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Prescribed fire

Forest crews in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest work on a prescribed burn to clear debris and improve wildlife habitat.

The Missoula Ranger District’s fall pile burning activities will take place throughout the months of October and November as favorable weather, smoke dispersion forecasts, and fuel conditions allow for safe and effective operations.

The burning will consist of handpiles located in the upper Rattlesnake within the Marshall Woods project area. There are approximately 450 acres of handpiles located on the East side of Rattlesnake Creek, along trail 513.1, at the main Rattlesnake trailhead, and near Danny O’Brien Gulch. The pile burning will be completed utilizing hand ignition devices and will be completed 5-50 acres at a time depending on factors such as; air quality and dispersion forecasts, and weather conditions. The burn objectives are focused on disposal of biomass created from thinning and piling in 2017 ultimately allowing for underburning to take place in the future.

Although most piles are not located directly adjacent to trail systems, please avoid traveling in areas where active burning is taking place. Hand piles typically burn down quickly and intensities are short lived, however piles can produce significant radiant heat so staying at least 50 ft away from any burning pile is recommended. Visit the Lolo National Forest on Facebook for information and pictures of projects happening around the forest.

If there are any questions, contact the Missoula Ranger District at 329-3750.

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