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Trout Creek Prescribed Fire 2019

Unit Information

Kootenai National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
31374 US Hwy 2 Libby Montana 59923
Libby, MT 59923

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This incident is no longer being updated.

Closure Area map - Aug 30Image options: [ Full Size ]

The area and trail closure has been rescinded as of Tuesday, September 10, 2019. Over 1,200 acres of prescribed fire operations were successfully completed in the Trout Creek drainage. At this time there are no active prescribed fire operations. Additional operations may continue this fall if the desired weather, soil moisture, and smoke dispersal conditions occur.

The Cabinet Ranger District of the Kootenai National Forest will be conducting a fall prescribed burn of up to 2,400 acres associated with the Minton-Trout Project. The purpose of the burn is to improve forage habitat for big game species and to reduce hazardous fuels in the East Fork and West Fork Trout Creek, and Attlebury Creek drainages. Ignition will be conducted by helicopter and will target heavy concentration of dead and down fuels. An area and trail closure will be in effect several days prior to ignition to ensure public safety. Please see map for potential implementation areas and proposed trail and area closures.

Planned ignitions will only occur when weather and fuel conditions are optimal for achieving management objectives and when smoke impacts can be minimized for surrounding communities. All prescribed burns are approved in advance by the Montana-Idaho Airshed Group to ensure satisfactory levels of smoke dispersion. Prescribed fire may be ignited as early as September, depending on current and predicted weather conditions.

A large smoke column is expected to be visible during the ignition phase. While autumn provides advantageous conditions for effective prescribed burning, residual smoke may linger for days or weeks until dispersed by weather and precipitation. The greater part of the smoke column is expected to dissipate within a day or two following ignition.

A temporary trail and area closure will be implemented for public and firefighter safety during prescribed burn activities. The temporary area closure will include the main stem, south branch, and west fork of Trout Creek (see attached map). The temporary trail access closure will include 1) Trail 774 from the Idaho border to the junction of Trail 795 and 2) Trail 779 from the Idaho border to Trail 774.

Prescribed burning is critical tool in the Kootenai National Forest resource management program. By returning fire to its natural role on the landscape, we can improve forest conditions and facilitate safe management of future wildfires. Prescribed fire mimics naturally occurring mixed severity fire processes, reducing accumulation of fuels and improving growing conditions.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypePrescribed Fire
CausePrescribed/planned
Coordinates47.779 latitude, -115.778 longitude