Kamiah, ID.– May 1, 2023 –Released by the Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest
Personnel across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, along with their interagency partners and neighbors, are preparing for spring prescribed burning operations across north central Idaho. These projects help to reduce hazardous fuels, restore wildlife habitat, and create better protection around communities from future wildfires. Prescribed burning could begin as soon as this week and may continue throughout the spring when fuel and weather conditions become favorable.
Prescribed burns are carefully planned and implemented in accordance with a written burn plan. Prior to implementation, local fire managers coordinate with the National Weather Service, local cooperators, counties, and partners. Prescribed burning operations will only be conducted if conditions are favorable. Favorable conditions include correct parameters for temperature, wind, fuel moisture, and ventilation for smoke. When prescription criteria are met, firefighters implement,
monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets forest health and public safety goals. “Prescribed fire has proven to be a highly effective tool for reducing the build-up of grasses, brush, and timber litter that become volatile vectors of fire spread during hot-dry periods in north central Idaho” states Kevin Pfister, Fire Staff Officer for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.
Pfister also added “As directed by our leadership and congress, we will continue to use every tool and authority we have available to address the wildfire threat, to make our communities safer, and to protect critical infrastructure and natural resources”. The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest is hoping to get some good burning “windows” of opportunity this spring. This means having favorable weather conditions that allow the dead fuels to burn without affecting the live trees or vegetation in a bad way. Spring conditions also typically create favorable wind patterns that help to disperse most of the smoke that is generated from these
burns within just a few days. If conditions allow, approximately 7,000 acres of national forest lands across multiple ranger districts is slated to be treated with prescribed fire this Spring. Most of these acres fall under the designated Lower Salmon River Priority Landscape, and all implemented prescribed burning will help contribute to the goals of the nation’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy by creating a more resilient and fire-adapted landscape and helping to protect communities in the Wildland Urban Interface from wildfire.
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Moose Creek Ranger District – Contact: Dustin Decker, 208-926-8948
Potential for up to 60 acres planned in the Lowell WUI (Wildland-Urban Interface) Project area. Public may encounter firefighting personnel and short-duration smoke impacts to Forest Service
Road (FSR) #317 (Coolwater Road) east of Lowell.
Palouse Ranger District – Contact: Doug Colaprete, 208-875-1709
Potential for up to 260 acres planned on the Greenhorn and Uncle Morris prescribed fire units. Some ignition operations began this weekend and may continue into the week as conditions allow.
Salmon River Ranger District – Contact: Graydon Galloway, 208-983-4035
Potential for up to 5000 acres planned across three different projects:
Clean Slate Rx: Located on the north side of Slate Creek drainage between North Fork campgroundand Willow Flats. This project will be reducing a mix of both natural and activity fuels. Approximately 3,400 – 5,000 acres, depending on conditions.
Windy Shingle South TS: Approximately 178 acres of activity generated fuels.
Crown Royal TS: Located in the Florence Basin. Tree planting will be occurring this spring there is still approximately 60 acres of activity generated fuels to burn prior to planting.
Red River Ranger District – Contact: Tom Mcleod, 208-842-2117 Potential for up to 980 acres of ignitions across three different projects located near Elk City.
South Township – Up to 400 acres of natural and activity generated fuels 2 miles south of the town of Elk City. Possible short-duration smoke impacts to FSR #222 and town of Elk City.
Dutch Oven – Up to 480 acres of natural and activity generated fuels 7 miles west of Elk City along FSR #9815 Possible short-duration smoke impacts along State Highway 14, FSR #1808, FSR #1199 and the town of Elk City.
Muddy Moose – Up to 100 acres of activity generated fuels 9 miles west of Elk City along FSR
Possible short-duration smoke along State Highway 14, FSR #1808, FSR #1199 and the town of Elk City.
North Fork Ranger District – Contact: Terra Rintelen, 208-476-8251
North Fork Ponderosa Pines Restoration: Potential for 200-800 acres of ignitions from one mile west of Washington Creek Campground to Kelly Work Center. Public may encounter possible delays from fire personnel and/or smoke along FSR #247 and FSR #250 during ignition operations.
Lower Orogrande TS Files: Approximately 25 acres of brush piles to be burned during the month of May.