Home News Sports/Outdoors Social Business Calendar

Events & Entertainment Letters Obituaries Archives Advertise
Search ...

Spring prescribed burning to begin across the Idaho Panhandle

April 22, 2023

Favorable conditions are forecasted in the coming weeks to provide prescribed burning opportunities across the Idaho Panhandle National Forests and the Bureau of Land Management Coeur d'Alene Field Office. Multiple prescribed burning projects are planned this spring, although the exact day of ignitions will depend upon conditions aligning with safe implementation.

Prescribed burning is part of each district’s annual natural resource management program to reduce hazardous fuels, prepare areas for tree planting and improve wildlife forage. Several projects are expected to be visible from main travel corridors and cities in North Idaho.

Projects in Boundary County include the Boulder Creek project, located southwest of Highway 95 and about eight air miles east of Naples, encompassing about 40,612 acres. It is on federally managed lands in the the Boulder Creek Watershed and includes the drainages east of Katka Peak. Plans include ecosystem restoration in various forest types. The project purposes include reducing sediment to Boulder Creek and protecting emergency communication equipment on Black Mountain from wildfire.

The 2023 Deer Creek Natural Fuels Prescribed Fire is located south of Keno Creek in the vicinity of Solomon Lake, Skin Creek and Goat Mountain. The project area is about 660 acres about nine miles northeast of Moyie Springs, along the Montana/Idaho border.

The Hellroaring Prescribed Fire units are located in the Round Prairie area. The project area is approximately 17 miles north of Bonners Ferry on the south side of Highway 95. It encompasses about 9,600 acres surrounding the Hellroaring and Little Hellroaring Creek drainages. The primary focus is to manage the forest stands in the area to maintain or improve their resilience to disturbances such as drought, insect and disease outbreaks and wildfires. Forest fuel accumulations were also of concern. Other resource objectives include improving big game forage, fish passage under roads, treating noxious weeds, providing parking for motorized trail recreation and enhancing scenic integrity.

The Placer Nuggets Prescribed Fire units are located along Placer Creek in the vicinity of Deer Ridge and the lookout. The project area is approximately eight miles north of Moyie Springs. The area of interest contains mixed ownership and is about 10,911 acres is size. There is a need for the project because the forest stands in the area are declining in health and resiliency. The project is within the wildland urban interface.

The Twentymile Project and Prescribed Fire Project Area is in the Twentymile watershed, west and southwest of Black Mountain, which is about six air miles east of Naples and visible from Highway 95. The project plans to reduce the risk of sediment entering the drinking water through road improvements, road decommissioning, vegetation, and fuels management, and to improve grizzly bear habitat.

Fire managers will evaluate weather and fuels to determine when burning can be safely conducted. Burned areas are monitored to ensure that fire remains within the project boundaries. Public land management agencies work with the Montana/Idaho Airshed Group and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to minimize smoke impacts from prescribed burning. All prescribed burning decisions are based on the Group's recommendations, predicted smoke emissions, and dispersion forecasts.

For additional information on air quality, smoke management, and forecasts, visit https://mi.airshedgroup.org.

The public is urged to stay away from project areas during burning operations and for a few days afterward. Please be aware of additional hazards in burned areas, such as unstable soil, stump holes, and fire-weakened trees.

Signs will be posted along access roads and near affected trailheads and trail junctions during operations. Temporary access restrictions or closures may be necessary for public safety. The exact timing and acreage of burns depend on fuel conditions and wind patterns, and we will be updating information to the public as the season progresses. Project ignition status, maps, and information are available at http://bit.ly/NorthIdahoRxFire. Anyone seeking additional information is welcome to call the IPNF Fire Information Line: 208-557-8813.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
6619 Kaniksu St., Rm 19
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

A 9B Media LLC publication
Sign up for breaking news alerts