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Date:  August 20, 2008
Contact:  Mark Jacobsen (406) 233-2831  

Miles City BLM to Conduct Prescribed Burn 

The Bureau of Land Management will be conducting a prescribed burn to enhance wildlife habitat and reduce fuels in the Cedar Creek drainage of Prairie and Dawson counties between Aug. 25 and Oct. 31, 2008. 

The prescription area consists of approximately 1,500 acres of BLM-administered land and 10 acres of private. This particular burn is the last treatment in a series of three which comprised a multi-year plan that was started in 2005.

The project area is primarily a juniper and grass savanna and is adjacent to ranch infrastructure and oilfield facilities. The burn is intended to reduce the likelihood of intense wildfire that may threaten these structures and to restore the ecological role of fire by breaking up dense juniper thickets to allow increased forage and browse plant growth. Grazing will be deferred on the federal portion for at least two years until the vegetation has sufficiently re-established.

This project and its associated burn plans were discussed before concerned citizens and interested agencies in a public meeting held March 4, 2004 at Dawson Community College.  

The burn will be initiated using a helitorch, a device hung from a helicopter that disperses ignited lumps of gelled gasoline. Operations may also include black-lining to keep the fire in the objective area. Fire managers and crews will monitor weather conditions prior to ignition and throughout the operation to ensure the burn is completed safely. 

Persons planning on hunting in the area during this period are encouraged to check with the BLM or FWP for a fire operations update before going afield. For additional information on burn times and locations contact BLM Project Manager Mike Ford at (406) 233-2873.

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