Comment period opens for prescribed burns in Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is accepting comments on a proposal to reduce fuels forestwide through prescribed fire, mechanical and hand treatments, the agency announced said Friday.

“This project will speed up our ability to change how wildfires burn across our landscapes. It will improve our ability to protect communities and help our forests persist through wildfire and other disturbances such as drought,” Forest Supervisor Emily Platt said in a news release.

Treatments would occur over the next 15 to 20 years in the proposed project area, which spans 2.3 million acres across seven mountain ranges and excludes designated wilderness and research natural areas in the forest, according to the agency.

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest fire personnel burned 300 acres during a prescribed burning operation in the Owl Gulch area in September 2023.

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

Project activities would involve use of mechanical treatments, hand-thinning and prescribed fire to reduce excess forest fuels and better align forest conditions with the 2021 Helena-Lewis and Clark Forest Plan and USDA Forest Service’s efforts to confront the country’s wildfire crisis.

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