Hunters planning to hunt in the Cottonwood Creek drainage near Arrowrock Reservoir should beware of a planned prescribed fire in the area. The Boise National Forest expects to ignite a prescribed burn in a portion of Unit 39, which means a small portion of the unit will be closed to public access during the project.
The 900-acre burn is expected to occur in mid-October or November depending on weather and conditions.
When the closure order goes into effect, the Forest Service will issue a 24-hour evacuation notice to campers, hunters and anyone in the area to vacate. The area will be patrolled to ensure that the public is not in the project area, and signs will be posted on nearby roads prior to, and during the burn. The area will be closed about six-to-10 days for public safety following completion of the burn.
According to Forest Service officials, the purpose is to conduct a low-to-moderate understory burn to reduce unwanted brush and stimulate less flammable young shrubs and benefit big-game animals. This previously treated area needs another prescribed fire to maintain low-elevation ponderosa pine communities, reduce dense natural brush regeneration and large wildfire risk.
Project boundaries consist of National Forest System (NFS) Road 203 on the north end of the project and NFS Road 377 on the west perimeter. The boundary on the south and east side of the project is a major ridgeline running north/south from NFS road 203 back down to NFS road 377 and uses a combination of an unauthorized two track ATV trail, hand line and natural barriers as a containment line. Here's a map of the area.
Forest officials said the burn will be ignited only if conditions are conducive to a safe, effective burn and when favorable weather conditions are present to minimize impacts to local communities. Smoke may be visible for a few days following ignition, particularly in the evening hours.
For more information on this fall’s burning program, call the Mountain Home Ranger District at (208) 587-7961 or the Boise NF Prescribed Fire Hotline at (208) 373-4208.