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Dillon Field Office
Release Date: 04/15/11
Contacts: Contact David Abrams 406-533-7617    

BLM Announces Prescribed Burns For Beaverhead, Madison Counties

The Bureau of Land Management is planning for several prescribed burns in Beaverhead and Madison counties during the upcoming spring months. Smoke from the burns may be visible to the public on days of ignition. The burns are planned for the following areas:

The Highland Mountains, near McCartney Mountain—about 30 miles north of Dillon—up to 1,000 acres in size. The primary objective of the prescribed burn is to reduce conifers that are encroaching into sagebrush/grassland habitat. The burn will also promote habitat biodiversity.

The Rocky Hills, about five miles north of Clark Canyon Reservoir, and the Horse Prairie area, near Bannock Pass. The Rocky Hills burn is approximately 700 acres in size and the Bannock Pass unit is about 35 acres. The goal of both burns is to reduce conifer encroachment.

Near Virginia City, approximately 40 acres in the Barton Gulch drainage. The objectives of this burn are to consume slash generated by a recent BLM timber sale, reduce hazardous fuels, and to enhance forest health.

The timing of the burns depends on weather and fuel conditions. Generally, the spring prescribed burning season concludes in June due to vegetation green-up.

“Evidence of fire is abundant in southwest Montana, indicating that fire once played a distinct role in shaping and maintaining healthy ecosystems,” said Kipper Blotkamp of the Bureau of Land Management’s Dillon Field Office. “BLM is using prescribed fire as a tool to promote biodiversity and ecosystem health, and to reduce heavy fuel loads near private property.”

The prescribed burns will be conducted and closely monitored by fire managers and firefighters from the BLM, the Forest Service and the Montana DNRC. 

For more information on the burns, contact George Johnson or Kipper Blotkamp at the Dillon Field Office at (406) 683-8000.

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.

Dillon Field Office   1005 Selway      Dillon, MT 59725  

Last updated: 06-28-2012