Fourth of July ridge fire

Why would you do a control burn fire with helicopters and man camps in commissary ridge 4 th July ridge durning middle of bull season why wasn't the hunters aware of this while they were buying tag that unit is tuff enough with all the people and lack access
This is acutally a pretty good question and is bigger than just the Commissary Ridge area as controlled fires (fires actually ignited for a management purpose) can occur just about anywhere. Controlled fires are a fairly complex topic but their purpose is one that hunters and wildlife enthusiasts should applaude. They are most often designed to improve wildlife habitat in the long-term. There is nothing that does a better job at maintaining and improving habitat than fire in the right place and at the right time.  In general, controlled burns  require considerable preparation and planning. Once all of that is accomplished, the actual project is subject to weather conditions that create a narrow window when the project can be completed. Wind, moisture, humidity, and more all have to be within a "prescription" in order to proceed with the fire. Timing, therefore, is a major consideration and waiting for all the conditions to line up can be frustrating. Some years it just doesn't happen at all. Other times, the window for burning is small and requires quick action in order to accomplish the objective. In the case of the Commissary Ridge area of eastern Idaho, this burn is part of a much larger habitat improvement project conducted by the US Forest Service. This project has been in the implementation phase for nearly 10 years and is specifically targeting aspen regeneration, a very important component of wildlife habitat. Each year, a different portion of the project area is prepared for burning, often by felling a number of the conifer trees and letting them get to the "red needle" stage so that the fire will actually burn through the otherwise fire resistent aspens. Projects have always been conducted in autumn because that is when conditions finally become conducive to burning and also because it is outside of wildlife nesting and fawn/calf rearing dates.  It is unfortunate that these efforts to improve habitat also sometimes coincide with big game hunting seasons. Every effort is made to avoid conflicts with hunters yet with hunting seasons running from August 30 to the end of November, it is impossible to avoid all conflicts. When all the many pieces come together for a project long in planning a preparation, managers must take advantage of that . Hunters should realize that these burns, while annoying in the short-term, help to sustain wildlife populations and provide better hunting in the long-term. 
Answered on: 
Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 12:06 PM MDT