Fire Danger ‘High’ in Flathead Valley

Hot, dry, and breezy conditions will continue to dry fine forest fuels

By Beacon Staff

Local fire managers have moved the fire danger to “high” based on current and expected weather conditions.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation announced the heightened fire danger Wednesday. No fire restrictions are in place at this time. Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service announced that dry lightning on Tuesday night caused four small fires on the Flathead National Forest. Two of the fires are along the North Fork of the Flathead River and another is north of Whitefish Lake.

Temperatures are forecasted to be in the 80s to 90s with the potential for lightning associated with afternoon thunderstorms. Hot, dry, and breezy conditions will continue to dry fine forest fuels such as grasses and brush that will then be more likely to catch fire.

Debris burning is prohibited during July, August and September due to fire conditions in Flathead and Lake Counties. Open burning will resume Oct. 1 as conditions allow.

The Montana DNRC would like to remind residents and visitors to the Flathead Valley that 60-80 percent of fires are started by people and to take care when recreating outdoors this summer. Last week DNRC Kalispell Unit firefighters responded to seven fires; three were lightning strikes and four were caused by fireworks, illegal debris burning and other recreation activities such as off-road vehicles and ATVs.

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