The popular Bass Creek Recreation Area will temporarily close for a few days when the Bitterroot National Forest conducts some low-level prescribed burning. According to Tod McKay, about 620 acres will be involved, and the project could start as early as this week.

The weather conditions will dictate the burn, and a storm front passing through the Pacific Northwest is stopping any open burning in western Montana at the beginning of April. But, conditions could improve by the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Many of the popular trails will close for a few days

When the burning project is underway, the area closure will include the Larry Creek Trails and Horse Trailer Parking, Bass Creek Nature and Physical Fitness Trails, and Bass Creek Trail #4 and Trailhead. After the burn is completed, the area will remain closed for a couple of days to monitor the burned area. The burn could happen as early as Wednesday, April 6, weather permitting. Smoke will be visible from US 93.

bass creek signs
Bass Creek Recreation Area signs. (KLYQ file photo, Townsquare Media)
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Stevensville District Ranger Steve Brown said in a news release, "The reason for the area closure is to provide for the safety of the many visitors at Bass Creek. We hope to re-open the trails and other areas a few days, following the burn."

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The area had a 250-acre "underburn" last spring, which burns up surface fuels like pine needles and dead grass. If you need more information, visit the Bitterroot National Forest Facebook page or call the Stevensville Ranger District at 406 777-5461.

Spring burning projects happen annually on the Bitterroot National Forest. Burns have already been in the Lake Como area and the plans included areas in the West Fork Ranger District and the Darby/Sula Ranger District at the south end of the Bitterroot Valley.

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