Firefighters Douse Grass Fire in South Kalispell

Blaze comes as fire danger increases across the Flathead Valley

By Justin Franz

Firefighters from Kalispell and Smith Valley responded to a small grass fire in south Kalispell Friday afternoon. The blaze was a vivid reminder that fire season has arrived in northwest Montana.

Smith Valley Fire Chief DC Haas said the fire near the intersection of Sunnyside Drive and Denver Avenue was started by a lawnmower but firefighters were able to quickly contain it. It was the second grass fire in Kalispell in two days.

“It’s that time of year where the humidity drops and the temperatures rise,” Haas said. “Fires can start quickly.”

Earlier this week, fire managers said the danger in the valley increased from low to moderate. Smoke from fires in Washington and British Columbia have also clouded the skies in recent days.

A few reminders from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation:
— Now that summer is here, many people are out camping and enjoying the forests of Montana. Never leave a campfire unattended and make sure it is cold to the touch before leaving your campsite.
—  Adjust trailer safety chains so they are not dragging. Dragging chains send sparks that can easily start grass fires along roadsides.
— Debris burning is not permitted during the months of July, August and September. Open burning will resume again in October as conditions allow.

For more information contact the fire prevention specialist for the Kalispell Unit of the DNRC at 751-2270.

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