Spring Prescribed Burning on Payette National Forest
McCall, ID – The Payette National Forest will be conducting multiple prescribed fires this spring dependent on weather conditions. The burning could be conducted anytime from late March through May.
Planned burning on the New Meadows Ranger District – approximately 1,500 acres within the Lake Fork drainage (6 miles southeast of Riggins); 1,500 acres within Rapid River along the eastern slopes of Curren Mountain (18 miles northwest of New Meadows); 740 acres in the Warm Springs drainage (11 miles north of Council); 70 acres along the east branch of the Upper Weiser drainage (2 miles north of Price Valley Guard Station; 500 acres within Mud Creek (6 miles northwest of New Meadows); and 10 acres adjacent to Rock Flats community.
Planned burning on the McCall Ranger District – approximately 120 acres within and adjacent to Bear Basin (4 miles northwest of McCall) in April.
Planned burning on the Krassel Ranger District – approximately 3,000 acres along the northern slopes of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River (3 miles west of Yellow Pine) in April.
Planned burning on the Council Ranger District – approximately 50 to 2,500 acres between two different locations; near Lafferty Campground (north and east of the Council – Cuprum Road, Forest Road 002), and near Calf Pen Gulch (north and east of Calf Pen Road, Forest Road 073 and west of Council Cuprum road, Forest Road 002).
Trail heads and roads that lead into these areas will be posted with caution signs and a map of the prescribed burn locations. Fire personnel will work closely with the Idaho/Montana Airshed Group, the National Weather Service, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to ensure that smoke impacts are minimized. The decision to ignite on any given day will depend on favorable weather conditions and the need to minimize smoke effects. Smoke from these prescribed fires will be much less than what would be expected from a wildfire. If smoke concentrations approach air quality standards fire ignition 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 within two days following ignition.
These prescribed fires will reduce fuels near communities and improve current big game habitat by opening timber stands (maintaining the large tree component) and rejuvenating the herbaceous and browse component. In addition, birds and small mammals generally benefit from an increase in snags and/or coarse woody debris. Reducing accumulated fuels will not only increase available forage but also promote long-term ecosystem integrity and sustainability by reducing the risk to habitat from high-severity wildland fire.
Smoke sensitive individuals may call Dustin Doane (208-347-0336) or Tom Bates (208-634-0610) or Ryan Jones (208-549-4213) with any concerns they may have about the planned prescribed fires. The public may also call New Meadows Ranger District at 208-347-0300 for more information. Prescribed fire is an important component of natural resource management and part of the comprehensive fire management program on the Payette National Forest.