The Lolo National Forest has experienced a busy fire season this summer. Some areas of the Forest contain burned areas of over several thousand acres. The Sunrise and Burdette Fires on the Superior Ranger District burned over 26,000 acres and the Lolo Peak Fire on the Missoula Ranger District burned 52,745 acres of National Forest land. However, all the fires burned with mixed severity, meaning that there are unburned areas within the fire perimeters. Burned areas present unique hazards to campers, hikers and hunters – and especially those who may remain in these areas for extended periods.
Those traveling on Forest roads through burned areas should carry a small saw or axe to remove downed trees that may have blocked your route.
Snags – or dead, standing trees – are prone to fall without warning in burned areas. In windy conditions, the danger of falling snags is heightened and visitors should always be alert to the condition of trees and the weather.
The base of a tree may be consumed in a wildfire and the stump completely burned out, leaving a deep pocket or hole not visible to anyone walking through the area. Caution should be used when walking anywhere in the burned area.