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Bitterroot Spring RX Fire 2021

Unit Information

Bitterroot National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1801 North 1st Hamilton Montana 59840
Hamilton, MT 59840

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Frazier Unit on the West Fork District Image options: [ Full Size ]

 See the 'Announcements' and 'News' Tabs for the latest information on planned prescribed burns.

To reduce potential for large wildfires, maintain resilient landscapes, and improve overall forest health, the Bitterroot National Forest is planning to implement spring prescribed burning projects. Over the next two months, the Bitterroot National Forest is planning to implement numerous prescribed burning projects.  Timing of the burns will be dependent on favorable weather conditions and good smoke dispersion. 


Interactive Planned Prescribed Fire Map 

PDF Prescribed Burning Map 

Treatment areas include:


Darby/Sula Ranger District – 2,300 acres are planned:

  • Waddell Units, south of Lake Como- 181 acres complete

  • Como/Horse Lick, south of Lost Horse and north of Lake Como- 198 acres complete

  • Trapper Bunkhouse, SW of Darby between Little Tin Cup & McCoy Creeks - 102 acres complete

  • Cameron Blue and Middle East Fork, along East Fork road near Guide Creek and Tolan Ridge- 174 acres complete

  • Sula Ranger Station, horse pasture and ditches- 10 acres complete

West Fork Ranger District – 1,200 acres are planned:

  • Lower West Fork Units, south of Trapper Creek and north of Lloyd Creek  

  • School Point Ecoburn Units, west of Boulder Creek and east of Halford Creek- 512 acres complete
  • Soda Springs Ecoburn, east of Little West Fork, west of Halford Creek along Forest Road 5633B
  • Frazier Interface, south of Pierce Creek and north of Baker Creek - 200 acres complete

  • Horse Pasture north of confluence of Nez Perce Fork & West Fork Rivers at Lone Pine Helibase- 25 acres complete

Stevensville Ranger District– 1,000 acres are planned:

  • Larry Bass Units, within the Bass Creek Recreation Area north of Stevensville- 250 acres complete

  • Sweeney Creek Units, west of Florence - 300 acres complete

  • Three Saddle Units, Sapphire Mountains east of Stevensville - 252 acres complete

    The burns will only be ignited if operational safety, fuel moisture, weather conditions, and air quality parameters can be attained.  Fire crews will monitor all burns after ignition to ensure that they stay within prescribed boundaries until declared out.   Major roads in the area will be signed and local residents who have requested prior notification will be contacted in advance of burning. 

    Low and moderate intensity prescribed fires have several objectives including:

    • Improve wildlife habitat – many plants respond favorably to fire providing new food sprouts for wildlife. 

    • Reduce the potential of large, high intensity wildfires by reducing the amount of downed fuel to burn.

    • Post-harvest slash treatment – reduce residual slash created by thinning operations and personal use firewood cutting.

    For public safety, recreationists are asked to be aware of fire crews and vehicles in these areas.  The public is also asked to avoid traveling in prescribed burn units while crews are present, as well as trails and roads directly adjacent to the units.  Please take caution as roads and trails used as control lines for the burn could be temporarily impacted by low intensity fire and smoke.       

    Fire managers plan to conduct the burning as quickly as possible to limit impacts to recreational users and the general public.  Overnight, there is potential for smoke to settle into the bottom of valleys and corridors that may cause short term smoke impacts for residents and travel.  The smoke is typically visible for a short duration, 1-2 days, and burns are approved in coordination with the Montana DEQ to minimize impacts to communities.    


Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypePrescribed Fire
LocationBitterroot National Forest
Incident DescriptionTo reduce potential for large wildfires, remove excess vegetation, and improve overall forest health.
Coordinates46.081 latitude, -114.176 longitude

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Timing of the burns will be dependent on favorable weather conditions and good smoke dispersion.