Bear hunters planning to hunt in the Gibbonsville area this spring should beware of prescribed fire activities that may occur on both sides of Highway 93 from Hughes Creek north to Lost Trail Pass.
Salmon-Challis National Forest expects to use several methods of prescribed fire including tree well burning, broadcast and pile burning. Areas impacted may include the Lick, Hughes, Ditch, Twin, Vine, State, Moose and Pierce Creek drainages, as well as areas east of Highway 93 from Gibbonsville north.
Activities are expected to occur from mid-March to mid-June depending on weather and conditions. Pile burning will also occur this fall, with specific locations to be determined later. Thinning will occur within Hughes, State, Vine, Twin and Lick creeks near Granite Mountain Road and along Hammerean Road. Timber harvest may also begin this summer along the Hammerean Road.
According to Forest Service officials, the purpose is to reduce the threat of large-scale wildfire to local communities, enhance the defensible space created during hazardous fuels reduction projects, reduce accumulation of natural fuel buildup, improve timber stand resiliency to wildfire, and improve wildlife habitat by increasing forage, with a goal of improving the effectiveness of suppression activities while also improving wildfire personnel safety.
Here's a map of the area:
Forest officials said prescribed fire activities are highly weather dependent and will only be used when conditions are favorable for a safe, effective burn and conditions are present to minimize smoke impacts to local communities. Smoke may be visible for several days following ignition in the project areas, Gibbonsville, and along Highway 93 as far south as Salmon and north to Moose Creek Estates.
To protect fire personnel along roadways, motorists are encouraged to use extra caution and observe any posted signs in the area.
For more information, contact Wade McPhetridge, Fuels Program Manager at (208) 865-2733 or Ken Gebhardt, North Fork District Ranger at (208) 865-2731.
To learn more about prescribed burns visit: https://idfg.idaho.gov/fire/prescribed-burns