Boise National Forest crews using prescribed burns to great effect this springtime

Crews have intentionally burned ground cover in 2100 acres of forest to protect communities, resources, and habitat.
Posted at 9:31 PM, May 26, 2024

BOISE — Boise Nationa Forest officials say they've had a very productive spring of prescribed burning.
They say they burned 2100 acres to protect communities and resources.

(Verbatim of story that aired is below)

When it comes to preventing and fighting major wildfires, the key is to keep the flames low and out of the trees.

That’s why Boise National Forest crews have spent the last month dropping flame.

“So it’s been great for us this year a little slow start with the weather but since may 13 we’ve burned 2100 acres on the forest,” said Ryan Jones, forest hazardous fuels planner BNF.

The idea is to get rid of the undergrowth and what they call ladder fuel, branches and limbs that partially fall to the ground and create a natural ladder for fire to climb.

Jones says he knows the prescribed burns are working because he can see a big change when a wildfire hits a treated zone.

“You’ll probably go from crown fire to bringing it down to a surface fire where we have a better chance to catch that,” said Jones.

The first places to be treated this year were near Cascade, Lowman or Idaho City.

“Communities For the most part so we start from our communities and work our way out,” said Jones.

And this year they have the benefit of a slow fire season in the rest of the west.

“We don’t usually have that luxury because usually the southwest is a lot of resources going there,” said Jones.

Call it the calm before the storm. it’s given crews one more week to get some more prescribed burns done.

And no matter how much they prepare, jones says there’s no guarantees or accurate predictions of the fire season ahead.