Weather permitting, fire crews plan to burn slash piles in several areas across the Ashton/Island Park District starting as early as Monday May 6 (see map for specific pile burn locations).
Fire management personnel prefer burning piles while snow is still present, after an area has received significant moisture or during spring green-up to provide greater security from fire creeping away from the ignited piles and to minimize heat production to reduce effects to surrounding trees. Also, a fire engine will be on scene when possible to extinguish any creeping fire if necessary.
The primary purpose of these projects is to reduce the hazardous fuel loadings adjacent to subdivisions or Forest roads, and to protect those values at risk. Hazardous fuels reduction was completed along the Forest boundary adjacent to the subdivisions and along the roadsides over the last several years and the pile burning will contribute to the defensibility and protection of these private residences and roadsides from wildfire. If conditions are conducive for burning, approximately 200 acres of these piles will be burned.
Predicting the actual day of a prescribed fire is difficult due to weather and fuels conditions. Therefore, on the actual day of ignition, orange highway signs will be posted along Forest roads or Highway 20 to inform residents & visitors of the planned ignition that day. Additionally, approval from the Idaho/Montana smoke monitoring agencies is required, to reduce the impact of smoke on air quality. Smoke may be visible from the surrounding areas including Highway 20.