The impressive immediate response of local fire crews was in full display in the Flathead Valley this week. The Stoner Creek wildfire popped up in Lakeside on Sunday and by Monday it had roared to 100 acres. But despite high fire danger and volatile fuels, firefighters dogpiled the blaze and successfully contained it before homeowners needed to worry about possible evacuations. By Wednesday, the fire had largely been reduced to a smoldering afterthought.
Here’s a video sent to the Beacon showing one of the helicopters dipping into Flathead Lake before attacking the Stoner Creek fire. It’s a cool video and gives a glimpse into the impressive efforts of our skilled fire crews.
As a reminder, fire officials are urging residents to take serious precautions in the outdoors due to the high fire danger.
Here’s a message from the local DNRC office:
It’s mid-August and fire season in northwest Montana is picking up! Our current Fire Danger Rating is HIGH, and hot, dry, breezy conditions are expected again this week.
The majority of fires in the Flathead Valley have been human caused and local firefighters have been working hard to catch them fast and keep them small.
• Open burning is NOT allowed during our fire season, from July 1 through September 30. Open burning should resume in October and November, thank you for waiting to burn your yard debris until after fire season.
• When camping, only build fires within designated grates, grills or fire pits. Even if you are simply leaving camp to go fishing for the day, your campfire is considered unattended and must be extinguished. Be absolutely certain your campfire is out by adding water and stirring until the entire fire area is cool to the touch. If it is too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave!
• And, take care when operating equipment that could produce a spark. Dragging trailer chains, lawn mower blades hitting a rock, and harvesting operations have all started wildfires this season.
Whether you call the Flathead Valley home or are enjoying its’ beauty on your vacation, please be safe and responsible with fire.
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