In recent years, we're seeing smoke from national forest prescribed burning projects later and later in the fall in the Bitterroot Valley. Well, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is even planning some burning this winter, just a bit southeast of the valley.

In the coming months, a number of burning piles on BLM land will be kicking up some smoke in Beaverhead County and in Madison County. In a news release, officials said the timing of the burns depends on snow-cover. The crews need to have wet conditions to stop any fire spread and the winter months seem the best time to do it. The BLM personnel will be assisted by the Forest Service.

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After the fires are lit, smoke could be visible for several days - but that is also dependent on how the weather treats us. There are projects planned in Beaverhead County:

  • Lemhi Pass, 22 miles west of Grant
  • Horse Prairie, 12 miles southwest of Grant
  • Badger Pass, 15 miles west of Dillon
  • East Fork Blacktail, 34 miles southeast of Dillon
  • In Madison County, BLM has:

  • California Creek, 7 miles northeast of Alder
  • Gibbs Creek, 9 miles northeast of Alder
  • In the South Tobacco Roots, near Sheridan and Alder - Wet Georgia Creek, Current Creek, Ramshorn Creek, Copper Mountain, and California Creek
  • The slash piles are from BLM timber sales and some wildlife habitat restoration projects and should start within days in the Lemhi Pass area. If you need more information, Greg Schenk is the guy to answer your questions at the Dillon Field Office of the BLM. The phone number is 406 683-8000.

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