BUTTE — South of Butte, fire officials are intentionally starting fires in order to prevent the spread of wildfires.
“You got all this dry stuff in between the trees, it’s, you know, a powder keg waiting to go,” said Bill Cox a Moose Creek Road resident.
The U.S. Forest Service is trying to remove some of that powder from the keg by conducting a prescribed burn of deadfall and brush in about 1,000 acres of wilderness on Lime Kiln road.
“We’ve wanted to burn this for several years and the weather just hasn’t cooperated. This year we’ve got some recent precipitation, so we’ve got a good window to come in here and get this burned,” said Tim Lahey of the Butte Ranger District.
There are about 30 homes scattered throughout this forested area and fire crews will be monitoring the fires around the clock to keep them contained to the places they want to burn.
“Most folks are pretty good, a little apprehensive that they’ve got fire next to their house as anyone would be a little nervous of that, but they’re happy to see the work being done to reduce their fire risk,” said Assistant Fire Management Officer Shane Martin.
Some residents who live in the area are cautiously optimistic about the controlled burn.
“As long as it doesn’t get out of control, you know, that’s the only thing. Fire is something that, whether it’s intentional or not intentional, it makes you worry,” said Cox.
People will likely see the smoke from Butte and officials are confident the cool, damp weather will make the fires easier to control.