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Fuel Breaks To Reduce Wildfire Risk Being Built In SW Idaho

(AP) — Federal officials plan to start putting in emergency fuel breaks this week in southwest Idaho to reduce wildfire risk.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says the project in Owyhee County is part of a $67 million rehabilitation effort following last year's wildfire in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon.

The fire scorched 436 square miles of sagebrush steppe that supports cattle grazing and some 350 species of wildlife, including sage grouse.

The fuel breaks will be created by removing unburned vegetation on public lands near homes and other structures.

The BLM says the fuel breaks will mostly be established with work along 25 miles of existing roads.

The agency says it's working on an environmental assessment for a larger fuel break project that will be released later this month.