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Missoula Field Office
Release Date: 09/15/09
Contacts: David Abrams 406-533-7617    

Prescribed Burns Planned South Of Ovando And West Of Helmville

Smoke may be visible during the next few weeks in the mountains south of Ovando and west of Helmville as the Bureau of Land Management’s Missoula Field Office conducts two prescribed burns. 

The burns, 140 and 95 acres in size, are located in the Catherine Creek drainage about 10 miles south of Ovando. 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. By removing small “ladder fuels” and downed woody debris, the risk of large wildfires is also reduced. Fuels specialists are attempting to restore the historic vegetative conditions characterized by large-diameter ponderosa pine and Douglas fir with intermittent openings.

Fire fighters 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. If you have questions or need additional information about these prescribed burns, please contact Shelagh Fox or Michael Albritton of the Missoula Field Office at (406) 329-3914.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

Missoula Field Office   3255 Ft. Missoula Road      Missoula, MT 59804  

Last updated: 06-28-2012