A coalition of environmental groups, public-land managers and firefighters is exploring use of prescribed fire to improve wildlife habitat and decrease the risk of wildfire in the Hunter Creek Valley.

The group is looking at using fire on steep slopes on the north side of the valley in the area surrounding the lower Sunnyside Plunge Trail and the new Hummingbird Trail. No estimate was available on the acreage that will be burned.

The goal is to use prescribed fire in the valley next spring, but weather conditions and safety concerns at the time will determine if the project can proceed.

Historic buildings in the valley floor aren’t in the area targeted for a burn, the coalition said in a statement. The Hunter Creek Valley is a heavily visited area for hikers, bicyclists and other national forest visitors. Recreation will be restricted at the time of the burn, but there will be no long-term impacts to use of the area, the statement said.

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