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Missoula Field Office
Release Date: 05/10/11
Contacts: Contact David Abrams 406-533-7617    

Prescribed Burns Planned South of Ovando and West of Helmville

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

The planned burns, totaling 482 acres, are in the Murray and Douglas Creek drainages, about two miles east and three miles south of Elevation Mountain. The burns may take up to two weeks to complete. BLM employees will conduct the burns when weather and fuel conditions are favorable, but they 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 Douglas fir with intermittent openings of mountain big sagebrush. By removing the small “ladder fuels” and downed woody debris, the risk of large wildfires is also reduced. 

Fire fighters will ignite these prescribed burns by air using a helitorch, a device mounted on a helicopter that can cover a large area efficiently. They will also be lighting some units by ground ignition using drip torches. For more information about the prescribed burns, contact Michael Albritton or Steve Hancock at the Missoula Field Office, (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 Fort Missoula Road      Missoula, MT 59804  

Last updated: 06-28-2012