See the 'Announcements' and 'News' Tabs for the latest information on planned prescribed burns.
To reduce potential for large wildfires, maintain resilient landscapes, and improve overall forest health, the Bitterroot National Forest is planning to implement spring prescribed burning projects. Over the next two months, the Bitterroot National Forest is planning to implement numerous prescribed burning projects. Timing of the burns will be dependent on favorable weather conditions and good smoke dispersion.
Interactive Planned Prescribed Fire Map
PDF Prescribed Burning Map
Treatment areas include:
Darby/Sula Ranger District – 2,300 acres are planned:
Waddell Units, south of Lake Como- 210 acres complete
Como/Horse Lick, south of Lost Horse and north of Lake Como- 264 acres complete
Trapper Bunkhouse, SW of Darby between Little Tin Cup & McCoy Creeks - 100 acres complete
Cameron Blue and Middle East Fork, along East Fork road near Guide Creek and Tolan Ridge- 60 acres complete
Sula Ranger Station, horse pasture and ditches- 10 acres complete
West Fork Ranger District – 1,200 acres are planned:
Lower West Fork Units, south of Trapper Creek and north of Lloyd Creek
Frazier Interface, south of Pierce Creek and north of Baker Creek - 190 acres complete
Horse Pasture north of confluence of Nez Perce Fork & West Fork Rivers at Lone Pine Helibase- 20 acres complete
Stevensville Ranger District– 1,000 acres are planned:
Larry Bass Units, within the Bass Creek Recreation Area north of Stevensville- 250 acres complete
Sweeney Creek Units, west of Florence - 300 acres complete
Three Saddle Units, Sapphire Mountains east of Stevensville - 150 acres complete
The burns will only be ignited if operational safety, fuel moisture, weather conditions, and air quality parameters can be attained. Fire crews will monitor all burns after ignition to ensure that they stay within prescribed boundaries until declared out. Major roads in the area will be signed and local residents who have requested prior notification will be contacted in advance of burning.
Low and moderate intensity prescribed fires have several objectives including:
Improve wildlife habitat – many plants respond favorably to fire providing new food sprouts for wildlife.
Reduce the potential of large, high intensity wildfires by reducing the amount of downed fuel to burn.
Post-harvest slash treatment – reduce residual slash created by thinning operations and personal use firewood cutting.
For public safety, recreationists are asked to be aware of fire crews and vehicles in these areas. The public is also asked to avoid traveling in prescribed burn units while crews are present, as well as trails and roads directly adjacent to the units. Please take caution as roads and trails used as control lines for the burn could be temporarily impacted by low intensity fire and smoke.
Fire managers plan to conduct the burning as quickly as possible to limit impacts to recreational users and the general public. Overnight, there is potential for smoke to settle into the bottom of valleys and corridors that may cause short term smoke impacts for residents and travel. The smoke is typically visible for a short duration, 1-2 days, and burns are approved in coordination with the Montana DEQ to minimize impacts to communities.
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