Ninemile Ranger District May Conduct Spring Season Prescribed Burning
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: April 26, 2018

The Ninemile Ranger District, as part of their seasonal prescribed burning to reduce fuels, promote vegetation regeneration, and enhance the habitats for multiple species, may conduct burning over the next several weeks if weather, fuel conditions, and air quality allow for safe and effective ignition and burning. The prescribed burns that may occur are associated with the Frenchtown Face Ecosystem Restoration Project.  Future notifications will be provided as other burn locations come into prescription.


Several units that may receive prescribed burning treatments are located one mile north of Frenchtown between the Roman and Mill Creek Drainages. Approximately 75 acres are identified for hand ignition prescribed burning.  Objectives of the burns are to reduce fuels in close proximity and/or adjacent to private property and restore forest and habitat conditions in ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir stands located in yearlong wild turkey habitat in the Frenchtown Face Management Area.  The units will be implemented through collaborative efforts with the Ninemile Ranger District and the National Wild Turkey Federation.


Another prescribed burn is located eleven miles northwest of Frenchtown and three miles north of the Ninemile Ranger Station.  The approximate 300 acres identified for hand ignition is in close proximity to the Kreis Pond Campground, west of the Stoney Creek Drainage along Forest Service Roads 456 and 2176.  The project is an under-story burn to reduce fuels accumulations from the Frenchtown Face Timber Sale.  The prescribed burn will re-introduce fire back to the landscape and maintain and restore habitat conditions located in yearlong big game and wild turkey habitat in the Frenchtown Face Management Area.  This unit will be implemented through collaborative efforts with the Ninemile Ranger District, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.


All burning will be weather and fuel condition dependent. If ignition takes place there is the potential for temporarily limiting public access in these areas during implementation.  For public safety, recreationists are asked to be aware of prescribed fire crews and vehicles in these areas.  Prescribed fire road signs will be posted along roads where burning is taking place. Not all prescribed burns will be ignited simultaneously, and will be ignited only if operational safety, fuel moistures, weather conditions and air quality parameters are met.  The units are located north of Interstate 90 and smoke from the burn will be visible from the Interstate, Frenchtown, and Missoula.


If members of the public have any questions or if you would like to be placed on a day-of-burning notification

list, they may contact the Ninemile Ranger District at 626-5201.


The Ninemile Ranger District, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and National Wild Turkey Federation collaborated on these projects to meet some of the following objectives:


  • Re-introducing low intensity surface fire to benefit ponderosa pine forest restoration.
  • Enhancing yearlong habitat for populations of elk, white-tail deer, and mule deer on public lands.
  • Enhancing the habitat for populations of wild turkey and upland game birds on public lands.
  • Top-killing shrubs, grasses, and forbs to optimize forage for multiple wildlife species.Promoting the vigor of ponderosa pine, rejuvenate forest floor vegetation, and restore the composition and structure of plant communities.
  • Reducing surface fuel concentrations from the Frenchtown Face Timber Sale.