Central fuelbreak completed, New Harmony begins

Central/New Harmony fuelbreak project September 2014-May 2015, Central, Utah, circa September-November, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Dixie National Forest, St. George News
ST. GEORGE — The Central/New Harmony fuelbreak project is underway. The contractor began work Sept. 24 near Central and the 302-acre fuelbreak has been completed. Contractors will soon begin work in New Harmony, where 1,650 acres is slated to be completed near the end of May 2015, weather permitting.
Central/New Harmony fuelbreak project September 2014-May 2015 | Image courtesy of Dixie National Forest, St. George News
Central/New Harmony fuelbreak project September 2014-May 2015 | Image courtesy of Dixie National Forest, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

“Creating a more robust fuelbreak around the communities of Central and New Harmony will allow firefighters to safely and more aggressively fight fire threatening these communities,” said Skeet Houston, the Pine Valley Ranger District assistant fire management officer in charge of fuels treatments.

The purpose of the project is to remove heavy concentrations of fuel on Forest Service land to decrease fire behavior in the event that a wildfire is threatening the communities of Central and New Harmony. This phase of the project will be performed by heavy equipment (mastication) and chain saws (thin and pile).  Some hand piles will be created and burned at a later date.
Aerial seeding will soon be occurring in both Central and New Harmony. This will involve fixed wing aircraft flying at low altitude while releasing seed over the fuelbreaks in an effort to replace highly combustible cheatgrass with less flammable vegetation.


  • For questions pertaining to the Central New Harmony Fuel Breaks please contact the Pine Valley Ranger District at 435-652-3100.

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1 Comment

  • Lillith70 November 15, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    One of the human psyche tragedies of being ruled from afar is the heritage lost in the blink of an eye by a “managed” fire that descends from a government run wilderness for one thing. The second thing is to be left out of the planning that affects our very close mountains.

    New harmony had two icons to span the generations and were to be used as such in an formation center. One was the Big pine of pioneer lore, the other the snow flowers that grow in profusion on the face of Lawson’s Cliff where the Big Pine grew from a seed washed down a mountain stream.

    The Big pine figured in the John D. Lee story, his family’s prosperous anad peaceful time between the Fort and Johnston’s Army invasion scare and the exile or call to make Lee’s Ferry on the dry Paria. The Big Pine was near the Lee farm and Emma Lee wanted a cabin built near it.

    Native Americans and pioneer children may have played beneath her branches in grass by a small stream. For certain the later pioneers who were major influence after lee left in 1870 was the Redd’s and Pace’s his southern converts from Tennessee. A large flood in the late 1800’s was once thought to have split the flood and saved the Lee brick duplex that was finished by Lemuel Redd for his large family. It was the natural terrain and stream beds that split the huge debris flow-a rock and debris flow that even after being split was high enough to deposit boulders around the pine and knock the lower branches off.

    The Big Pine and the snow flowers were written of in “Under The Dixie Sun” by Viola Woodbury Kelsey, the best thing that ever came out of Dixie to grace New Harmony.

    The Lee farm was purchased by the Lemuel Redd family from John D. Lee. When Fort Harmony #2, the adobe fort and present historical site was reduced to a mud pile in the storms of winter 1861-62

    When the wilderness fire descended the mountain and speedily took the Big Pine due to the lack of moisture since the dry lightning strike that was let burn, the sloping east facing sun-baked mountains faces despite the plentiful winter snow on top the mountain by which the Forest Service gauged the plan to let ‘er burn, a retardant drop on the pine wasn’t the first thought as the fire sped town ward.

    We had a wonderful friend and New Harmonyite in Julie Woods EMT trained and transplanted from Vegas. As the fire, a back fire roared like a freight train a night or so later near the Lawson Hill unburned and pioneer east face of Lawson where the snow flowers grew for the Pioneer children to pick and the school children up until 1857 would take Easter time school outings, Julie called in the retardant drop that saved the ecological setting of the snow flowers. The majority of Lawson Hill to the west had burned earlier.

    The Forest Service has closed of, fenced off all the historic pioneer roads around New Harmony. Now they need to take all the trees off their side of the property line on Lawson to keep the natives from walking on it?

    New Harmony needs to apply to Governor Gary Herbert to write an executive order to make a personal protectorate for the small, powerless town?

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