The Bureau of Land Management will be conducting prescribed burns on several projects within Owyhee County and the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area throughout the spring.
Officials say the burns are designed to reduce hazardous fuels, help with watershed research, and reduce the encroachment of western juniper in the sage-steppe ecosystem.
However, exactly when the burns will be held depends on weather, fuel and ground conditions.
The three burns being planned are the called the Fence Line Prescribed Burn, the South Mountain Prescribed Burn, and the Pole Creek Jackpot Prescribed Burn.
The Fence Line Prescribed Burn:
Located on the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area south of Boise, the burn will reduce unsafe fuels comprised of tumbleweed that has accumulated along fence lines and roadways, according to the BLM.
About sixteen miles of fence lines and roadways are targeted, with more possible -- depending on springtime tumbleweed accumulations.
Firefighters will utilize snow and green grass as natural barriers to prevent the fire’s spread to adjacent open areas.
The public should be aware of safety flaggers and short-term travel delays in the vicinity of the burns.
Work could begin as early as mid-March and last until May.
The South Mountain Prescribed Burn:
This project is a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and private landowners, and is located 21 miles southeast of Jordan Valley, Oregon.
The BLM will conduct burns on 730 acres in four watersheds over the next five years to study the hydrological impacts of western juniper encroachment. Smoke may be visible on the southern flanks of South Mountain during burning operations, which are expected to take place over two days, sometime between March and May.
The Pole Creek Jackpot Prescribed Burn:
This 5,400-acre burn is located 35 miles southeast of Jordan Valley, on the western flanks of Juniper Mountain.
Burning will target piles of heavy, dead fuels that have accumulated from western juniper thinning projects over the last three years and not the surrounding live vegetation. Expected to take place in March, ignitions will take two to five days with subsequent mop-up and patrol continuing for several days after.
For more information, contact the BLM Boise District at (208) 384-3210.