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Healthy Acres

Fire edition Photo By Leah Grunzke

2013

a r es o u rc e to p ro m ote h ea lth y l a n d s a n d h ea lth y co mm uni t i es

Fire Effects on Noxious Weeds By Robin Innes. Ecology Writer tor the Fire Effects Information System

The Fire Effects Information System (FEIS, http://www.feis-crs.org/beta/) has been providing reviews of scientific knowledge about fire effects since 1986. FEIS is an online collection of literature reviews on more than 1,100 species and their relationships with fire. Reviews cover plants and animals throughout the United States, providing a wealth of information for landowners and resource managers. The Fire Effects Information System recently completed a multi-year project to increase the information available in FEIS on nonnative invasive plants in the United States. There are more than 100 reviews available on nonnative invasive plants in Montana, including 25 species on the Montana Noxious Weed List. Literature reviews and syntheses are important sources of information for land managers who need detailed information about invasive species and their relationships to fire. This is particularly relevant during a year, such as this one,

of extensive wildfires in Montana and throughout the West. Reviews published in FEIS synthesize information on the biology and ecology of individual plant species, especially regarding: • How invasive plant species may respond to fire and thus influence native plant communities • How fire, fire suppression activities, and fire exclusion may influence plant invasions and site invasibility • How invasive plants may alter fuels and fire regime characteristics • Knowledge gaps and limitations of existing knowledge on these topics Leafy spurge, common tansy, and yellow and Dalmatian toadflaxes are examples of Montana invasives reviewed in FEIS. The following excerpts are from these FEIS reviews: Leafy spurge: Leafy spurge has a large, deep, and highly regenerative root system, which makes sprouting of established plants after fire nearly certain. Because very deep leafy spurge roots are capable of sprouting,

even severe fires are not likely to kill mature plants. Leafy spurge seeds can be killed by fire, but depending upon fire timing, fire severity, and depth of seed burial, many may survive. The high oil content of leafy spurge foliage may allow for good fire spread. Although prescribed fire alone is not used to control leafy spurge, fire in conjunction with herbicides has provided some control, and fire may improve the effectiveness of flea beetle biocontrols. Common tansy: Common tansy is likely only top-killed by fire. On sites with established common tansy plants, postfire sprouting from rhizomes is likely the predominant regeneration method. Because common tansy seeds can be dispersed long distances and seedlings establish best on sites with little established vegetation and high light levels, burned areas could provide suitable establishment sites. Although no studies (as of 2009) directly reported on common tansy’s response to fire, some sources suggest that fire may result on increased abundance or facilitate spread of common tansy. If common tansy plants are burned at the flowering stage, surviving seeds may

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produce mutated seedlings. Dense patches of dried common tansy stems may bum intensely. Altered fire regimes in common tansy habitats were not reported, but fuels in dense patches of the previous year’s stems may change fire behavior or increase fire severity in areas with an abundance of common tansy. Prescribed fire in the spring may reduce future fire potential in common tansy stands. Prescribed fire alone is not likely to control common tansy. However, fire may be useful in removing dead stems and litter and increase common tansy’s exposure to herbicide treatments or grazing. Fire may also be used to dispose of stems with flowers or seeds on mowed or cut sites because on-site destruction of

reproductive stems should decrease the potential for dispersal and spread. Yellow and Dalmatian Toadflax: Yellow and Dalmatian toadflaxes are likely to be top killed by fire, however their deep, extensive root systems are likely to survive even severe fire and allow reestablishment of populations from vegetative buds on roots. Scorching of floral stalks by fire may prevent seed production during the first postfire year. Toadflaxes are able to quickly recover after fire and may even be promoted by fire, especially if other species are reduced. The postfire environment is well suited to toadflax establishment by seed. Most literature suggests that

toadflaxes are likely to increase or to be unaffected by fire. Burning is not usually a recommended or effective control method for toadflaxes because root buds and buried seeds are unaffected by fire and burning may increase competitiveness of toadflax by removing desirable plants. Removal of toadflax top-growth may even stimulate production of vegetative shoots. Because of their propensity to establish in dry, open areas with little plant competition, toadflaxes have high potential for establishing after fire (when competition from other vegetation is removed or reduced) either by seed imported to the site or by soil-stored seed.

Photo By Leah Grunzke

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FEIS EXAMPLE SEARCH

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Attention Mill Creek and Lolo Complex Landowners

Knapweed Greenup with Seedheads

Fire season has come to end but for many of you, looking out your window there is a constant reminder of the devastating effects this summer’s wildfires have left. We are pleased to announce that the Montana

Department of Agriculture is offering emergency resources for restoring fire affected areas. Specifically, this is a grant to assist in the preventing and controlling the flush of noxious weeds that are guaranteed to come in following this year’s fires. The Department of Agriculture has made available emergency funds through a cooperative landowner grant that is a 50/50 cost share grant. This grant helps cover half the cost of herbicides, applicator cost and revegetation. This is a cooperative program that requires that participation of at least 3 landowners within the affected areas. The grant application deadline to the Department of Agriculture is November 1, 2013 and funds will need to be spent by October 30, 2014. Missoula County Weed District will be coordinating the grant applications for the Lolo Complex and Mill Creek areas to the Montana Department of Agriculture.

Please contact Lindsey as soon as possible if you are interested in participating, she can be reached at 258-4219 or lbona@missoulaeduplace.org Things to keep in mind when considering this grant application: • Weed Species and Infestation Size • Control Method: chemical type and rate, hire or self • Revegetation: grass seed species and seeding rate Costs for all above activities

Tansy Greenup

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Weed Management Following Wildfire By Jane Mangold (Invasive Plant Specialist, Montana State University Extension) and Monica Pokorny (Ecologist, KC Harvey Environmental)

The hot, dry, and fiery summer experienced in much of Montana and many other states in the Northern Rockies has prompted a great deal of interest in weed management following wildfire. Because wildfire is a disturbance, and it is generally believed that weeds thrive following disturbance, the interest and concern is warranted. Weed response to fire is dependent on many factors including propagule pressure (reproductive structures like seeds and root fragments, both above- and belowground), time since invasion, competition with desired vegetation, disturbance history, rainfall patterns, soil characteristics, plus the actual dynamics of the fire itself (e.g. temperature, duration, season). Response might also vary depending on the type of plant community where the fire burned, for example mountain grasslands versus lodgepole or ponderosa pine forest. Weed response to fire also depends on the regeneration strategy of the weed species of concern. Research suggests that most postfire plant cover originates from resprouting. So, weeds that resprout from vegetative structures may respond quickly following fire as compared to weeds that have to regenerate from seeds. In spite of the many factors that contribute to weed response to wildfire, some generalizations can be made. • Weeds may increase following fire, but in many cases the increase does not result in long-term persistence. • Annual grasses such as cheatgrass

and Japanese brome, forbs capable of long-distance dispersal, and resprouting perennial forbs are most likely to increase following wildfire. • As wildfire severity and frequency increase, so too does the risk of weed invasion. • Weed invasion can be more pronounced in areas that were highly disturbed prior to wildfire. • Activities related to fire management can create disturbance (i.e. dozers used to create fire breaks) and the fire-fighting equipment can introduce seeds of new weeds that were not present before the wildfire. A well-done literature review on the role of wildfire on the occurrence and spread of invasive plants in wildland areas of the western U.S. can be found on the Center for Invasive Plant Management website at http://www.weedcenter.org/store/books/ role-of-wildfire.html. This review covers the above bullets in more detail and provides a list of citations from which generalizations have been synthesized. If you are interested in additional information on fire as a weed management tool (prescribed burns), then check out this thorough handbook: http://tinyurl.com/tln2012fireresources1. Revegetation is another aspect of post-fire weed management that receives quite a bit of attention. Vegetation is usually destroyed during a disturbance, which creates open niches in the plant community where something new can grow. Since most of the plant communities present in Montana evolved under natural fire regimes, plant response to fire is generally positive. However, if desirable native plants are not present to re-occupy the site following wildfire or if the fire burned so severely that native vegetation is too damaged to recover, weeds are more likely to reestablish. Planting desirable species through revegetation can minimize the problem. In most cases where revegetation is necessary,

it is integrated with other methods of weed control, primarily herbicides, to restore the plant community. We tested broadcast versus spot applications of picloram (2 pints/A) integrated with seeding (native grass mix or native grass plus forb mix) following wildfire at two sites near Lame Deer, MT. The area burned in August 2003, and treatments were applied in October of the same year. The site was dominated by spotted knapweed, chokecherry, bluebunch wheatgrass, Idaho fescue, and sideoats grama. The plant community was sampled in July 2004 and 2005 to determine the effects of treatments on spotted knapweed, native grasses, native forbs, exotic forbs, and overall species richness (total number of species occurring at a given site). We included a non-treated control in the experimental design to mimic natural recovery in the absence of management. We found that picloram provided good control of spotted knapweed regardless of whether it was broadcast or spot applied. However, spot application of picloram resulted in more native forbs and higher species richness compared to broadcast application, suggesting spot-spraying following wildfire may be worth the effort if management goals include developing and maintaining diverse plant communities. Native grasses increased with picloram application, regardless of whether it was broadcast or spot applied. Grasses decreased and spotted knapweed increased in plots that were not treated with herbicide, emphasizing the importance of weed control following wildfire. In general seeding did not increase native grasses, forbs, or species richness two years after seeding. Instead, it appeared that the onsite propagule pool and dispersal to the site following the fire may have been adequate. You can read more about our methods and results at http://www.msuextension.org/ invasiveplantsMangold/documents/ Publications_Mangold/Pokorny%20et%20 al%202010.pdf.

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We have had several informative weed and fire-related research projects in Montana. Here is a summary of a few projects. Jacobs and Sheley (2003) studied Dalmatian toadflax response to fire. They found that toadflax biomass increased and seed production increased one year after a spring prescribed fire. Grass biomass also increased in response to the fire, although the response was not as consistent over three sites as the toadflax response. The authors commented that fire generally releases nutrients to the environment and the fastest growing plants, in this case Dalmatian toadflax, may benefit the most from the fire. A study by Ferguson et al. (2007) looked at spotted knapweed response to forest wildfires that burned in 2000 in western Montana. They measured about 280 plots three times during a five-year period after burning. Spotted knapweed appeared in about 20% of plots the first year or two after fire, 26% at three years, and about 37% at five years. They

found that knapweed cover declined over time on plots with low burn severity and increased over time on plots with high burn severity. Finally, Vermeire and Rinella (2009) investigated the effect of fire on the emergence of Japanese brome, spotted and Russian knapweeds, and leafy spurge from seeds that had been deposited on the soil surface. They found that emergence of all species decreased as the fuel load increased, suggesting that fire-induced seed mortality may decrease weed abundance, especially for those species that rely on seeds for reproduction. If you’re interested in obtaining copies of these publications, please email Jane at jane.mangold@montana.edu. Finally, here are a few “take home” tips for managing weeds following wildfire.

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• Think of wildfire as an opportunity to get a jump on weed control. Weeds may be some of the first plants to show up following rainfall this fall or next spring— weeds may be highly visible and vulnerable to carefully-time control measures like herbicide applications. • Monitor, monitor, monitor! You may see an increase in weeds that were present pre-fire or new weeds that were introduced through fire management activities. Know what weeds are growing and where so you can apply control measures appropriately. • Pay special attention to highly disturbed areas (i.e. bulldozed fire breaks) and nip newly emerging weeds in the bud. Infestations are easier to manage when small and prior to the accumulation of weed seeds in the seed bank.

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Weeds after Fire? What’s the Big Deal? Wildfires and weeds are not new topics in Western Montana. In fact, mixed-severity fires (the fire regime that characterizes the fires our forests see most often) from as far back as the 1400’s have helped mold the composition of the forests we see when we go out in the woods today. So why weed

control is emphasized so heavily after this all too common occurrence in Western Montana? The answer lies in the traits that make our noxious weeds so competitive and the resources made so readily available to them after fire. Before the introduction of noxious weeds, the plants that took advantage of these natural disturbances were all native plants. These species are known as ruderal species, which are species that dominate after disturbance because of their high growth rates and massive seed production (think of fireweed the year after a fire). These plant communities are gradually replaced as other native species establish and outcompete them. The problem that noxious weeds pose to this scenario is that they are weedy because of the same characteristics as our native ruderal species,

and if they are already onsite when a fire comes through, they can outcompete the native colonizers and prevent other native species from establishing. That is why weed control after fire is so important. But that’s not the whole story. In order to get an idea of what direction your property is going to go after fire, it is important to know the level of weed infestation prior to the fire and the severity of the burn as it passed through. These two factors will help you plan your management strategy this coming fall. Below is a chart mapping out the likelihood for noxious weed management and revegetation after fire. Weed district staff is always willing to help you assess the plant communities on your property. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, and we will schedule a time to meet!

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Post Wildfire Hazards: Mudslides (Debris Flows) What You Need to Know

Sudden debris flows gushing down rain-sodden slopes and gullies are widely recognized as a hazard to human life and property. Most debris flows are localized in small gullies, threatening only those buildings in their direct path. But the bare slopes left denuded by wildfires are especially susceptible to debris flows during and immediately after rainstorms. Debris flows often occur without warning in areas where they have never been seen before. Those who live downslope of a burned area should be aware of this potential hazard. Following the fire and for years thereafter, burned areas are more susceptible to debris flows for about 5–10 years and sometimes longer.

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What Are Debris Flows?

Debris flows (commonly called mudslides, mud flows or debris avalanches) are shallow landslides, saturated with water, that travel rapidly downslope as muddy slurries. The flowing mud carries rocks, trees, and other debris as it pours down the slopes.

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What Dangers Are Posed by Debris Flows?

Debris flows pose hazards that are often overlooked. Houses, roads and other structures in the path of debris flows can be severely damaged or demolished. People in these structures can be severely injured or killed. When the ground is damaged from a wildfire, even relatively short high-intensity rainstorms may trigger debris flows. Debris flows may be generated when hillside soil, rock or landslide material becomes rapidly saturated with water and flows into a channel. Intense rainfall, rapid snowmelt, or high levels of ground water flowing through fractured bedrock can trigger such movement. Debris flows and floods also occur when rains on slopes cause extensive hillside erosion and channel scour.

What Causes Debris Flows?

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The most common cause of debris flows is the combination of rainfall, steep slopes, and loose, bare soil. Most steep slopes have enough soil and loose rock for potential landslides and debris flows. Although "stable" when dry, such slopes can produce debris flows, often without warning. Broken water pipes or misdirected runoff concentrated by roads, roofs, or large paved areas may trigger, or help to trigger, debris flows. In Colorado, debris flows commonly occur during the summer following intense rainfall.

Where Do Debris Flows Occur?

They are common in mountainous areas, and occur in Colorado almost every year. Debris flows are known to start on slopes as low as 15 degrees, but the more dangerous, faster moving flows are more likely to develop on steeper slopes. About two-thirds of all debris flows start in hollows or troughs at the heads of small drainage courses. Typically, a debris flow bursts out of a hillside and flows quickly downslope, inundating anything in its path. Because the path of a debris flow is controlled by topography, just like flowing water, mud flows generally follow stream courses and spread out on alluvial fans (where streams exit steep areas onto a flatter plain). Slopes burned by wildland fire are especially susceptible to debris flows because of the absence of vegetation and roots to bind the soil. Alluvial fans and areas directly downslope are especially subject to damage from debris flows.

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Figure 2. Hayman post-fire debris flow. Depth of deposit is 4–10 feet. www.missoulaeduplace.org

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What Can Be Done to Avoid or Reduce the Hazard Posed by Debris Flows?

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To be safe, assume that all drainages in steep, hilly, or mountainous areas are capable of carrying debris flows, especially if loose, sandy soils are present in the watershed.

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Avoid building sites at the bottoms and mouths of steep ravines and drainage courses. These areas are the most likely to be inundated by debris flows. The outer "banks" of bends along such ravines also should be avoided because swiftly flowing debris flows can "ride up" out of the bottom of the stream channel where it bends.

About Debris Flow Dangers If these areas must be used, consult with a geotechnical engineer, a hydrologist, and an engineering geologist. In some cases, walls, or other structures can be built to deflect potential debris flow away from or around structures. To be effective, diversion walls must be properly designed, constructed, and regularly maintained.

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e absence especially Figure 3. Schematic of an A-shaped deflection wall serving as a splitting wedge to deflect debris and dangers. These and similar structures should be carefully engineered and constructed. Designs will vary from site to site. Sketch from the United Nations, 1996. Photo: House that possibly could have been saved with a deflection wall.

Mud Floods

People living directly downslope of mountainous wildfire areas should be aware that, in addition to debris flows, landslides, and rockfall; there is another, potential deadly hazard-- mud flooding at and near the mouths of channels that drain burned-over, ashy slopes. Studies have shown that, in the first year following a wildfire, the volume of sediment and water runoff in streams greatly increases. People living, working or traveling near such streams could be killed or injured by floods that incorporate enormous amounts of debris and mud washed off burned hillsides. In l996, a large wildland fire nearly destroyed the small mountain community of Buffalo Creek, Colorado. Following the devastation, the community was rocked by a series of flash floods culminating in a severe deluge that claimed two lives and caused extensive infrastructure damage.

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Tips and Clues That May Save Your Life

Where Can More Information Be Obtained?

For general information about debris flows and other kinds of landslides, contact the Colorado Geological Survey

303.866.2611 or visit www.geosurvey.state.co.us. For an assessment of the debris flow risk to an individual property or homesite, obtain the services of a professional engineering geologist. For more information about the design and construction of debris basins, debris fences, deflection walls, or other protective works, consult a local or county engineer, local flood control agency, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

REFERENCES Barrows, A., and Smith, T. DMG Note 33, California Geological Survey. Hollingsworth, R. and Kovacs, G.S., 1981, Soil slips and debris flows, prediction and protection: Bulletin of the Association of Engineering Geologists, v. 18, no. 1, p. 17-28. This paper provides information about deflection walls and similar structures. United Nations, 1996, Mudflows. Experience and lessons learned from the management of major disasters: New York, NY, United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, Document No. DHA/96/100, 139 p.

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USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Montana http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/mt/ newsroom/?cid=nrcs144p2_056245

Revegetating After Wildfires Loss of vegetation leaves land vulnerable to increased runoff, erosion, and sedimentation; encourages weeds; degrades habitat; and impairs forest regeneration. Revegetation is a good step to take toward controlling noxious weed invasion after a wildfire. For more information about weed suppression, you could also contact your county weed coordinators. Reestablishment of permanent vegetation provides longterm erosion control, protection, and site stability. This practice is the least expensive per acre. It directly addresses the resource concerns, and it is best suited to addressing concerns over larger areas. What Areas Need Revegetating? In general, severely and moderately burned sites should be reseeded to decrease the likelihood of erosion and sediment movement down slopes, to discourage weed invasion, and to fulfill management objectives. Since lightly burned areas recover quite quickly from wildfire, reseeding is usually not necessary. When Should I Plant? Grasses and forbs should be planted after the wildfire or ground disturbance when the soil surface is loose. Seeding in late fall or winter (even if there are a few inches of snow) improves success. The prime time to seed is immediately prior to the ground freezing. Trees or shrubs should be planted in the fall or early spring when plants are dormant.

What Should I Plant? Perennial grasses and forbs are slower to establish, but provide long-term cover for reseeded sites. Sites to revegetate with perennial grasses and forbs include severely burned sites and moderately burned sites that had populations of noxious weeds before the wildfire or that are less than 50 feet from a drainage channel. For example, slender wheatgrass is a native grass that establishes quickly and is moderately longlived. Over time, as the slender wheatgrass begins to die out, other native species begin to fill in the site. Annual ryegrass and small grains are useful when quick establishment is key; however, they only provide one year of protection. Revegetate with annual species where perennial grasses will recover naturally, including moderately burned sites with slopes greater than 15 percent. For example, winter wheat is a good option if native seed varieties are unavailable. How Much Should I Plant? Most seedings are broadcast with either aircraft or ground equipment. Landowners can seed small areas using a hand-crank seed broadcaster. You should use certified seed of a known variety to get the best results. If a specified variety is not available, be sure the seed originated within a 500-mile radius of your property. Be sure seed does not contain any noxious weeds. Contact the local NRCS, Extension Service, or conservation district office for recommended varieties or substitute species.

For example, if you are using a mix of three grasses to be seeded on 10 acres, divide the lbs/ac for each species by three and then multiply by 10. For slender wheatgrass the equation would be (12/3)10 = 40 pounds of slender wheatgrass in the mix. Is There Anything Else I Can Do to Help the Planting? Mulching will stabilize the soil surface to prevent movement of soil particles and loss of seed. Use straw or grass hay mulch or netting on small areas of steep slopes. Apply mulch at 70 lbs/1,000 sq. ft. (about 43 bales per acre). Use weed free material. Do not fertilize the first year. Hydromulching should be done in two operations. First, use a mulch-seed mixture to distribute the seed. Then, use the remaining mulch over the top to increase contact of seeds with the soil. Keep your work well-maintained by repairing any spots of failure with new seed, plants, and mulch. Fertilize after the first year in spring until vegetation is well established.

The seed mixes in the following charts are appropriate for areas west of the Continental Divide and foothills/mountains east of the Divide. Ideally, you should choose one to three of these species for a mix. The tables give the “pure-stand� seeding rates for each species expressed as pounds of pure live seed (PLS) per acre. To calculate a mix, divide the species rate by the number of species in the mix. Then, take the lbs/ac and multiply by the total acres to be seeded. Double these seeding rates on severely burned areas or steep slopes. www.missoulaeduplace.org

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USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Montana What Seeding Rates Should I Use?

Zone 1

Zone 1 is made up of dry, warm sites consisting of open grasslands and woodland benches at low elevations on all aspects and on south and westfacing slopes at higher elevations. Woodland sites are dominated by dry Douglas-fir, limber pine, and ponderosa pine habitat types with a significant bunch grass component in the understory.

Zone 2

Zone 2 is made up of moist, warm sites consisting of moderate environments receiving more effective precipitation than the dry, warm sites. Zone 2 sites are found on north and east-facing slopes at lower elevations, on all aspects at mid-elevations, and on south and west-facing aspects at higher elevations. Sites are dominated by Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine habitat types.

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USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Montana

Zone 3

Zone 3 is made up of moist, cool sites. Zone 3 sites are found predominantly on north and east-facing slopes at mid-elevations and on all aspects at high elevations. Sites are dominated by Douglas-fir with blue huckleberry in the understory along with Grand fir, western cedar, and western hemlock habitat types.

Zone 4

Zone 4 is made up of riparian areas including stream bottoms and wet meadows. These sites are subirrigated or wetter for at least a portion of each growing season.

More than 5,200 acres of private land were aerial seeded with slender wheatgrass in the Bitterroot Valley during 2000. Aerial grass seeding was very successful in most cases www.missoulaeduplace.org healthy acres: FIRE EDITION 2013

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http://www.weedcenter.org/store/books/ role-of-wildfire.html

Useful Resources Post Fire Has your property been affected by wildfire? Are you unsure about what to do now and who to turn to for help? There are many factors that can affect your property after a wildfire. Because the vegetation that usually holds the soil in place has burned, there is no longer an anchor to stop soil from eroding. This can cause a whole new set of concerns such as debris flows, stream degradation, and noxious weed invasion. There are actions you can take now to help protect your property and avoid further damage. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_ DOCUMENTS/nrcs144p2_050242.pdf Revegetating after Wildfires from USDA and Natural Resource Conservation Service http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ wps/portal/nrcs/detail/mt/ newsroom/?cid=nrcs144p2_056245 Post Wildfire Landslide Hazards from USGS http://landslides.usgs.gov/research/wildfire/ Wildfire Rehabilitation Assistance: What can you do to protect your home and property after a wildfire? USDA / Natural Resource Conservation Service http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_ DOCUMENTS/nrcs144p2_050242.pdf Integrated Noxious Weed Management after Wildfires from MSU Extension, EB160 http://msuextension.org/publications/ AgandNaturalResources/EB0160.pdf The Role of Wildfire in the Establishment and Range Expansion of Nonnative Plant Species into Natural Areas from CIPM

Fire Management and Invasive Plants, A Handbook from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov/invasives/pdfs/USFWS_ FireMgtAndInvasivesPlants_A_Handbook.pdf Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Fire and Nonnative Invasive Plants from USDA-FS-RMRS http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_ gtr042_6.pdf

to resist invasion by undesirable vegetation • Monitor burned areas and areas of significant disturbance or traffic from management activity • Detect weeds early and eradicate before vegetative spread and/or seed dispersal • Eradicate small patches and contain or control large infestations within or adjacent to the burned area • Reestablish vegetation on bare ground as soon as possible

Guide to Noxious Weed Prevention Practices, USDA – Forest Service http://www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies/ documents/FS_WeedBMP_2001.pdf

• Avoid use of fertilizers in postfire rehabilitation and restoration

General recommendations for preventing postfire establishment and spread of invasive plants include:

• Use only certified weed-free seed mixes when revegetation is necessary http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/ forb/eupesu/all.html#FireManagement Considerations

• Incorporate cost of weed prevention and management into fire rehabilitation plans • Acquire restoration funding • Include weed prevention education in fire training • Minimize soil disturbance and vegetation removal during fire suppression and rehabilitation activities • Minimize the use of retardants that may alter soil nutrient availability, such as those containing nitrogen and phosphorus • Avoid areas dominated by high priority invasive plants when locating firelines, monitoring camps, staging areas, and helibases • Clean equipment and vehicles prior to entering burned areas • Regulate or prevent human and livestock entry into burned areas until desirable site vegetation has recovered sufficiently

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If you would like to sign up to receive this newsletter you can contact Steffany at Steffany@missoulaeduplace.org, visit our website at www.missoulaeduplace.org, or find us on facebook (Missoula-County-Weed-District).

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Healthy Acres Fire Edition 2013