By Reader Staff
Fire managers plan to begin prescribed burning on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. The exact timing and acreage of burns will depend on fuel conditions and wind patterns. A detailed list of prescribed fire projects is available at http://www.northidahorxfire.com/. Information will also be provided on the Forest Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USFSIPNF/. Weather and fuels are monitored to determine when burning can be safely conducted.
“The safety of firefighters and the public is my highest priority. Prescribed burning allows firefighters to improve forest health and meet resource objectives under favorable conditions,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Holly Jewkes. Although burned areas are monitored to ensure that fire remains within the project boundaries, burned areas can be very hazardous. Signs will be posted along access roads and near affected trailheads and trail junctions during operations. Temporary access restrictions or closures may be necessary for public safety. The public is urged to stay away from project areas during burning operations and for a few days afterward.
Prescribed burning is part of each Ranger District’s annual natural resource management program to reduce hazardous fuels, prepare areas for tree planting, and improve wildlife forage. Annually, the Idaho Panhandle National Forests treats nearly 5,000 acres with prescribed fire.
People with respiratory problems are encouraged to contact their local ranger station if they wished to be notified when burning will occur. The Idaho Panhandle National Forests works with the Montana/Idaho Airshed Group to minimize smoke impacts from prescribed burns. All prescribed burning decisions are based on the Group’s recommendations given predicted smoke emissions and dispersion forecasts. Additional information on air quality and smoke management is available at https://mi.airshedgroup.org/.