Fire moves toward Elko

Flames and smoke from a wildfire move toward Elko after the wind shifted Sept. 7.

JEFFRY MULLINS, Elko Daily Free Press

RENO – A Bureau of Land Management meeting to collect input on creating fuel breaks and restoring sagebrush habitiat is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the High Desert Inn.

Following one of the most destructive wildfire seasons in history, the Bureau of Land Management is planning public meetings in six western states to gather comments on two proposals.

One will analyze fuels breaks, which slow the advance of wildfire and thereby reduce the threat to life and property, among other benefits. The other will analyze restoration work of burned areas, with an emphasis on replacing invasive species with native and other species more conducive to sagebrush-steppe health.

Future projects will involve Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah and California.

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The environmental impact statements are being conducted on a “programmatic” level to “provide standard analyses for fuels breaks and restoration projects, thereby reducing the need for in-depth evaluation on an individual project basis,” according to the BLM.

“The fuel break PEIS will help us to limit the size of wildfires and provide better protection for the public and firefighters,” said BLM Nevada State Director John Ruhs. “The restoration PEIS will speed the recovery of burned areas, helping the vegetation to recover faster and minimize the disruption of local economies.”

BLM will accept comments until March 1. Comments may be submitted in writing at the public meetings, by email at GRSG_PEIS@blm.gov or by fax at 208-373-3805. Written comments may also be sent via mail to Jonathan Beck, BLM Idaho State Office, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Boise, ID 83709.

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