Yellowstone Ranger District to Begin Prescribed Burn in North Derby Area; As Part of the Sweetgrass Resiliency and Restoration
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: September 12, 2023

Livingston MT – September 11, 2023 – Prescribed burning activities will take place in the Derby and North Derby Gulch area, South of Big Timber, as soon as September 18th. The prescribed burn is part of the Sweetgrass Resiliency and Restoration Project implementation. The project aims to enhance the ecosystem’s resilience and minimize the intensity of future disturbances.

The Derby Fire of 2006 and the floods that followed in 2011 inspired the development of this project. By employing prescribed burning, the project aims to preserve indigenous vegetation, nurture the growth of fire-resistant plants, promote nutrient cycling, and restore conditions suitable for low-intensity fires. The key objectives of the project include creating a resilient ecosystem, reducing fuel accumulation around infrastructure and developed areas, thinning dense clusters of young ponderosa pines, minimizing tree mortality, and decreasing the likelihood of high-severity, stand-replacing fires. The burn area is expected to be covered in green grass by next spring, providing excellent forage for various wildlife and/or livestock.

There are no scheduled road or trail closures during the burning phase, but we recommend that the public refrain from traveling in the North Derby Gulch area. During the burn, individuals may observe smoke and a potential smoke column. Our team will closely monitor weather, fire, and fuel conditions to ensure a safe and controlled environment while minimizing smoke impact on the surrounding communities. Fire managers will monitor ignitions until the fire is fully extinguished.

For more information, please contact the Yellowstone Ranger District at 406-222-1892. Updated information can also be found on the Custer Gallatin National Forest Facebook page.

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