MISSOULA — Firefighters on the Missoula, Ninemile, Seeley Lake, Superior, and Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger Districts will conduct prescribed burning operations on Thursday and Friday pending favorable weather conditions.\
- Missoula Ranger District – Crazy Canyon and Strawberry Ridge Prescribed Burns
- Crazy Canyon (April 29): Firefighters will conduct 30 acres of prescribed burning in the Crazy Canyon area, approximately 3 miles southeast of Missoula. No trail closures are in place. Smoke may be visible from the Missoula valley, from behind Mount Sentinel, Pattee Canyon, and from I-90. Smoke is expected to dissipate later in the day.
- Strawberry Ridge, Rattlesnake National Recreation Area (April 30): Pending favorable conditions, firefighters may conduct up to 350 acres of prescribed burning on April 30, approximately 4 miles northeast of Missoula within the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area. Ignitions will be conducted by helicopter. Smoke may be visible from the upper Rattlesnake, I-90, and the Missoula valley. No closures are currently in place.
- Ninemile Ranger District- French Town Face Prescribed Burns in McCormick and Butler Creeks (April 29-30): On April 29 and 30, firefighters may ignite up to 345 acres in total using a combination of hand and helicopter ignition methods. Smoke may be visible from the Ninemile Valley, McCormick and Butler Creek, and the I-90 corridor from Missoula to Huson. No closures are currently in place. These prescribed burns are being implemented with partnership funding from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program to improve wildlife habitat.
- Seeley Lake Ranger District – Horseshoe West/Mountain Creek Prescribed Burns (April 30): On April 30, firefighters may conduct prescribed burning on up to 80 acres in two different burn units using hand ignitions. Horseshoe West is approximately 3 miles southeast of Seeley Lake, MT, and south of Double Arrow. Mountain Creek is approximately 3 miles east of Seeley Lake, MT. Smoke may be visible from the community of Seeley Lake, Double Arrow, Big Sky Lake and Kozy Korner. No closures are expected.
- Superior Ranger District – Drury Peak/CC Divide Prescribed Burn (April 29): On April 29, firefighters may conduct up to 300 acres of prescribed burning using a helicopter. Smoke may be visible from St. Regis, I-90, and Highway 200. No closures are currently in place.
- Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger District – Clear Creek Prescribed Burn (April 29 -May 1): Over the next three days, firefighters may ignite up to 200 acres by hand in the Clear Creek area. Smoke may be visible from Thompson Falls and Highway 200. No closures are currently in place.
“Although we are not expecting closures for these operations, we want to remind the public that firefighters will be in these areas and to please give them plenty of space,” stated Kate Jerman, Lolo National Forest Public Affairs Officer. “This work will further our fuels reduction goals in critical areas nearby communities, improve wildlife habitat, and help to create places where firefighters have the ability to engage with a future wildfire more effectively.”
Prescribed burns are only implemented if conditions are favorable. Favorable conditions include correct temperature, wind, fuel moisture and ventilation for smoke. When these criteria are met, firefighters implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets forest health and public safety goals including air quality.
All prescribed burns will be implemented in compliance with Montana air quality standards and coordinated with the Montana State Department of Environmental Quality to reduce the impacts of smoke to neighbors, cooperators, and surrounding communities.