A prescribed fire plan on the Bitterroot National Forest that was first proposed in 2010 has been reduced and brought forth again.

Sula District Ranger Chuck Oliver said the old plan was to apply fire to over 12,000 acres in the Blue Mountain and Cameron Creek areas on the Sula District. The 2010 proposal had included acres that had been burned in the massive 1961 Sleeping Child Fire. Those were stripped out of the plan, leaving about 7,410 acres that would be burned over a four-to-five year period.

He said the low to moderate intensity fires would:

  • reduce fuel loads to reduce potential for large wildfires.
  • Maintain forest health and restore ecosystems.
  • Improve wildlife habitat with more grasses sprouting.
  • Reduce the understory density of less fire tolerant trees.

Oliver said the project should help keep the ponderosa pines in the area healthy.

Public comment is accepted until May 17 at the Sula District, 7338 Highway 93 South, Sula MT 59871.