Montana State News

Kootenai National Forest – Spring Prescribed Fire Projects

Submitted by USFS
Kootenai National Forest

 

Libby, MT March 18, 2021 –

The Kootenai National Forest is planning spring prescribed fire projects when weather, fuel conditions, and air quality become favorable. Smoke may be visible from various places across the forest depending on the location of the burn units and weather conditions. Please drive carefully and slow down as smoke may impact nearby roads. Firefighters and equipment may also be on or near these roads during implementation.

Each project follows a prescribed fire burn plan. The projects are located and designed to be
controlled to reduce the potential for adverse effects.

These projects will comply with Montana air quality standards and be guided by the Montana/Idaho State Airshed Group to reduce the impacts of smoke to our neighbors, cooperators, and surrounding
communities.

 

Cabinet Ranger District:

Cub Creek Salvage – Project includes broadcast burning timber harvest units located near Haines Point south of Trout Creek. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels within the wildland urban interface and other areas where values are at risk.

Helwick – Project includes broadcast burning timber harvest units located within the Big Beaver Creek drainage south of Trout Creek. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels and increase resilience to insects and diseases.

Minton Trout – Project includes broadcast burning both timber harvest units and natural fuels units located within the Trout Creek drainage west of Trout Creek. Treatments will use prescribed fire to increase resilience to insects and diseases, reduce hazardous fuels within the wildland urban interface, and improve big game forage.

White Pine – Project includes broadcast burning natural fuels units located within the White Pine Creek drainage southwest of Trout Creek. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels and improve wildlife habitat.

 

Libby Ranger District:

East Reservoir – Project includes broadcast burning both timber harvest units and natural fuels units located within the Cripple Horse Creek drainage northeast of Libby. Treatments will use prescribed fire to create landscapes that are resilient to disturbance, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce hazardous fuels.

 

Rexford/Fortine Ranger District:

Caribou Fire Salvage and
Restoration – Project includes broadcast burning timber harvest units located in the West Kootenai vicinity northwest of Eureka. Treatments will use prescribed fire to protect health and safety of the public, restore portions of the landscape burned by the Caribou wildfire, and reduce hazardous fuels.

Dancing Prairie – Project, in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy, includes broadcast
burning natural fuels units in the
Airport Road vicinity north of Eureka. Treatments will use prescribed fire to improve wildlife habitat and reduce hazardous fuels.

Galton – Project includes broadcast burning timber harvest units in Fortine vicinity. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce fuels within the wildland urban interface, improve wildlife habitat, improve whitebark pine habitat, and re-introduce fire to forested ecosystems.

Koocanusa East Shore – Project includes broadcast burning natural fuels units in the Douglas Hill vicinity west of Eureka. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels, improve forest health, and improve wildlife habitat.

Lower Big Creek – Project includes broadcast burning timber harvest units in the Boulder and Steep Creek drainages southwest of Eureka. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels, improve forest health, and improve wildlife habitat.

McSutton – Project includes broadcast burning natural fuels units in the 10 Mile Creek drainage southwest of Eureka. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels, improve forest health, and improve wildlife habitat.

North Meadow Hazardous Fuels Reduction – Project includes broadcast burning timber harvest units in the Marl Lake vicinity west of Fortine. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels, improve forest health, and improve wildlife habitat.

Sullivan Fuels – Project includes broadcast burning natural fuels units in the West Kootenai vicinity northwest of Eureka. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels, improve forest health, and improve wildlife habitat.

Young-Dodge – Project includes broadcast burning both timber harvest units and natural fuels units in the West Kootenai vicinity northwest of Eureka. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels which decreases the likelihood of large stand-replacing wildfires, and restore characteristic vegetation patterns, structure, and patch sizes.

 

Three Rivers Ranger District:

Buckhorn – Project includes broadcast burning timber harvest units located within the Meadow Creek and Spread Creek drainages west of the Yaak. Treatments will use prescribed fire to promote resilient vegetation conditions, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce hazardous fuels while reducing the potential for high intensity wildfire.

Lower Yaak, O’Brien, Sheep – Project includes broadcast burning both timber harvest units and natural fuels units located within the Kilbrennan Creek drainage north of Troy. Treatments will use prescribed fire to promote resilient vegetation conditions, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce hazardous fuels while reducing the potential for high intensity wildfire.

South Fork Fuels – Project includes broadcast burning timber harvest units located within the Kelsey Creek drainage south of the Yaak. Treatments will use prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels, improve safety for the public and firefighters, and improve forest health.

Sparring Bulls – Project includes broadcast burning both timber harvest units and natural fuels units located within the Porcupine Creek drainage and Mount Vernon vicinity south of Troy. Treatments will use prescribed fire to improve forest health, increase forage habitat for big game and grizzly bears, and reduce hazardous fuels near private property.

Starry Goat – Project includes broadcast burning timber harvest units and natural fuels units located within the Callahan Creek drainage west of Troy. Treatments will use prescribed fire to promote resilient vegetation conditions, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce hazardous fuels while reducing the potential for high intensity wildfire.

 

For more information about these projects, please contact the appropriate Ranger Station:

Cabinet Ranger District:
(406) 827-3533

Libby Ranger District:
(406) 293-7773

Rexford/Fortine Ranger District:
(406) 296-2536

Three Rivers Ranger District:
(406) 295-4693

Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks

reminds residents to be
“Bear Aware” as Spring emerges

**Remove or secure all food
attractants at residences.

 

HELENA – Bears are emerging from dens with the onset of spring, and Montana residents are reminded to “Be Bear Aware.”

Bears can be found throughout Montana and in recent years, grizzly bear populations have expanded and bears are sometimes found in historic ranges beyond western Montana

As bears begin foraging for food, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is asking residents to remove or be sure to secure food attractants such as garbage, bird feeders and pet food. The most common human-bear conflicts involve unsecured food attractants.

People venturing outdoors should “Be Bear Aware” by following these precautionary steps:

– Carry and know how to use bear spray.

– Travel in groups whenever possible and plan to be out in the daylight hours.

– Stay on trails or rural roads.

– Avoid carcass sites and concentrations of ravens and other scavengers.

– Watch for signs of bears such as bear scat, diggings, torn-up logs, turned over rocks, and partly consumed animal carcasses.

– Keep children and pets close.

– Make noise, especially near streams or in thick forest where hearing and visibility is impaired. This can be the key to avoiding encounters. Most bears will avoid humans when they know humans are present.

– Do not approach a bear.

If you are camping in bear country, follow these guidelines:

– Camp away from areas where you see grizzly signs.

– Keep a clean camp at all times. Keep tents and sleeping bags free of food.

– Follow all food storage regulations. Contact the applicable land management agency to learn what food storage rules apply where you’re recreating.

– Hang all food, trash and other odorous items well away from camp and at least 10 feet above ground and 4 feet from any vertical support, or store in a bear-proof container.

–  Livestock feed should be treated the same as human food.

Anglers also need to practice safe behavior in bear country:

– Don’t leave fish entrails on shorelines of lakes and streams.

– Sink entrails in deep water.

– If you don’t properly dispose of entrails you increase danger to yourself and to the next person to use the area.