DILLON– The Bureau of Land Management’s Dillon Field Office is planning several prescribed burns in Beaverhead County during the upcoming spring months. Smoke from the burns may be visible to the public on days of ignition.
The primary objectives of the planned burn treatments are to reduce conifers that are expanding into sagebrush/grassland habitat, and to promote habitat biodiversity. The burns are planned for the following areas:
- The Pioneer Mountains, about 20 miles west of Dillon. The burn area is near Dyce Creek and is approximately 800 acres in size.
- The Beaverhead Mountains, about 20 miles south of Grant. The burn area is near Craver Creek and is approximately 555 acres in size.
The timing of the burns depends on weather and fuel conditions. Generally, the spring prescribed burning season concludes in June due to vegetation green-up.
The burns are one piece of the resource management objectives identified in the Dillon Field Office’s landscape-scale watershed analyses process. The conifer expansion targeted at these sites can be attributed, at least in part, to the near exclusion of wildfire. The BLM uses prescribed fire as a tool to maintain the existing sagebrush and grasslands, and to promote biodiversity across the broader landscape.
The prescribed burns will be implemented and closely monitored by fire managers and firefighters from the BLM, the Forest Service and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
For more information on the burns, contact Joe Sampson at the Dillon Field Office at (406) 683-8000.