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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Spring Prescribed Burning Planned on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

Kamiah, Idaho (April 23, 2018) - The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests will be conducting prescribed burns throughout the forest starting as early as this week and continuing throughout the next several weeks as weather allows.  As the snow melts and drier weather sets in, conditions will improve and allow fire managers to conduct prescribed burning operations.

Burning in the spring is an important way of reducing the amount of smoke that typically impacts communities during the fire season.  Smoke from these prescribed fires will be much less than what would be expected from a wildfire.  If smoke concentrations approach air quality standards fire ignition may be delayed until air quality improves.  Residual smoke may be visible for up to 2 weeks following ignition, but most of the smoke from the fires will dissipate 1-2 days.






Firefighter and public safety are our highest priorities.  Prior to conducting a prescribed fire many values at risk are considered and include firefighter and public safety, cumulative affects to communities, neighboring jurisdictions and private lands, natural resources (either in the loss of habitat due to removal of fire or devastation of habitat when a wildfire of much higher severity then a prescribed burn occurs), and other resources such as state and local firefighters, EMTs, aerial resources, etc.  This applies to all hazardous environments, and to the concept that we incur risk if we burn and if we do not burn.

Fire is a part of the environment in these fuel types and a natural process that will occur regardless if it is a planned managed burn or an unplanned wildfire. Prescribed burning is done to reduce dead and down fuels, selectively thin understory trees in densely forested stands, stimulate fire tolerant plant species, enhance forage for wildlife, reduce the risk of large-scale stand-replacement fires, create strategic fuels breaks in the urban interface, and bring back fire’s natural role to the landscape.

Short duration trail and area closures may be implemented for public and firefighter safety during prescribed burn activities.  Closure information can be found at http://bit.ly/2HMxNam_Alerts_and_Notices

Acres planned are a total of all acres that will see positive impacts as a result of implementing the prescribed burns.  Not every acre will burn or be ignited.  The planned prescribed fires by location are as follows:

Salmon River Ranger District – 3,500 acres are planned:
·         Wickiup prescribed burn – 2,000 acres located along Highway 14 between mileposts 18 and 21.  Road signs will be placed along the highway and those traveling the route should expect to encounter fire personnel and equipment. No other impacts to Highway 14 are expected.
·         Blue Mountain prescribed burn – 500 acres located 6 miles west of Riggins.
·         Kessler prescribed burn – 1,000 acres located in the headwaters of Race Creek, 6 miles northwest of Riggins.
North Fork Ranger District – 360 acres are planned:
·         Barnard Junction project area – 360 acres located near Fourth of July Creek and the Kelly Work Center
Lochsa/Powell Ranger District – 672 acres are planned:
·         101 Roadside Salvage/Woodrat Harvest Units – 382 acres located 2 miles northwest of Syringa
·         White White Harvest Units – 171 acres located 2 miles southeast of Musselshell Work Center
·         Dead Canyon Harvest Units – 119 acres located on Forest Service road 5542, 3 miles southeast of Canyon Junction
Moose Creek Ranger District –400 acres are planned:
·         Iron Mountain Harvest piles –400 acres, 10 miles south of the Fenn Ranger Station along Forest Service road 464
Palouse Ranger District - 303 acres are planned:
·         Dinner Stew - 81 acres located at the end of FSR 4761 road south of Helmer
·         Dinner Stew Mulch - 27 acres located along the first ½ mile of FSR 4761 road south of Helmer
·         Potlatch Canyon 1 - 20 acres located along Park road 1963, ¼ mile south of the forest boundary near Helmer
Red River Ranger District – 768 acres are planned:
·         French Gulch Timber Sale – 93 acres, 5 miles southeast of Elk City
·         Jungle Trail Timber Sale – 140 acres, 10 miles southeast of Elk City
·         South Township Timber Sale – 169 acres along the south border of the Elk City Township
·         South Township Landscape Prescribed burn – 366 acres along the south border of the Elk City Township
Specific information on the location and timing of these prescribed burns are available at each of the district offices.  Salmon River Ranger District – Richard Stiles or Graydon Galloway, 208-983-1950, North Fork Ranger District – Brandon Skinner or TC Peterson, 208-476-4541,Powell Ranger Station – Matt Young or Brandon Cichowski, 208-942-3113, Moose Creek Ranger District – Tim Schaeffer or Jon Norman, 208-926-4258, Lochsa Ranger Station – Sean Gaines or Neal Cox, 208-926-4274, Palouse Ranger District – Lisa Spinelli or Alan Carlson, 208-875-1131, , Red River Ranger District – Josh Bransford or Tom McLeod, 208-842-2245.