The Idaho Department of Lands will be burning wood piles and slash Saturday along U.S. Highway 26.

The burning of potential fuel for wildfires is part of a 2015 agreement between Bonneville County and the Idaho Department of Lands. Dry summer conditions can reduce moisture in plant life, making it easier for wildfires to spread. Such burnings are typically held in winter months to reduce the chance that the fire will burn out of control.

“This is all part of a cooperative effort between several private property owners, Bonneville County, and the Idaho Department of Lands,” a news release from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office stated. “This project has been a joint effort to improve forest health in the Jack Branch and Booth Canyon areas, and along Highway 26, near Palisades Reservoir.”

Private landowners also burn fire fuel under the agreement, removing low hanging branches and forest debris that could make their property more vulnerable to fires.

The news release said drivers on Highway 26 should be careful, and that the smoke may reduce visibility depending on the weather.

Other burnings are planned for the next few days near the Palisades Reservoir by Summit Forests Inc., a forest management company based in Oregon.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.

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