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Date:  May 16, 2008
Contact:  Marilyn Krause  (406) 533-7617   

Warm Weather Brings Possible Burn Window

Recent warm weather may open a window of opportunity for land management agencies to burn in the Philipsburg area. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Missoula Field Office and the State of Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) Anaconda Unit are preparing for a joint prescribed burn on Wyman Face about four miles north of Philipsburg. The United States Forest Service (USFS) Pintler Ranger District will be implementing the burn which may take up to a week to complete. The burn will take place when weather and fuel conditions are favorable, but could occur anytime within the next few weeks.

Fire fighters will ignite the 120-acre area by hand, using drip torches and by air using a helitorch, a device mounted on a helicopter that can cover a large area efficiently. If you have questions, or want more information about the prescribed burns, please contact Joe Brabender at the Pintler Ranger District , (406) 859-3211, or Shelagh Fox at the Missoula Field Office (406) 329-3914, or Brian Robbins at the Anaconda Unit (406) 563-6078.

Fuels specialists are attempting to mimic natural fire patterns and to restore the historic forest conditions, characterized by large diameter Douglas fir with grassy openings. The prescribed burns will reduce the amount of fuel in the area by removing hazardous fuels. By removing dense, stagnant Douglas-fir trees and down woody debris, the risk of large wildfires is also reduced. The burns will also improve big game winter range by creating large openings and stimulating browse. 

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