WEST GLACIER – A pair of prescribed fire projects in the North Fork region of the Glacier National Park are planned for this Spring.
During favorable weather and fuel condition windows between April 25 and May 15, the park will treat the Big Prairie area approximately 3.5 miles northwest of Polebridge and an area near Sullivan Meadow along the Inside North Fork Road.
The project areas could include up to 303 acres in Big Prairie and up to 46 acres along the Inside North Fork Road.
Fire managers aim to reduce the number of lodgepole pine seedlings and saplings, which are encroaching on native prairie grassland and ponderosa pine stands.
Park managers hope to reduce the number of young lodgepole pine with fire while improving the vigor of the native grasses, shrubs, and ponderosa pine trees.
The intent of the burns is not to eradicate lodgepole pine from the prairie and mature ponderosa stands, but instead to reduce the number of small diameter pine trees, according to a news release.
The prescribed burns will only take place if optimum weather and smoke dispersal parameters are met. Visitors and local residents may see smoke related to the activity during this time period.
The park last managed prescribed fire projects in 2014 and 2016 for Big Prairie and the Inside North Fork Road area.