Date: September 13, 2007
Contact: Dena Lang 406-233-2907
BLM to Conduct North Pine Prescribed Burn
The Bureau of Land Management will be conducting the North Pine prescribed burn in the Cedar Creek Drainage within Prairie, Dawson and Wibaux Counties. Burning will take place between September 25, 2007 and October 31, 2007. Ignition will depend upon proper weather conditions, conducive to burning, and will occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The prescribed burn will consist of 2,570 acres of BLM-administered land and 669 acres of private land. The ecosystem is a juniper savanna with occasional ponderosa pine and grass. Historically, frequent low intensity fires moved through the grass and understory. Through fire suppression activities, these fuels have built to uncharacteristic levels of thick juniper regeneration and an abundant supply of litter fuels. The prescribed burn will be implemented to restore the ecological role of fire by reducing the fuel load in the continuous juniper stands. In addition, by breaking up the continuous juniper stand, wildlife habitat will be enhanced by increasing the diversity of forage and browse species as the result of creating open spaces.
The burn will be implemented primarily by using aerial ignitions. This will allow for a more cost-effective and a less time-consuming operation. Aerial ignition will be completed using a helitorch--an aerial ignition device hung from or mounted on a helicopter to disperse ignited lumps of gelled gasoline. The equipment is comprised of a 190-liter fuel storage tank from which gelled fuel is pumped through a valve and is ignited by a high voltage spark. Burning operations may also include black-lining prior to and in conjunction with the aerial ignitions.
Prior to main ignition, a small aerial test fire will take place. Fire managers will pay close attention to observed and forecasted weather conditions to determine if the project can be completed according to prescription and objectives.
For more information please call Dena Lang at (406) 233-2907 or Mike Ford at (406) 233-2873.