McCall and Krassel Ranger Districts Announce Fall Prescribed Burning Activities

Posted by swidrxfire - September 19, 2011 - Fire Update, News - No Comments

Contact: Laura Pramuk  (208) 634-0784  cell: (208) 634-6945

McCall, ID – The McCall and Krassel Ranger Districts of the Payette National Forest will be conducting several prescribed burning activities on approx. 200 acres this fall.  Some of the work will involve the burning of slash piles created during timber harvest activities and Wildland Urban-Interface (WUI) forest thinning projects.  The primary purpose of the pile burning is to decrease the amount of accumulated slash and associated fire hazard. The number of piles burned every day depends on the weather and the number of firefighters available to conduct safe and effective burning.  Ignition of ground fuels, known as broadcast burning, will be utilized in three locations in order to remove left over slash from thinning operations, reduce the amount of dead and down timber on the forest floor, and reduce competition among trees so that larger, more fire resistant trees have a better chance of surviving a potential wildfire. Both types of prescribed fire reduce the risk of undesirable effects from wildfires, and/or improve overall forest health.

The broadcast burns will also reduce vegetation in the wildland urban interface, providing more defensible space for homeowners and firefighters.  Prescribed fires maintain or improve big game and wildlife habitat as well by opening forest stands and protecting larger mature trees from high severity wildfire.  The planned burns will also produce habitat for smaller mammals and birds in the form of snags and downed wood vegetation.  The introduction of fire can also rejuvenate grasses and other desirable brush.  The careful introduction of fire into this fire adapted ecosystem helps maintain long-term ecosystem sustainability by reducing the likelihood of high severity wildland fires, and by introducing a mosaic of fire intensities that produce a variety of vegetation types and effects on the landscape.

 

Depending on weather conditions the burning could take place anytime from early September to the end of November.  The scheduled burning is as follows:

Yellow Pine/Eiguren Ranch Prescribed Fire

  • This 50 acres broadcast burn will reduce the amount of forest vegetation, left over slash, and deadfall in the area so that risks associated with wildfire are reduced near homes and private land.
  • This project is part of the Yellow Pine/Eiguren Ranch Fuels Management Project.
  • Located 3 miles west of Yellow Pine off of Forest Service Highway 48 – T19N, R8E, Sec. 21.

Meadows Slope Prescribed Fire 

  • This 100 broadcast burn will create openings and reduce the amount of forest vegetation in forested areas near homes and private land and is part of the Meadows Slope Wildland Fire Protection Project.
  • Located across the highway from Rock Flat on the east side of Highway 55, north of the Little Ski Hill – T19N, R2E, Sec. 36.
  • The project includes the ignition of 20 acres of piles.
  • By conducting this burn in conjunction with subsequent mechanical thinning and prescribed burns in the area, the District hopes to create a defensible area near the private property line adjacent to Bear Basin.  It is expected that the burning will be completed in 1 to 3 days with minimal residual smoke.
    Meadows Slope RX Fire project area

    Meadows Slope RX Fire project area

    Motorists travelling on or entering Highway 55 in the vicinity of the burn are encouraged to use caution and remain focused on driving when the burn is taking place.  Signs will be posted along Highway 55 warning motorists of potential smoke impacts along the road during and after the burn. Recreationists can also expect some impacts as portions of the trail system that pass through the prescribed fire unit will be closed during implementation to ensure public safety.  These closures are expected to last less than 24 hours and will be posted on site and on the Payette National Forest website.

Paddy Flat  Prescribed Fire 

  • This is 5 acre broadcast burn is part of the Paddy Flat Vegetation Management Project.
  • Located north of the Paddy Flat Guard Station, 9 miles northeast of Donnelly, off of Forest Service Road 388 – T17N, R4E, Sec. 13, 14, 15 & 23 and T17N, R5E, Sec. 18 &19.

Paddy Flat Pile Burn

  • This 15 acre pile burn will reduce the amount of slash created during thinning adjacent to the Paddy Flat Subdivision and is part of the Paddy Flat Vegetation Management Project
  • Located near the Paddy Flat Guard Station, 7 miles northeast of Donnelly, off of Forest Service Road 388 – T17N, R4E, Sec. 26.

Secesh WUI Pile Burn

  • This 20 acre pile burn will reduce the amount of slash created during thinning adjacent to the community of Secesh and is part of the Secesh Wildland–Urban Interface Project.
  • Located at the north end of the Secesh Community, 28 miles northeast of McCall off of Forest Service Highway 21 – T22N, R5E, Sec. 3 & 10.

Burgdorf Pile Burn

  • This 20 acre pile burn will reduce the amount of slash created during a forest thinning project adjacent to Burgdorf Hot Springs and is part of the Burgdorf Wildland – Urban Interface Project.
  • Located 27 miles north of McCall off of Forest Service Road 246– T22N, R4E, Sec 1.

Fire personnel will work closely with the Idaho/Montana Airshed Group, the National Weather Service, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to insure that smoke impacts are minimized.  The decision to ignite on any given day will depend on favorable weather conditions and the need to reduce smoke effects as much as possible.  Smoke from these prescribed fires should be much less than what would be expected from wildfires.  Residual smoke may be visible for up to 2 weeks following ignition, but most of the smoke from the fires will dissipate 2 to 3 days after ignition.  During pile burning activities, recreationists and local residents should exercise caution when driving.  There may be increased vehicle traffic due to fire personnel working in the area and smoke may obscure visibility on some roadways. Trailheads or any other public access into burn areas may be closed at the time of ignitions.

Smoke sensitive individuals or anyone with concerns may contact Paul Klasner (208)634-0630 or Tom Bates (208)634-0610 at the Krassel Ranger District.  Prescribed fire is an important component of natural resource management on the Payette National Forest, and part of the comprehensive fire management program of the McCall and Krassel Ranger Districts.