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Date:  April 15, 2009
Contact: 
David Abrams (406) 533-7617

Prescribed Burns Planned Near Ovando And Helmville

Smoke may be visible during the next few weeks in the mountains south of Ovando, southeast of  Greenough, and west of  Helmville as the Missoula Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management prepares for several prescribed burns this spring.

The first two burns are in the McElwain Creek drainage about 10 miles south of Ovando, and are 275 and 95 acres in size. The third burn is 360 acres and located in the Catherine Creek drainage. The McElwain and Catherine Creek drainages are both 8 miles west of Helmville. The fourth burn is located in the Elk Creek and Keno Creek drainages about 10 miles southeast of Greenough and is 40 acres in size.

Each of these burns will take up to five days to complete and will take place when weather and fuel conditions are favorable, but could occur anytime over the next two months.

The prescribed burns will reduce the amount of vegetation in the area. Fuels specialists are attempting to restore the historic vegetative conditions characterized by large-diameter ponderosa pine and Douglas fir with intermittent openings.

Firefighters will ignite these prescribed burns by hand, using drip torches and by air using a helitorch, a device mounted on a helicopter that can cover a large area efficiently.

For more information on the burn projects, please contact Shelagh Fox or Michael Albritton at the Missoula Field Office, (406) 329-3914.

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