MTPR

prescribed burns

A firefighter carries a drip-torch during a previous controlled burn in the Bitterroot National Forest.
Bitterroot National Forest

Fall is here, and the Bitterroot National Forest’s first seasonal prescribed burns could begin Saturday in the Lake Como/Lost Horse area. The planned blazes allow managers to remove excess forest fuels and downed timber.

Though few relish the smoke, Bitterroot Forest spokesman Tod McKay said prescribed burns are critical in preparing for the next fire season.

Barnard Junction prescribed fire on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest seen from Cold Springs Road, August 28, 2019.
TC Peterson / U.S. Forest Service

Smoke from prescribed burns in Idaho is making its way to western Montana Wednesday as the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest begins its prescribed burn season.

The fires ignited Wednesday are expected to burn for several weeks. According to Missoula County Air Quality specialist Sarah Coefield, "These burns are typically the most smoky during and immediately following ignition."

(L to R) Forest Service Fire Scientist Mark Finney, Missoula District Ranger Jennifer Hensiek, Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier, at a Missoula City Club meeting, focused on wild fire, June 10, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

It’s going to take fire — and a lot of it — to fight wildfire in the Missoula Valley, where it is and always has been part of the landscape. Experts say it’s also going to take more prescribed burning, new levels of government agency coordination and new layers of government regulation to make a difference.

A firefighter carries a drip-torch during a previous controlled burn in the Bitterroot National Forest.
Bitterroot National Forest

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Land management agencies are underutilizing controlled burns to reduce wildfire threats in the western U.S., according to a wildfire study.

The University of Idaho study indicates the use of the intentionally set fires has decreased over the last two decades in the West while it has ramped up in southeastern states, The Lewiston Tribune reported Friday.

Crystal Cedar project vicinity map.
Flathead National Forest

The Flathead National Forest is proposing a non-motorized trail network and logging and fuel reduction project north of Columbia Falls.

The Crystal Cedar Project proposal is based on feedback the Forest received last year from about 70 local landowners and interested parties. It covers Teakettle Mountain, Blankenship Road, Crystal Creek, Cedar Flats and Spoon Lake.

A map of vegetation treatments planned for the Betty Baptiste Project on the east side of Hungry Horse Reservoir in Montana.
Flathead National Forest

A logging and forest restoration project on the east side of Hungry Horse Reservoir has been OK'd by the Flathead National Forest.

The draft decision kicks off a 45-day objection period, during which people or groups who have previously commented on the project can file an objection.

Tony Harwood lectures on Native American uses and approach to wildland fire at the first Wildland Fire in Western Montana lecture event in Kalispell, MT February 23, 2018.
Nicky Ouellet

Even with two feet of snow on the ground, homeowners and fire managers in the Flathead Valley are thinking about fire season. FireSafe Flathead kicked off a four-part lecture series about wildland fire in western Montana at Flathead Valley Community College Thursday night. MTPR's Nicky Ouellet brings us the highlights.

Wet Weather Hampers Prescribed Burns In Montana

May 8, 2017
A firefighter works to control a blaze at the edge of back-burn on a private ranch near the Roaring Lion Fire, August 3, 2016.
Mike Albans

HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — A snowy winter and a wet spring in western Montana are making it hard to conduct prescribed burns to reduce the risk of wildfires later in the year, federal forest managers said.

The Roaring Lion Fire near Hamilton on August 1, 2016
Inciweb

For Flathead Valley resident Charlotte Chrisman, wildfire on her private land is not a question of if, but when.

"It's like, you know, have you hit a deer? Well not yet," Chrisman says.

The project near Whitefish Mountain Resort is designed to reduce fire danger and protect the City of Whitefish's watershed.
By Donnie Clapp for Whitefish Mountain Resort

Specialists developing a fuel reduction project to reduce fire danger for homes north of Whitefish and to protect the city’s watershed held an open house Wednesday evening.

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