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Contact: BLM--Marilyn Krause (406) 533-7617
USFS--Jack de Golia (406) 683-3984
Date: April 13, 2007
Prescribed Burns Planned North of Philipsburg
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the Forest Service, with funding support from the Rocky Mountain Elk foundation, are preparing to burn about 750 acres in the Wyman Face area about five miles north of Philipsburg.
The “prescribed burn” will be done when conditions allow the vegetation to burn in a controllable way. Burning could take up to a week to complete when weather and fuel conditions are favorable, but may occur anytime during the next month.
Forest conditions in the Wyman Face area have become unhealthy and are at higher risk of large catastrophic wildfire. Using controlled burning to manage the forest will reduce the fire hazard by removing unnaturally dense Douglas- fir and lodgepole pine sapling trees and return the area to a more natural condition. The use of prescribed fire allows fuels specialists to mimic natural fire patterns and return the project area to historic conditions characterized by large diameter Douglas fir with wide openings desirable for elk habitat.
Fire fighters will use driptorches on the ground and aerial ignition will be accomplished with a helitorch, a device mounted on a helicopter that can cover a large area efficiently. For more information about the prescribed burns, please contact Joe Brabender at the Forest Service office in Philipsburg, phone (406) 859-3211, or Shelagh Fox at BLM’s Missoula Field Office, phone (406) 329-3914.