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Area Agencies Considering Prescribed Fire, Monitoring Air Quality

Release from Nez Perce Tribe Air Quality Program

LAPWAI – Prescribed fire is an important tool for both the forestry and agricultural communities. Fire benefits the ecosystem by decreasing or slowing diseases, stimulating growth, and reducing the potential for severe wildfires. Prescribed burning only occurs when it is allowed by fire and smoke management authorities.


Smoke is a byproduct of all sources of fire. Therefore, when managing smoke, a number of factors are considered to determine if prescribed fire will be allowed.  These include:

  • The number of fires burning or planned in the area
  • The amount of smoke already in the airshed
  • The current and projected weather and air quality conditions
  • Coordination between agencies and other landowners that conduct and/or manage prescribed fire

It’s important to know that local and regional fires affect air quality. Smoke can travel long distances, so fires in other areas can impact our air. Our agencies work together to manage smoke from prescribed fire and share information with the public.

For all smoke comments and concerns, call the following number:

Smoke Hotline: 1-800-345-1007

For updates on air quality, wildfires, and prescribed burning in our area, visit:

Agency Contacts:

  • Alfred Allman, Idaho Department of Lands, Maggie Creek Area – Kamiah, 208-935-2141
  • Kevin Barger, Bureau of Land Management, 208-962-3245
  • Johna Boulafentis, Nez Perce Tribe Air Quality, 208-843-9381
  • Kevin Chafee, Idaho Department of Lands, Craig Mountain Area – Craigmont, 208-924-5571
  • Philip Hagihara, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, 208-799-4370
  • Jeff Handel, Nez Perce Tribe Forestry and Fire Management, 208-843-2827
  • Heather Heward, Idaho Prescribed Fire Council, 208-596-5338
  • Mike McManus, Idaho Department of Lands, Ponderosa Area – Deary, 208-877-1121
  • Seth Morphis, Montana Idaho Airshed Group, 406-329-3524
  • Kane Steinbruecker, Clearwater Potlatch Timber Protective Association, 208-476-5612
  • Jim Wimer, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, 208-935-6134

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