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Sawtooth National Forest Fuels Management

The Sawtooth National Forest Fuels Management program focuses on: protecting communities within the Wildland Urban Interface as well as the surrounding environment, improving overall forest health, and reduce fuel concentrations. Our goals adhere to the National Fire Plan, and the Heathy Forest Restoration Act. Within these national directives, we follow regional and forest directives in implementing fuels reduction projects through Environmental Assessments or Categorical Exclusions through the Farm Bill. Once these projects go through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, we begin implementation. In the NEPA, we follow four basic types of fuel treatments within our established units: mechanical, prescribed fire, managing fire for resource benefit, and other.

Mechanical Treatments- consists of anything motorized such as chainsaws, dozers, masticators, and chippers.

picture of trees and fuels types

Prescribed Fire Treatments- involve igniting a fire under restricted and conditional criteria in order to restore conditions closer to historical levels. These would include but are not limited to broadcast burning and pile burning.

Managing Fire for Resource Benefit- these fires utilize natural ignitions (lightning) to promote fire in the natural settings in order to restore the landscape closer to what it what historically.


Other- treatments include seeding, replanting, and the use of chemicals (noxious weeds).

Throughout the year are duties include: NEPA writing including specialist’s reports, Prescribed Fire Burn Plan Writing, Writing Service Contracts, Smoke Management, Budget Analysis, Data Collection, Monitoring and Interpretation, and Database Management.

picture of trees and fuels types

Variety of fuel types in which we do treatments:

The Sawtooth National Forest has three permanent employees in fuels, two permanent seasonal employees (PSE), and seasonal employees (1039’s) to aid in our mission and goals. Our Fuels Crews tend to be self-sufficient and are also utilized in wildland fire operations. Fuel work includes prepping for prescribed burns, thinning and piling, project inspectors, prescribed fire implementation and vegetation data collection. Data collection includes: fuel moisture sampling, Brown’s transects, vegetation plots, and aspen stem counts. If you have further information on the Sawtooth National Forest Fuels Management please contact:



Josh Brinkley 
AFMO/ Fuels Planner 
Fairfield Ranger District
(208) 764-3262

Michelle Erdie
Zone Fuels Planner Ketchum RD & Sawtooth NRA
(208) 727-5036

Stacy Smith 
Fuels Planner 
Minidoka Ranger District
(208) 677-8302

Steve Clezie Forest Fuels Planner Supervisor's Office
(208) 737-3256