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Missoula Field Office
Release Date: 04/19/12
Contacts: Contact David Abrams 406-533-7617    

BLM Missoula Field Office Plans Presribed Burns Near Ovando, Helmville

Smoke may be visible periodically 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 prepares for three controlled burns this spring.

The burns are in the Murray and Douglas Creek drainages, approximately two miles east and three miles south of Elevation Mountain and are a total of 257 acres in size.  The burns may take up to 14 days to complete and will take place if weather and fuel conditions are favorable, which could occur anytime over the next two months.

The controlled burns will reduce the amount of vegetation in the area.  Fire 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 will also be reduced.  

Firefighters will be lighting the controlled burns by ground ignition using drip torches, and aerially using a helicopter equipped with a helitorch.  The BLM is required to obtain a burn permit each year from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, allowing the BLM to burn from March 1 to Dec. 1.  Each burn needs to be pre-approved a day before ignition is to occur, and depends on air quality conditions.

For more information about these controlled burns, please contact Michael Albritton or Steve Hancock 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 Fort Missoula Rd.      Missoula, MT 59804  

Last updated: 06-28-2012