduces the fine fuels that carry wildland fires.

Plateau has shown a very low toxicity to humans, fish and wildlife, and does not remain in the soil. Because of the remote and rough terrain in the burn area, helicopter application of the herbicide is proposed.

For additional information about the proposed action, Zion National Park will be hosting an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Virgin Town Hall, 101 Mill Street in Virgin.


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