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Fall 2023 prescribed fire on South Zone of Salmon-Challis National Forest


CHALLIS, Idaho (KIFI) - The South Zone of the Salmon-Challis National Forest may implement prescribed burning projects on the Challis-Yankee Fork and Lost River Ranger Districts. Prescribed fire activity is highly weather dependent. As areas come into favorable prescribed fire weather conditions, specialists will either hand ignite and/or use a helicopter to ignite areas.

Although many areas listed below may be considered for ignitions, only the areas with ideal conditions for ignitions will be implemented. This process relies on coordination with the National Weather Service and Air quality regulators to determine the best possible weather conditions that promote smoke dispersal and limit smoke impacts to local and regional communities. Planned areas may include:

  • Wino Basin (15 Miles southeast of Challis, Idaho): Approximately 1,000-3,000 acres. Prescribed burning is planned in the Wino Basin area. The primary purpose of the proposed action is to reduce surface, ladder, and canopy fuel loading, and introducing fire back onto the landscape, thereby reducing crown fire potential and the occurrence of high severity wildfire in the Wino Basin area and moving the forested vegetation toward more sustainable conditions. For more information go HERE.
  • South Lost (13 miles Northeast of Mackay, Idaho): Approximately 1,000-8,000 acres. Prescribed burning is planned in the Cedar and Cabin Creek areas, on the east side of the South Lost Range. The purpose of this project is to improve forest stand conditions and wildlife habitat by introducing fire back into a landscape that has missed historic fire return intervals. For more information go HERE.

During burn operations, it is expected that short periods of high smoke volume output will be visible to local communities. A mosaic pattern of burned and unburned areas will remain after treatment. All areas will be signed, and notifications will be made to local residents or interested parties prior to ignition. Please use caution in these listed areas during burning operations and observe any posted signs in the area. These projects support the National Fire Plan (2000), Healthy Forest Initiatives (2004), and Healthy Forests Restoration Act (2004) as well as meet the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (2014) in protecting communities at risk, community infrastructure and safe/effective wildfire response.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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