Lolo National Forest spring prescribed fire projects

Missoula, Mont., March 20, 2024—The Lolo National Forest, along with their interagency partners and neighbors, is preparing to conduct spring prescribed fire projects to reduce hazardous fuels, restore wildlife habitat, and create better protection around communities from future wildfires. 

“As snow melts and opens access to planned burn units, we will take advantage of favorable conditions to start prescribed burning as soon as this week, ” said Jeff Hayes, Lolo National Forest Fuels Specialist.  “Over the next two-three months, we will plan burn operations on days which minimize smoke impacts, restore healthy forest conditions and wildlife habitat, and/or meet fuels reduction goals.”

Prescribed fire operations are a key component of the Wildfire Crisis Strategy that works with partners to reduce wildfire risk to communities, critical infrastructure, natural resources and improve the resilience of America’s Forests. Prescribed fires are carefully planned and implemented in accordance with a written burn plan. Prior to implementation, local fire managers coordinate with local cooperators, counties, and partners. When prescription criteria are met, firefighters implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets forest health and public safety goals.

All prescribed fires will be implemented in compliance with Montana air quality standards and coordinated with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the appropriate county health departments to minimize the impacts of smoke to neighbors, cooperators, and surrounding communities. Smoke may settle in valley bottoms and drainages overnight, but it is expected to dissipate within a few days.

Some of these prescribed fires are supported through partnerships with Montana DNRC, Nature Conservancy, Missoula and Frenchtown Rural Fire Departments, Bureau of Land Management, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Upland Game Bird Enhancement Group. 

For additional information about these burns follow the Lolo National Forest on Facebook or visit InciWeb.

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