Fall Prescribed Burns Planned on Helena Ranger District
Incident: Helena Prescribed Burns Prescribed Fire
HELENA MONT. September 23 2013—As weather fuel moisture and air quality conditions allow the Helena Ranger District plans to implement various prescribed burning projects across the District this fall and early winter.
A low-intense broadcast prescribed burn project which is composed of several fire management units south of Helena and numerous slash piles across the District were identified as this year’s priority prescribed fire projects.
Several units totaling about 200 acres within the Clancy-Unionville Vegetation and Travel Management Project are planned this year. These planned low-intensity prescribed burns will help improve forest health in our fire-dependent ecosystems by helping create more native plant and tree diversity regarding species ages and sizes. This diversity improves the forest’s resiliency and sustainability from various threats including insects diseases and large high-intense wildfires. The Clancy-Unionville prescribed fire project is a compilation of multiple fire units which means it will take more than one ignition to complete the 200-acre prescribed burn this fall/winter.
Multiple slash piles across the District are also scheduled to be burned this year. The slash piles are a result of hazardous fuels removal firewood gathering and road maintenance activities.
- Jimtown Hazardous Fuels Project: About 100 acres of slash piles are planned for burning in the Jimtown Road area and help to further implement the overall project’s purpose to improve forest health and reduce the risk of large wildfires.
- Roadside Hazardous Tree Removal Project: Slash piles from the Roadside Hazardous Tree Removal projects in the: Telegraph Priest Pass Rimini Road Travis Creek and the South Hills sale areas. Roadside Hazardous Tree Removal slash piles help further implement the overall project purpose to reduce threats to public safety by felling and removing standing dead/dying trees—results of the mountain pine beetle epidemic—while helping to protect watersheds.
- Additional slash piles in the Bear Gulch Orofino Gulch Hunters Gulch and Chessman Reservoir areas are planned to be burned as conditions allow. A majority of these piles are adjacent to main roads but minimal impacts to the public are anticipated during implementation.
All burning will be conducted under the terms and conditions of a permit from the Montana State Department of Environmental Quality which includes requirements to minimize the impacts of smoke to the public. Ignition will take place when operational safety air quality parameters weather and fuel moisture conditions are attained.
As prescribed burns are implemented updates will be posted on Inciweb (www.inciweb.org) until the project is completed. For more information contact Brett Beagley at 406-266-3425 and/or go to the Helena National Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/helena/).