Spring prescribed burning to begin across Idaho Panhandle National Forests

By Reader Staff

Officials are eyeing the weather forecast for the coming weeks to provide prescribed burning opportunities across the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Multiple prescribed burning projects are planned this spring, although the exact day of ignitions will depend on conditions, forest managers stated in a news release. 

Prescribed burning is part of the annual management program for each U.S. Forest Service ranger district, aimed at reducing hazardous fuels, preparing areas for tree planting and improving wildlife forage. 

Fire managers will evaluate weather and fuels to determine when burning can be safely conducted. Burned areas are monitored to ensure that fire remains within the project boundaries. The Idaho Panhandle National Forests works with the Montana/Idaho Airshed Group and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to minimize smoke impacts from prescribed burning. All prescribed burning decisions are based on the group’s recommendations, given predicted smoke emissions and dispersion forecasts. For additional information on air quality, smoke management, and forecasts, see mi.airshedgroup.org.

The public is urged to stay away from project areas during burning operations and for a few days afterward. Signs will be posted along access roads and near affected trailheads and trail junctions during burn operations. Temporary access restrictions or closures may be necessary for public safety. 

Burn status, maps and other information is available at bit.ly/NorthIdahoRxFire.

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