Work on the Hebgen Basin Fuels Reduction Project on the Gallatin National Forest will begin this week outside of West Yellowstone. According to the Forest Service, the project will reduce the threat to life and property in the
wildland-urban interface areas near the Madison Arm of Hebgen Lake.
Treatments will reduce the risk of crown fire and wildland fire spread and
includes thinning trees to reduce crown closure and removing dead and down
fuels. Treatments will also help maintain evacuation routes for the
community of West Yellowstone along Highways 191 and 20. These highways
provide access to and from the city in the event that an evacuation related
to a large fire is needed. Project treatments include understory thinning,
commercial thinning, hand piling, and prescribed burning.
Over the last five years the Forest Service has implemented all aspects of the
project with the exception of the work needed to be accomplished by the
contractor. The commercial aspect of the project is the final component
needed in the Hebgen Basin area.
To ensure the safety of visitors the Forest is implementing a human entry closure while heavy equipment is working in the area. The southern boundary of the closure is the West Yellowstone town limits. The closure extends north to Mile Marker 2 on Highway 191 and is bounded on east by the Yellowstone National Park boundary and the west by State Highway 191.
For additional information contact the Hebgen Lake Ranger District
at (406) 823-6961.