New Meadows Ranger District Announces Spring Prescribed Burns
McCall, ID – The New Meadows Ranger District of the Payette National Forest will be conducting prescribed burning in the Warm Springs, Patrick Butte, and Rapid River area this spring. Depending on weather conditions, burning may take place in April, May, and June. The Warm Springs burn units (approx. 2,500 acres in total) consist of the southern and eastern slopes within the western branch of Warm Springs Creek, 3 miles northeast of Starkey. The Patrick Butte burn unit (approx. 2,000 acres) is within the Lake Creek and Patrick Creek drainages, 6 miles southeast of Riggins. The Rapid River burn unit (approx. 1,000 acres) is comprised of the south and east aspects of Curren Mountain.
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 will be much less than what would be expected from a wildfire. If smoke concentrations become an issue, fire ignition may be delayed until air quality improves. Residual smoke may be visible for up to 1 week following ignition, but most of the smoke from the fires will dissipate 1 day after ignition. Please visit the following link to view the prescribed fire operations within your area, http://www.smokemu.org/map.cfm.
These prescribed burning will maintain or improve current big game habitat by opening forested stands and protect large trees from high-severity wildfire. The prescribed fire will also rejuvenate shrubs and grasses. Birds and small mammals generally benefit from the increase in snags and large debris that result from this type of burn. Reducing accumulated fuels also promotes long-term ecosystem sustainability by reducing the risk of high-severity wildland fire and introducing a mosaic of fire intensities into these fire-adapted ecosystems.
Smoke sensitive individuals may call Dave Vining or Dustin Doane at 208-347-0300 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 on the Payette National Forest, and part of the comprehensive fire management program on the New Meadows Ranger District.