KAMIAH – Conditions permitting, fire managers on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest plan to begin fall prescribed fire operations immediately and continue until project completion or conditions change and are no longer optimal for achieving objectives. Ignitions will take place on days that will meet smoke management and project objectives.
Prescribed fire, often combined with mechanical and/or hand thinning treatments is an effective land management tool used for improving overall forest health and to reducing the accumulation of hazardous fuels. In some locations, fire is used as a tool to prepare a site for future planting by reducing post logging debris and providing critical nutrients to the soil.
Fire managers will work closely with the Idaho/Montana Airshed Group, the National Weather Service, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to ensure that smoke impacts are minimized. The decision to ignite on any given day will depend on favorable weather conditions and the need to reduce smoke effects as much as possible. Smoke from these prescribed fires will be much less than what would be expected from a wildfire. If smoke concentrations approach minimum air quality standards, ignitions may be delayed until air quality improves.
There are no planned closures associated with burning activities, but roads and trails impacted will be signed. Visitors to these areas should expect to see smoke and increased traffic supporting these projects.
Acres planned are a total of all acres that will see positive impacts as a result of implementing the prescribed fire. Not every acre will be ignited or burn. The planned prescribed fires by location are as follows:
Lochsa/Powell Ranger District
· Woodrat Harvest Units – 100 acres located two miles northwest of Syringa
· Snowy Pete – 40 acres located near Hemlock Butte
· Alder Timber Sale – Landing pile burning located four miles southeast of Pierce in the Lost Hat Saddle area
· Snyde Ape Timber Sale – Landing pile burning located in the Nevada and Mud Creek areas
· Miscellaneous pile burning across the Lochsa District
· Miscellaneous pile burning in various units in the vicinity of Powell
North Fork Ranger District
• Preacher Dewey – 37 acres of broadcast burning and multiple roadside piles on the north and south side of 250 road, two miles east of Pierce
• Long Creek – 2,000 acres near Short Point and Goose Ridge; due east of Cedars Campground
• Hand piles at Oiser Lookout, Cold Springs Cabin, and Shin Point
Moose Creek Ranger District
· Hot Deck Piles – Roadside piles along the Swiftwater Road, three miles south of Lowell
· Hot Point Piles –Roadside machine and landing piles in multiple units, four miles south of Lowell
· Lodge Point Piles – Machine and landing piles in multiple units, four miles southeast of Syringa
· Peterson Point Piles – Roadside machine and landing piles, six miles southeast of Lowell
· Lowell WUI Piles – Machine and landing piles in multiple units on the Coolwater road one mile east of Lowell
· Fenn Admin Piles – near the Fenn Ranger Station
· Wash Piles –Roadside machine piles and landings in multiple units on the Falls Point Road, 12 miles north of Elk City
Salmon River Ranger District
· Wickiup –This burn has been completed. No further ignitions will be occurring. Smoke and fire personnel may still be encountered near McComas Meadows
· French Liquor Timber Sale – Broadcast burning of 24 acres of activity generated slash
· Doc Denny – Pile burning will include machine piles 10 miles southeast of Grangeville and one 27 acre broadcast unit of logging activity generated slash
· Machine and hand piles in the Adams Stew Timber Sale near the Adams Camp Work Center will be burned to reduce post-harvest fuels
Red River Ranger District
· Hand piles will be ignited in many of the campgrounds on the district, and along the Crooked River Road to reduce fuels from hazard tree removal
· Machine and hand pile burning will take place in harvest units in Orogrande, and Muddy Moose southeast of Newsome; Deadwood near Summit Flats; Hamby Saddle and Dutch Oven, west of the Elk City Township, to reduce post-harvest fuels.
· Weather dependent – 150 acres of Orogrande Fuels Timber Sale activity fuel burning and 400 acres in the South Township Timber Sale and Fuel Reduction Project
Palouse Ranger District
· Hand and machine piles are expected to be burned to reduce fuels in previously harvested or treated areas. Pile locations are in several sale areas at Bluejacket near Harvard; Robo Stew, Uncle Morris and Upper Basin projects near Elk River, and several campgrounds and administrative sites across the district
· Broadcast burns of up to 150 acres between the Bluejacket and Uncle Morris locations