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Ninemile prescribed burning planned for next several days

Published On: May 03 2013 04:49:17 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The following is a press release from the U.S. Forest Service:

The Ninemile Ranger District is continuing their seasonal prescribed burning and ignitions could take place this weekend (May3-4) and into next week if weather and fuel conditions allow for safe and effective ignition and burning.
 
The burns will take place approximately three miles north of the Ninemile Ranger District in the Stony and Rock Creek drainages in the Ninemile Valley and in the Petty Creek area. The Stony Creek burns are located along Forest Service roads 456, 17294, and 17296 (T16N, R22W, Sections 33 & 35; and T15N, R22W, Section 2). Smoke from both the Stony and Petty Creek burns are likely to be visible from Interstate-90.
 
The Stony Creek burns are part of the Frenchtown Face fuel reduction project. The units to be burned in that area total about 550-600 acres of light slash.  
 
Prescribed burning may also occur on 80-100 acres in Printers Creek of the Petty Creek Drainage along Forest Service road 5553 ( T13N, R22W, Section 19).  A prescribed burn of 60 acres in the Corral Creek drainage along Forest Service road 453 (T15N, R22W, Section 35) could also be ignited over this weekend (May, 3-4) and into next week.
 
All burns will be weather and fuel condition dependent. If ignition takes place there is potential the burning could limit public access in these areas.  For public safety, recreationists are asked to be aware of fire crews and vehicles in these areas.  Prescribed fire road signs will be posted along the roads where burning takes place. These prescribed burns will be ignited only if operational safety, fuel moistures, weather conditions and air quality parameters are met.  
 
If members of the public have any questions or if you would like to be placed on a day-of-burning notification
list, they are asked to contact Dewey Arnold, at 626-5422, or Jeff Hayes, at 626-5421, of the Ninemile Ranger District.
The objectives for these burns include:
•           Reintroduce low intensity surface fire to benefit forest health
•           Reduce surface fuel concentrations
•           Top-kill shrubs to optimize forage for big game wildlife
•           Promote the vigor of ponderosa pine and rejuvenate forest floor vegetation