IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Officials with the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho say they have started rehabilitating 170 square miles of sage grouse habitat that burned in a July wildfire.
INL Fire Chief Eric Gosswiller tells the Post Register that fire lines plowed around the fire's perimeter have been restored, and barricades have been put up to prevent fire lines from becoming roads.
Officials say the restoration is needed or invasive species could move in ahead of native plants that benefit sage grouse.
Workers have also sprayed populations of thistle along the fire's southern perimeter to keep thistle seeds from entering the burned area.
Sage grouse are ground-dwelling birds that make their home in the sagebrush plains of numerous western states.