Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (May 1, 2017) – Fire managers on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests are gearing up for prescribed burning season as weather and conditions allow. Prescribed burning is part of each Ranger District’s annual natural resource management program to reduce hazardous fuels, prepare areas for tree planting, and improve wildlife forage. Annually, the Idaho Panhandle National Forests treats nearly 5,000 acres with prescribed fire throughout north Idaho.
Fire managers monitor weather and fuels to determine when burning can be safely conducted. “The safety of firefighters and the public is my highest priority. Prescribed burning allows firefighters to improve forest health and meet resource objectives under favorable conditions,” said Forest Supervisor Mary Farnsworth.
Project updates will be provided on the Forest Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USFSIPNF/. Burned areas are monitored to ensure that fire remains within the project boundaries. For a list of prescribed fires and locations, visit your local ranger station or go to http://www.northidahorxfire.com/.
Burned areas can be very hazardous. The public is urged to stay away from project areas during burning operations and for a few days afterward. Signs will be posted along access roads and near affected trailheads and trail junctions during operations. Temporary access restrictions or closures may be necessary for public safety. The exact timing and acreage of burns depends on fuel conditions and wind patterns. People with respiratory problems are encouraged to contact their local district office if they wished to be notified when burning will occur.
The Idaho Panhandle National Forests works with the Montana/Idaho Airshed Group who works with Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to minimize smoke impacts from prescribed burns. All prescribed burning decisions are based on the Group’s recommendations given predicted smoke emissions and dispersion forecasts. Additional information on air quality and smoke management is available at http://www.smokemu.org/index.php.