Gem State Roundup

Prescribed burn projects for Idaho’s Payette National Forest to start in March

By: - March 1, 2023 4:30 am
Payette National Forest prescribed burn

Prescribed burns are planned between March and July in several ranger districts to manage wildfire in Idaho’s Payette National Forest. (Courtesy of the Payette National Forest)

Payette National Forest officials plan to begin multiple prescribed fires this spring and early summer to reduce fuels in the forest that can lead to large wildfires, according to U.S. Forest Service press release.

Prescribed burns are planned between March and July in several of the forest’s ranger districts.

“These prescribed fires reduce surface fuels, increase height of the canopy, reduce small tree densities, and promote fire resilient trees, thereby improving our ability to protect communities from wildfire,” the press release said. “Additionally, these fires improve wildlife habitat, promote long-term ecosystem integrity and sustainability by reducing the risk of high-severity wildland fire.”

Here are the burns planned for spring and early summer, according to the press release:

  • The New Meadows Ranger District plans to burn 4,000 acres in Round Valley and Brush Creek (10 miles northwest of New Meadows) and up to 500 acres in the Rusty Goose Timber Sale (3 miles east of New Meadows).
  • The McCall Ranger District plans to burn 500 acres in the Brundage-Bear Basin project area (3 miles northwest of McCall).
  • The Council Ranger District plans to burn 2,000 acres in the Weasel project area (13 miles northwest of Council) and 1,000 acres in Mill Creek-Council Mountain project area (5 miles northeast of Council).
  • The Weiser Ranger District plans to burn 500 acres in the Robinson project area (22 miles north of Weiser).
  • The Krassel Ranger District plans to burn 2,500 acres within the Bald Hill project area (east of Yellow Pine), 1,500 acres in the Four Mile project area along the South Fork of the Salmon River near the Miners Peak trail (about 18 miles east of McCall) and 70 acres around the Krassel Work Center.

Caution signs and a map of the prescribed burn locations will be posted near trailheads and roads that lead into affected areas, according to the press release.

The prescribed burns will be dependent on optimal weather conditions, and fire personnel will work with the Idaho/Montana Airshed Group, the National Weather Service and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to ensure that smoke impacts are minimized, according to the Forest Service.

Residents may call the ranger districts for Weiser (208-549-4200), Council (208-253-0100), New Meadows (208-347-0300), McCall (208-634-0400) or Krassel (208-634-0974) for more information.

The Payette National Forest Facebook page and the Payette National Forest planned fuels treatments map will also have up-to-date information on prescribed burns taking place throughout the forest. For information on the Forest Service Wildfire Crisis Strategy and the Southwest Idaho Landscape project, go to the Southwest Idaho Landscape Project website.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Christina Lords
Christina Lords

Christina Lords is the editor-in-chief of the Idaho Capital Sun and has been a professional journalist covering local and state government since graduating from the University of Idaho in 2009. A Pocatello native, Lords is a fifth-generation Idahoan who served as a reporter at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News and the Post Register in Idaho Falls and served as assistant editor for the Idaho Press in Nampa. She also led the Idaho Statesman in Boise for two years before turning to nonprofit journalism.