Dollar Ridge Burn Scar Showing Remarkable Regrowth

Jul 8, 2019, 9:06 PM | Updated: 11:08 pm

DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah – A year after the massive Dollar Ridge fire erupted and burned more than 70,000 acres, signs of life are returning to the landscape.

And wildlife biologists with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are encouraged at what they are seeing – wild flowers and green grass, amid the remnants of burnt brush that covers acres and acres of land burned by fire.

“Going from completely scorched land that looked like Mars and today and it’s just amazing – grass and vegetation created awesome wildlife habitat,” said Derrick Ewell, a wildlife biologist with the DWR.

In addition to the property lost, including cabins and RV’s, there was a lot of concern for big game and other wildlife, in such a vast area destroyed.

But tracking technology and trail cameras gave biologists a much different perspective on how animal life was impacted.

“We did have GPS collars up there for moose and elk and they actually stayed in the area. When it was immediately burning right there they left, but then they came right back,” he said.

Much of the land naturally blossomed, thanks to the wet spring. 13,000 acres were part of a re-seeding project last fall.

But not all of the burn scar is on the road to recovery. In areas of steep rocky terrain, it will take years, perhaps decades for the land to heal.

“The major focus for the rehabilitation for the next several years is going to be on the Strawberry River in snow there were debris flows the road above Timber Canyon and Strawberry River has been washed out it needs to be rebuilt,” said Tory Mathis, a rehabilitation biologist for the DWR.

However, the long-term effect for wildlife is expected to be good, generating improved habitat for wildlife.
“I anticipate that over the next couple years and probably for the next decade, this fire is going to increase the health of the deer and elk her” Ewell added.

As people begin to return to this area to recreate, officials are warning people to watch out for thunderstorms this summer and fall that could produce heavy rain and trigger flash flooding throughout many areas of this burn scar.


KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A human-caused wildfire in southern Utah is now contained thanks to a quick response from air and g...

Cimaron Neugebauer

Fast-acting fire crews contain New Harmony fire in southern Utah

A human-caused wildfire in southern Utah is now contained thanks to a quick response from air and ground resources, says a fire official.

22 hours ago

Raven is a trained service dog...

Erin Cox

Service animal removed from grocery store. Does the ADA allow that?

A Utah woman says her normal trip to Harmons didn't go as planned and the store broke the law by turning away her service animal.

22 hours ago

Mormon cricket...

Shara Park

Millions of Mormon crickets invade Elko, NV

Millions of Mormon crickets have descended on six counties in Nevada creating a bug-infested nightmare for many residents. 

22 hours ago

Sarah Burgess waves a crosswalk safety flag...

Shelby Lofton

Pedestrian crossing flags ‘disappearing at alarming rate’

Orange pedestrian flags at some of Salt Lake City's intersections are disappearing.

22 hours ago

Jacob Nilson, 24, of St. George is lucky to survive after crashing his motorcycle on a notorious se...

Ladd Egan

‘This corner is notorious:’ Fire chiefs warn motorcyclists about section of Gunlock Road

Fire chiefs in southern Utah are warning about a dangerous stretch of road that’s being called “Motorcycle Rock” because of the number of accidents.

22 hours ago

Jazz Bear golf tournament...

Katija Stjepovic

Golf tournament recruits mentors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah

Every year dozens of people hit the links to help kids cope with everyday struggles through the GOLF FORE KIDS’ SAKE! tournament.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

Dollar Ridge Burn Scar Showing Remarkable Regrowth