Kalispell, MT, March 22nd- The Flathead National Forest is planning to conduct spring prescribed fire projects, when weather, fuel conditions, and air quality become favorable. Smoke will be visible from various places in the Flathead Valley depending on the location of the burn units and weather conditions.
Each project follows a Prescribed Fire Burn Plan. The prescribed fire projects are located and designed to be controlled to reduce the potential for adverse effects, or to escape as a wildland fire. These projects will be in compliance with Montana air quality standards and coordinated with Montana State Department of Environmental Quality to reduce the impacts of smoke to our neighbors, cooperators, and surrounding communities. The project areas include:
Swan Lake Ranger District:
Meadow Smith Area – This project includes underburning timber stands located within the Meadow and Smith Creek areas of the Swan Valley. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement.
Condon Fuels -- This project includes underburning timber stands located within the vicinity of the Condon Work Center in the Swan Valley. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement.
Wild Cramer -- This project includes broadcast and underburning in stands located within the Blacktail Mountain area West of Lakeside. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement.
Pile Burning – Hand or Machine piles are located in several locations within the Swan Valley and Blacktail Mountain as a result of, but not limited to: logging, hazardous fuels reduction in the wildland urban interface, hazard tree removal, and trail or road construction. These piles are burned to reduce the fuel loads in these areas. These piles are strategically burned based on their location, access, and weather conditions.
Tally Lake Ranger District:
Logan 203 – 64 acre natural fuels understory burn to reduce fuel in the Wildland Urban Interface and improved Mule Deer and Elk habitat in the Star Meadows area.
Beaver Lake North 30 – 34 acre natural fuels understory burn to reduce fuel in the Wildland Urban Interface and improve big game habitat approximately 4 miles west of Whitefish.
Approximately 5 acres of maintenance burning on the Forest Service compound in Hungry Horse to reduce the fuel load so there is less likelihood of a significant fire starting and spreading to other properties in the community.
For more information about these projects, contact the appropriate Ranger Station:
Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger District: 406/387-3800
Tally Lake Ranger District: 406/758-5204
Swan Lake Ranger District: 406/837-7500
For precise prescribed fire ignition dates and times, follow our Facebook and Twitter profiles. General forest information can be found on the USFS website.