City to begin prescribed burning on Mount Helena and Mt. Ascension

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Burning will occur as weather allows through mid-April.

HELENA, Mont.— Starting next week, City of Helena Parks, Recreation and Open Lands staff will kick off a multi-month project conducting prescribed burning activities on the north face of Mt. Helena and in Mt. Ascension Natural Park. The prescribed burning activity will include ignition of hand piled forest fuels accumulated during the City’s forest sanitation/thinning treatment program from 2016 – 2022. The ignition piles will be monitored to ensure safety and air quality.  The public should anticipate intermittent trail closures from November 2022 to mid-April 2023, based on burning conditions.

Treatment on Mt. Helena will include areas adjacent to the Ambrose, Diretissima, Dump Out, Mike Cormier, Prairie and Prospect Shaft Trails. Burning on Mt. Ascension will occur near the Archery Range, After Shock and Entertainment Trails.

“As we saw last summer, the risk of wildfire in and around our city is very real,” said Parks, Recreation and Open Lands Director Doug Smith. “Prescribed burning is a critical tool to help reduce fuels and build our community’s resiliency to wildfire.”

Copies of the City’s Prescribed Burn Policy are available on the City of Helena website at https://www.helenamt.gov/parksdocuments or interested parties can view the document at the Parks, Recreation and Open Lands office, 316 N. Park Ave., Rm. 405.

For more information, call Open Lands Manager Brad Langsather at (406) 447-8454.

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Burning Forest Fuel Piles