Big Timber, MT – Following a successful prescribed burn near West Bridger Creek on the Yellowstone Ranger District, fire and fuels managers are setting their sights on burning an area near the Lodgepole Trailhead in Elk Creek south of Big Timber, MT on September 13th.

The Lodgepole Trailhead is several miles east of the East Boulder River. The purpose of this 500 acre prescribed fire is to reduce fuel loading, especially where conifers are encroaching on meadows and aspen stands. Reducing fuel loading will improve public and firefighter safety in the event of an unwanted fire ignition. It is also intended to benefit species that thrive in grasslands and aspen.

“The 75-acre burn near West Bridger Creek went well,” said Ashley Sites, Absaroka-Beartooth Zone Fire Management Officer. “We met our objectives and didn’t have any problems. Now we’re closely monitoring weather and fuel conditions to find a good burn window for the Lodgepole Trailhead area burn.”

Fire and fuels management staff will look to burn the entire unit but could start with a smaller portion as soon as Thursday, September 13th if conditions allow. Each portion burned will require one to two days of ignition, and will have firefighters on site daily until it is secure. Smoke may be visible from a significant distance.

During ignition, the Elk Creek Road will be closed from the National Forest Boundary to the trailhead. The trailhead parking lot will be closed as well. The road and trailhead will re-open as soon as possible after ignition is complete. Additionally, fire officials urge caution if anyone plans to be nearby shortly after ignition.

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