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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Bitterroot National Forest wildfire mitigation project gets a funding boost


The Bitterroot National Forest has won an award that officials say will help reduce wildfire risks on thousands of acres of forest land bordering homes and private property.

The USDA Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership award is intended to help reduce Ravalli County’s wildfire threats.The Bitterroot National Forest and the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Hamilton field office were notified they won the award last week.

The three-year project is expected to treat over 10,000 acres of National Forest lands. Much of the work will take place where homes adjoin or intersect with forest land. Treatments will include prescribed fire, commercial timber harvests and non-commercial thinning.

The proposal will actively treat fuels on over 1,300 acres this year, using over one million dollars in award funding. Funding amounts have yet to be determined for the project’s second and third years which will focus the Bitterroot Valley’s southern and western expanses, respectively.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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