Federal authorities have approved a plan to create a fuel break system along 271 miles of roads in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon intended to limit the size of destructive rangeland wildfires and protect habitat for sage grouse.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management in a decision announced Wednesday says the fuel breaks will be along existing roads on BLM-managed land in and around a 2015 rangeland wildfire that scorched about 436 square miles.
The area supports cattle grazing and some 350 species of wildlife, including sage grouse. The burned area is now the focus of a 5-year, $67 million rehabilitation effort.
Officials say the work is expected to begin this spring and will include seeding, mowing, chemical treatments and grazing in specific areas to reduce vegetation.