Missoula, Mont. – September 11, 2023 – The Lolo National Forest along with their interagency partners and neighbors, are planning fall prescribed fires across the forest. These burns help reduce hazardous fuels, restore wildlife habitat, and create better protection around communities from future wildfires. Prescribed fire operations could begin as soon as this week and may continue throughout the fall on multiple Ranger Districts when fuel and weather conditions become favorable.
“Prescribed fire is an effective tool for reducing hazardous fuels and improving overall forest health,” said Jeff Hayes, Lolo National Forest Fuels Specialist. “Over the coming weeks, we will be conducting prescribed fire operations when weather, fuel conditions, and air quality are favorable.”
Prescribed fires are carefully planned and implemented in accordance with a written burn plan. Prior to implementation, local fire managers coordinate with local cooperators, counties, and partners. When prescription criteria are met, firefighters implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets forest health and public safety goals.
All prescribed fires will be implemented in compliance with Montana air quality standards and coordinated with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the appropriate county health departments to reduce the impacts of smoke to neighbors, cooperators, and surrounding communities. Smoke may settle in valley bottoms and drainages overnight, but it is expected to dissipate within a few days.
Some of these prescribed fires are supported through partnerships with Montana DNRC, Nature Conservancy, Missoula and Frenchtown Rural Fire Departments, Bureau of Land Management, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Upland Game Bird Enhancement Group.
For additional information about these burns follow the Lolo National Forest on Facebook or visit InciWeb.