Lowman Ranger District Ignites Prescribed Burn Near Grandjean
The Lowman Ranger District of the Boise National Forest ignited an approximate 650 acre prescribed fire just northwest of Grandjean and the Grandjean Lodge on May 9, 2012 in the Bear Creek watershed.
Ignition occurred by dropping small, chemically treated plastic spheres from a helicopter that ignite after hitting the ground. This technique is safer for fire managers, and improves the ability to manage flame height and intensity.
Smoke may be visible in the area for several days, or weeks, until spring rains extinguish the mostly smoldering fuels. Some flare-ups may be visible. Fire personnel monitor the burn area daily to ensure a dangerous situation does not develop leading to an escaped prescribed burn.
This area evolved with natural fire and is a fire adapted ecosystem. Periodic fire, especially a prescribed burn, enhances meeting natural conditions in a safer manner for people living or traveling in the area. It also lessens the threat of a hot and dry intense wildfire in the summer for the lodge, surrounding properties and recreation lands.
The objective was to use low severity and moderate intensity fire on 30-60% of the area. That reduces the accumulation of pine needles, branches and other dead wood on the ground. Another important objective is to reduce “ladder fuels”, which is a condition where a ground fire can travel into the tree crown due to low limbs that grew due to a lack of periodic low intensity fire. Burning also clears decadent brush and stimulates less flammable young shrubs that are more palatable for big game.
Site-specific burn plans developed for prescribed burns address potential smoke management concerns and mitigations. Signs posted on roads near the burn area notify travelers and outdoors people when burning is in progress. All burns are conducted with favorable atmospheric ventilation and wind to minimize smoke impacts to local communities.
For residents, an early season reminder regarding burning yard waste at your home – permits are required starting May 10th. Permits are issued on a case-by-case basis depending on weather conditions. Additional information is available at your closest Idaho Department of Lands office.
For more information, contact the Lowman Ranger District at 208-259-3361, the Boise National Forest Prescribed Fire Website at-www.rxfire.com, or the Prescribed Fire Hotline at 208-373-4208.