Rocky Mountain Ranger District’s Planned Fall/Winter Prescribed Burn Projects

AUGUSTA, MONT., September 6, 2018--As weather and fuel conditions allow, the Rocky Mountain Ranger District of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is preparing to implement prescribed burning on three units, west of Augusta. Burning will occur when weather is conducive to safe implementation of prescribed burning during the months of September, October, and November. The targeted units total approximately 280 acres.

The first burn unit, referred to as Ford Creek Unit #1a is located north of the Benchmark Road, just west of the National Forest boundary. Prescribed fire has been applied to the majority of this unit over the past two years, with approximately 40 acres remaining for treatment this fall.

Burning is also planned further west, along the Benchmark Road, near the South Fork Sun trailhead. The units planned for burning are Benchmark Units #1a and #1b. These two units are contiguous and total 236 acres.

The intent of introducing low-intensity prescribed fire to the Ford Creek and Benchmark units is to re-establish natural fuel breaks along the Benchmark Road corridor by reducing conifer encroachment into natural, grassy open areas. Additionally, treatment of these units is designed to help encourage restoration of fire-resistant aspen stands within the unit boundaries.

Both the Ford Creek and Benchmark units were pre-treated, which means that small diameter conifers have been felled and the fuels have cured enough to maintain a low-intensity prescribed fire within the unit boundaries. Depending on a variety of factors, all three units could be completed in stages over the next three months.

When fire managers determine that conditions will allow for a safe burn, more specific information will be shared with the public on the Forest’s Facebook and Twitter sites.  For more information contact the Rocky Mountain Ranger District at 406-466-5341, or the Augusta Information Station at 406-562-3247.




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