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Prescribed burns begin in northern Idaho forest

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U.S. Forest Service officials say they will set 4,800 acres on fire as part of a prescribed burn in the Panhandle National Forest. The agency says such fires are good for the forest ecosystem.

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Officials with the Panhandle National Forest say more than 4,800 acres will be set alight in prescribed burn projects starting soon.

Forest Public Affairs Officer Jason Kirchner told the Coeur d’Alene Press (http://bit.ly/17RlCB0 ) that hunters and campers should check the forest’s website before heading into the forest in the five northernmost counties of Idaho.

The Forest Service uses prescribed burns to reduce dead and downed trees and to selectively thin understory trees in dense forested stands. The agency says fire can stimulate fire resistant plant species, enhance forage for animals and reduce the risk of large uncontrolled fires.

Once burn dates or date ranges are set, the information will be posted on the U.S. Forest Service website as well as on signs along access roads, near trailheads and trail junctions.

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Information from: Coeur d’Alene Press, http://www.cdapress.com



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