What is a Prescribed Fire

I just sent off a question to the US Forest Service because of the photo on the Missoula Sheepheads blog about a sign posting a “prescribed fire”.  What the hell is a prescribed fire? Here is my question.

What is a prescribed fire.  I am looking at a photo of a posting just recently that reads, “Trail 534 closed in area shown due to prescribed fire as of Aug 19, 2008” This was posted in the North Fork of the Bitterroot I believe. I am looking for an explanation of what this means.

UPDATE (I need to vent … this smoke affects my health): It seems the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Clearwater National Forest have decide to ignite 6 wildfires.

“An aggressive program of prescribed fire is also underway to complement the fires that nature provides. Prescribed fires, ignited under specific weather and fuel conditions, can provide habitat restoration with more certainty in timing and location than natural events.”

I do not give a shit what the official explanation is but I thought it was a good thing to not have wildfires and the global damage they contribute to. Screw the elk! Elk herds are too big anyway!  Oh yea, isn’t it the Idaho hunters who used their cell phones to corner and shoot an entire elk herd in 06?

prescribed fires are a valuable complement to natural fires and their uncertainties” … what the hell does that mean? “The need might be to reduce forest fuels” … WHAT? Stop screwing with the earth, it will burn it on its own. Freaking humans, think they are in control.

Here is what the Clearwater NF web site has as it’s front page quote, “From this mountain I could observe high rugged mountains in every direction as far as I could see” … lol, unless we are having a prescribed “Burn Montana Out” campaign.

I am not done bitching, more later!

Fires Ignited:

Contact Info:

Tom Reilly
Forest Supervisor
12730 Highway 12
Orofino, Idaho 83544
1-208-476-4541

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