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Prescribed burns starting soon in southwest Idaho

The BLM will ignite four prescribed burns between the end of April and end of June. Smoke may be visible from a great distance depending on vegetation conditions.

BOISE, Idaho — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Friday announced its plan to conduct multiple prescribed burning projects in southwest Idaho beginning later this month. 

Prescribed burning is done each year ahead of wildfire season. The projects in southwest Idaho will reduce the risk of wildfires, protect sagebrush habitat and support rangeland research, according to BLM. Prescribed burns also improve food supply for area livestock. 

During the burns, the public may notice smoke from a great distance depending on the condition of vegetation. BLM does not expect any burning to force road closures, however drivers should slow down as they pass crews along the road. 

The exact timing of each burn will depend on fuel conditions and weather, including wind. 

BLM said once initiated, each burn will likely last up to three days, with crews patrolling each area for up to seven days afterwards. The projects are expected to start later this month, and run through the end of June.

Information on each of BLM's four prescribed burns in southwest Idaho is included below:

Strategic Fence Line Burn: Aims to reduce flammable tumbleweed buildup along up to 60 miles of fence lines. The burn will be located within the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area south of Boise.

Soda Fuel Break Prescribed Burn: Aims to reduce flammable vegetation on up to 100 miles of established fuel breaks along the Owyhee Front, which is located 32 miles southwest of Marsing. The fuel breaks are designed to protect rehabilitation from the Soda Fire in 2015.

Bruneau-Owyhee Grouse Habitat (BOSH) Prescribed Burn: BLM plans to burn piles of cut juniper trees that were nearing area sagebrush habitat. The piles would be hazardous fuel during a wildfire, however the risk will be eliminated with burning during spring conditions. 

The BOSH Prescribed Burn will be located near Flint Creek Road, roughly eight miles southeast of Jordan Valley, Ore.

Johnston Draw Blackline Prescribed Burn: BLM plans to conduct a larger prescribed burn in fall 2023 near Reynolds Creek, roughly 50 miles southwest of Boise. For now, crews will set the outer boundaries for the future burn by removing narrow strips of vegetation.

BLM said it is working with private landowners, the Agricultural Research Service and the Idaho Department of Lands for the burn near Reynolds Creek. The prescribed burn will be used to study fire's impact on rangelands.

Anyone seeking additional information is asked to contact the BLM Boise District Fire Informational Line at 208-384-3378.

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