Media Contact: Marna Daley, 406-570-5526

Debris Pile Burning Begins near Bozeman

Gallatin valley residents likely to see smoke both south and north of Bozeman

Bozeman, MT (October 24, 2022)

Forest Service fire crews will be burning debris piles as the season transitions from fall to winter. Piles consist of numerous small hand piles and larger machine created piles. These activities may begin as soon as this week and could continue throughout the winter months.

In the Bozeman Municipal Watershed project area south of Bozeman, pile burning activities will be concentrated in the Leverich, Moser, Hyalite, and Kirk Hill areas. In the Bridger Mountains, activities will occur in the South Brackett, Battle Ridge, and Fairy Lake Road.

Burning will only take place when weather conditions are conducive for safe operations. Fire officials work directly with the National Weather Service for site specific forecasts to ensure weather conditions are favorable prior to burning. In addition, a burn plan has been prepared to accomplish objectives and desired conditions in a safe manner and the burn will be monitored by fire managers after implementation.

The smaller hand piles will be mostly consumed in one day with limited smoke impact, but it is possible that some smoke and flames may be visible during operations. Larger machine created piles are expected to be burned later in the season and may actively burn for several days and produce small amounts of smoke for more extended periods.

“I recognize the concern and sensitivity as it relates to prescribed fire” said Corey Lewellen, Bozeman District Ranger. “We have a strategic plan in place to have the most successful prescribed fire operations and minimize impacts to the community. I greatly appreciate the community’s patient during our operations.”

Debris piles are the product of vegetative management adjacent to communities and infrastructure and are part of the Forest Service’s effort to minimize wildfire risk to our communities. The firing operations will be visible throughout the Gallatin valley. additional information please contact the Bozeman Ranger District at 406-522-2520.