Forest Service announces annual spring prescribed projects

KAMIAH, Idaho (April 15, 2021) – Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests officials have announced plans today for their annual spring prescribed fire projects. Planned ignitions will begin as early as this weekend when weather and fuel conditions become optimal for achieving management objectives while minimizing smoke impacts to surrounding communities. Weather, fuel and smoke conditions will be closely monitored, and the prescribed burning program will continue as long as conditions remain favorable.

Fire plays an integral role in our environment and is a natural process that will occur, regardless if it is a planned, Prescribed burn or a wildfire. Prescribed burning is done to reduce fuels, selectively thin the understory in densely forested stands, stimulate growth in fire-tolerant plant species, prepare sites for hand tree planting, enhance forage for wildlife, and return fire’s natural role to the landscape.

Prescribed fire, combined with mechanical and/or hand thinning treatments are effective land management tools used to reduce the accumulation of hazardous fuels. This action minimizes the overall risk to public and firefighter safety, while improving forage and habitat for wildlife.

Smoke from prescribed fires is significantly less than what would be expected from a mid-summer wildfire. If smoke concentrations approach minimum air quality standards, ignitions may be delayed until air quality improves. Residual smoke may be visible for up to two weeks following ignition, but most of the smoke from the fires will dissipate in one or two days.

Short duration trail and area closures may be implemented for public and firefighter safety during prescribed burn activities. Closure information can be found at

Acres planned include all lands encompassed in the prescribed burn project areas. However, not every acre will burn or be ignited.

The planned prescribed fires by Ranger District are as follows:

Salmon River Ranger District – Planning to treat multiple units on two timber sales for activity slash removal to mitigate hazardous fuels and site prep for reduction of barriers to tree planting.

  • Doc Denny TS- 390 acres across multiple units located on Tamarack Ridge 11 miles Southeast of Grangeville.
  • French Liquor TS- 26 acres across two units located near Florence, ID

Lochsa/Powell Ranger District –

  • No Planned Spring Burns for the Lochsa/Powell RD

North Fork Ranger District – Up to 530 acres planned:

  • East Saddle Project – 400 to 500 acres, 3 days Landscape burning for Wildlife Habitat Restoration, Project is located East of Kelly Forks Work Center along FS Road #255

The East Saddle RX burn units are part of a large integrated restoration project intended to improved wildlife habitat and overall forest health. This project will target decadent brush fields and pockets of timber being encroached by undesirable early seral timber species.

  • Preacher Dewey Project – 2 Logging Units, 30 total acres, located 2 miles east of Pierce Idaho

Site preparation burning of logging slash ahead of tree planting. Trees are ordered and need to be planted this year.  The burning of this slash creates the necessary open areas and nutrients which are both vital to successful reforestation efforts. 

Moose Creek Ranger District –

  • No Planned Spring Burns

Palouse Ranger District – Up to 500 acres planned across multiple units:  There are three Timber sale areas on the Palouse with activity slash units available should a prescription window present itself to have prescribed burn activities this spring to remove activity slash generated through harvest activities and prepare the units for reforestation activities planned for Spring 2022. 

Ignitions could occur between 4/21 and 5/28/2021:

  • Strychnine Pines TS- Units 2 and 3 (~100 acres): approx. 5 miles NE of Harvard Idaho in the Palouse River drainage off of Forest Road 768.
  • Uncle Morris Stewardship- Units 4 and 15 (~80 acres): approx. 4 miles north of Elk River Idaho in the Elk Creek drainage off Forest Road 1969.
  • Upper Basin Stewardship- Units 4, 16, 17A, 17B, 38, and 38A (~150 acres): approx. 4 miles north of Elk River Idaho in the Elk Creek drainage off Forest Road 3805

There are also two units where prescribed burning activities may occur in order to reduce naturally accumulated fuel loadings:

  • Johnson Creek Fuels- (75 acres): approx. 4 miles north of Elk River Idaho in the Elk Creek drainage off Forest Road 3805.
  • White Pine Mulch- (90 acres): approx. 4 miles east of Sanders Idaho near West Dennis off Forest Road 377.

Red River Ranger District –137 acres planned across multiple units:  Burning logging slash from recent harvest units to remove hazardous fuel loading and prepare the units for reforestation (planting sapling trees).

  • Orogrande Fuels TS- 12 acres Located near the community of Orogrande along Forest Road 233 (Crooked River Road) near the junction of Road 522 (Deadwood Road)
  • Muddy Moose TS- 125 acres across multiple units located West of the Elk City Township between Newsome Creek and Elk Summit Lookout along Forest Roads 307, 1808, and 471.

Specific information on the location and timing of these prescribed burns is available at each of the district offices:

  • Salmon River Ranger District – Josh Bransford, 208-839-2141 or Graydon Galloway, 208-983-4035
  • North Fork Ranger District – Brandon Skinner, 208-819-6905 or TC Peterson, 208-476-8257
  • Powell Ranger Station –Brandon Cichowski, 208-942-0344 or Chad Daugherty, 208-942-0345
  • Moose Creek Ranger District – Jon Norman, 208-926-8952 or Dustin Decker, 208-926-8948
  • Lochsa Ranger Station – Sean Gaines or Neal Cox, 208-926-4274
  • Palouse Ranger District – Lisa Spinelli or Alan Carlson, 208-875-1131
  • Red River Ranger District – Chris Marabetta, 208-842-2123, or Tom McLeod, 208-842-2117


    For more information, please contact Jim Wimer at 208-451-4654 or .