Agencies Plan Record Burn In Southwest Part Of State

The Bureau of Land Management, the Boise, Payette and Sawtooth national forests and the Idaho Department of Lands plan to launch the biggest prescribed-burn campaign ever in southwestern Idaho this spring.

Beginning as early as this month, the agencies will burn more than 60,000 acres from Burley to McCall to improve the health of forests and rangelands.

Warm, wet weather this year could make for an early brush fire season in southern Idaho. Four to 6 inches of cheat grass, a prime fire fuel, has sprouted in many spots, BLM spokesman Randy Eardley said.

Last year, more than 150 brush fires burned in southwestern Idaho, which is about average. But only about 24,000 acres burned, compared with the annual average of 104,000 acres for 1982 through 1992.

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