The Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest shared the following information on Tuesday:
Both the Lincoln and Helena Ranger Districts will be conducting prescribed burns on Tuesday.
Due to higher fuel moisture levels, there will be more smoke produced from these burns. Weather, fuels and air quality conditions all are aligned; we have received DEQ approval re: smoke dispersal; and we are moving forward with operations.
One thing to note is that along with the higher volume of smoke, at times, the color of the smoke will change throughout the day based on what vegetation the fire is in at that time.
The lighter/white smoke is lighter fuels like grass; the darker gray smoke indicates that the fire is consuming heavier fuels like slash, dead/down logs, etc. Both burns will have a mix of vegetation, which means a mix of smoke-color.
Helena RD’s Prescribed Burn: Fire managers plan to burn about 115 acres northeast of Helena, in the Eldorado Bar area. Fuel moisture levels remain relatively high, meaning there will be more smoke produced; smoke will be very visible at times. The prescribed fire will be in slash (heavy down vegetation like juniper) and grassy areas There will be about 45 people on the burn, including Forest Service, County and State.
Lincoln RD’s Prescribed Burn: District fire managers plan to burn about 60 acres in the Helmville area. This prescribed burn will mainly be in Douglas fir and some open areas, therefore smoke will be visible and range in color.
We ask that people avoid these areas today, to allow for the fire personnel and equipment to move freely without public safety concerns.