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LibbyMt.com > News > May 2011 > Spring burning begins

Spring burning. Photo by Kootenai National Forest.
Spring burning
Graphic courtesy Kootenai National Forest.
Spring burning begins
by Kootenai National Forest
May 1, 2011

Spring is here and the Three Rivers Ranger District is beginning to implement their prescribed burn programs.

The Three Rivers Ranger District uses prescribed burning as a very important resource management tool to reach their management objectives. Some of the most common objectives of prescribed burning are: fuel reduction, site preparation for reforestation, improvement and creation of wildlife habitat and regulation of stand composition.

The Three Rivers Ranger Districts may treat up to 4,238 acres this spring and fall with their prescribed burn programs. 3919 acres may be treated by understory burning to remove logging slash generated from timber harvest activities, to reduce fuels generated by thinning activities, to reduce natural fuel accumulations and to enhance wildlife browse and forage. 318 acres of slash generated by timber harvest activities and thinning activities will be treated in the form of excavator piles and hand piles.

Some of these treatments are in close proximity to private property. Local communities and the valleys may experience some periodic smoky conditions. All prescribed burns on the Three Rivers Ranger District must comply with air quality regulations, guided and monitored by the Montana/Idaho State Airshed Group. Burns will occur when air dispersion and weather forecasts are predicted to be favorable. We will strive to minimize the smoke effects; however there may be some short periods of smoky conditions. Although some areas will be impacted more by short term smoke created by the prescribed burns, the effects of fuels treatments in these areas will have long-term benefits.

We would like to thank the local communities for being supportive of our fuels treatment programs in the past and value your continued support. Please keep in mind that fuels treatments will help make our forests healthier and help reduce hazardous fuels.

Please travel cautiously through smoky areas and reduce your speed. Visibility may be limited and people and equipment may be present in the smoke. If you have any questions about the prescribed burns or would like to be contacted prior to any burning in your area, please call the Three Rivers Ranger District at 406-295-7478.

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