AP NEWS

Prescribed burns begin in Cabinet Ranger District

April 7, 2019 GMT

Prescribed burns are underway in the Cabinet Ranger District of the Kootenai Forest.

Areas that will be burned include: Spring Gulch, Big Beaver Creek, Huckleberry Mountain, White Pine Creek.

The prescribed burning that is planned for timber sale units in Huckleberry Mountain and Big Beaver Creek will consist of underburning.

The areas in Spring Gulch and White Pine Creek are being treated with prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels and improve wildlife habitat. These areas will be ignited by both aerial and hand devices via helicopter.

In a press release, the Kootenai Forest stated that prescribed fire is an effective tool for a variety of natural resource management purposes. It is used in timber harvest units to treat slash created by harvest activities and to prepare sites for planting or natural regeneration. Prescribed fire is also used to treat hazardous fuels, increase forage for big game and restore the fire process on the landscape.

Smoke will be visible during burning and potentially a few days afterward, the forest advised. All prescribed burns on the Cabinet District must comply with air quality regulations, guided and monitored by the Montana/Idaho State Airshed Group. Burns will occur when air dispersion and weather forecasts are favorable.

“We understand that smoky conditions can be unpleasant, so we will strive to minimize the smoke effects and reduce the impacts to the public,” the press release stated. “Please be careful when traveling through smoky areas in your vehicles. Please slow down, people and equipment may be present in the smoke.”