ENVIRONMENT

Firefighters burn invasive phragmites in Ogden Bay

Apr 13, 2024, 5:30 AM

Crews started to burn approximately 2,000 acres of invasive phragmites in the Ogden Bay Wildlife Management Area Friday. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

(Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

OGDEN BAY — Crews started to burn approximately 2,000 acres of invasive phragmites in the Ogden Bay Wildlife Management Area Friday.

It’s a needed dramatic approach to remove the invasive weed.

To do these prescribed burns, they need to have conditions that are just right, not too moist so that the Phragmites will burn, but not too dry so that the fire would burn out of control.

The weeds were burned in a wetland set aside for wildlife where those phragmites are taking over.

Kelly Wickens with the Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands said, “It tends to choke out nesting areas and other native plants.” That’s why her group and the Department of Natural Resources are taking this aggressive approach.

The tall weeds also drink lots of water which impacts the Great Salt Lake.

“Prior to burning, we sprayed the area with herbicide.  That helps weaken the phragmites,” Wickens said.

Crews used airboats and off terrain vehicles to navigate the weeks. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

Now with the spring phase of the operation, comes the burn. Wildland fire crews from multiple agencies across Weber and Box Elder counties took off in airboats and off-road vehicles to cross the wetlands.

Read the full story and more from Mike Anderson on KSLTV.com.

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Firefighters burn invasive phragmites in Ogden Bay