Montana Public Radio

Winter Weather Wards Off Prescribed Burns

Oct 7, 2019
Originally published on October 7, 2019 5:28 pm

The Custer Gallatin National Forest Monday postponed several controlled burns in southwest Montana due to an incoming winter storm.

The Hebgen Lake Ranger District had planned to burn piles of slash Monday from thinning projects in the Rendezvous and Lonesome Wood areas near West Yellowstone. A spokesperson says it’s part of Custer Gallatin’s on-going efforts to reduce wildfire risk to communities.

Controlled or prescribed burns can help managers reduce the amount of highly flammable plant material that can cause bigger, more severe wildfires in the future.

Managers also use fire to create a more diversified landscape.

To the north of West Yellowstone, the Bozeman Ranger District has been using prescribed burns over the last several years for an aspen restoration project. Managers had to call off plans to burn 100 acres in the Porcupine area next to Big Sky and 10 acres along the Gallatin Canyon Highway 191 corridor.

Prescribed burns are always dependent on weather and fuel conditions, according to the press release.

The Forest Service will wait and see if it can continue with the planned burns after the storm passes or wait until next spring.

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