Bitterroot National Forest Plans Spring Burning
Each spring and fall, the Bitterroot National Forest conducts a number of prescribed burns in areas that need to be cleared of surface material under the trees (see photo above). Public affairs Officer Tod McKay said the burns will begin at the end of March and beginning of April in the Bitterroot Valley.
There are projects on about 4,500 acres this season, occuring in each ranger district of the forest. The burning will be dependent on the weather. Fire officials also look at times when the smoke dispersion will be good. Matt Young, Fuels Fire Management Officer, said the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy tries to put fire back into fire-adapted ecosystems. Young said in a news release, "Those goals include working collaboratively with stakeholders across all jurisdictions to produce resilient landscapes, fire adapted communities, and safe and effective wildfire response."
There will be short-term smoke from the fires, but the forest works with Montana DEQ to limit the smoke impacts. For updates, check the Bitterroot National Forest facebook page.