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Missoula Field Office
Release Date: 03/26/10
Contacts: Contact: David Abrams 406-533-7617    

BLM Plans Prescribed Burns Near Ovando And Helmville

As the Bureau of Land Management’s Missoula Field Office prepares for several prescribed burns this spring, smoke may be visible during the next three months in the mountains south of Ovando and west of Helmville.

Two of the burns are in the Catherine Creek drainage about 10 miles south of Ovando, and are 40 and 95 acres in size. The third burn is in the Douglas Creek Drainage and is 200 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 three months.

The prescribed burns will reduce the amount of vegetation in the area. By removing the small “ladder fuels” and woody debris, the risk of large wildfires is also reduced. Fuels specialists are trying 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.

For more information about the prescribed burns, call Michael Albritton or Steve Hancock at 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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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

Last updated: 06-28-2012