HELENA — To reduce excess vegetation and improve firefighter and community safety in the event of a wildfire, the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest in partnership with the City of Helena plans to conduct prescribed burning on 100-250 acres around the Rodney Ridge Trail.
To minimize the smoke impact on the area, the exact timing of the burns will depend on the weather, the dryness of fuels, and airflow.
The burning is anticipated to begin between Wednesday, April 28 and Friday, April 30. “Prescribed burns are a tool we use to restore the vitality of native vegetation, while reducing hazardous fuels loads around communities,” said Helena District Ranger Kathy Bushnell. “This burn is part of the important work that we brought forward in our Tenmile South Helena Vegetation project that among other objectives a priority is to improve public and firefighter safety should a wildfire occur in this area.”
While the prescribed burn is being conducted, multiple agencies will also take part in training exercises. The Helena Fire Department, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Helena Police Department, USDA Forest Service, and Department of Natural Resources and Conservation will all participate in the training opportunity. The agencies will work together to analyze fire behavior, fire patterns and indicators.
Visitors are advised to avoid Rodney Ridge Trail when the prescribed burn is happening and to drive carefully on S. Davis Street where engines and personnel will be working.