Ranger Districts on the Flathead National Forest are conducting multiple fall season prescribed fire projects when weather, fuel conditions and air quality are favorable.
Burning will continue through the close of open burning season on Nov. 30. Smoke will be visible from various places in the Flathead Valley depending on the location of the burn units and weather conditions.
The prescribed fire projects are located, designed and controlled to reduce the potential for adverse effects or escape as a wildland fire. Forest officials say 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:
Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger Districts
Red Whale Creek Area — A 1,114-acre project is planned in the Red Whale Creek drainage in the North Fork of the Flathead about four miles north of Polebridge. Depending on weather, this burn is planned for the next few weeks. The purpose of the project is to help restore a more historical fire regime to the ecosystem, improve wildlife habitat and reduce hazardous fuels to reduce wildfire risk and aid in potential future fire suppression efforts. In the same area, about 31 acres of piles from logging slash will be burned.
Heinrude Fuels Project — This work involves burning about 22 acres of debris piles adjacent to Heinrude Creek and the West-side Hungry Horse Reservoir road near the Heinrude cabins.
Belton Fuels Project — This project includes the burning of about 15 acres of debris piles adjacent to private property in West Glacier and 176 acres of scattered debris piles between Coram and West Glacier.
Essex Area — Work involves the burning of several debris piles and logging slash in the Essex area.
Slippery Bill – Work involves the burning of several debris piles and logging slash.
Firefighter — Work involves the burning of several debris piles and logging slash.
Tally Lake Ranger District
Beaver Lake North Fuels Reduction Project – This project involves the burning of about 5 acres of debris piles adjacent to private property about five miles west of Whitefish.
Valley Face Fuels Reduction Project – Work involves the burning of about 69 acres of debris piles adjacent to private property about eight miles southwest of Whitefish along the Tally Lake Road.
Ashley Communications Site Project – Work involves the burning of about 4 acres of hand piles around the communications site.
Logan 200 Project — Work involves the burning of about 180 acres of hand piles at the north end of Tally Lake east of the campground.
Sharptail Project — Work involves the burning of about 17 acres of mechanical piles just off the Star Meadows road.
Ashley Lake Project — Work involves the burning of 76 acres of mechanical piles west of Ashley Lake.
Herrig Creek Project – Work involves the burning of 95 acres of mechanical piles 2.5 miles north of Little Bitterroot Lake.
Spotted Bear Ranger District
Horse Ridge – This project includes burning units along the ridge to the east the East Side Road and north of Spotted Bear complex.
Miscellaneous Piles – Piles around the district from a variety of projects will be burned.
Swan Lake Ranger District
Wild Cramer — This project includes broadcast and under burning in stands located within the Blacktail Mountain area west of Lakeside, MT. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement.
Condon Fuels – This project includes broadcast burning in timber stands located within the Condon Fuels project area around Condon, MT in the Swan Valley. 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, Blacktail Mountain, Haskill Mountain and miscellaneous piles around the district as a result of but not limited to: logging, hazardous fuels reduction in the wildland urban interface, hazard tree removal, recreation site management and trail or road construction. These piles are burned to reduce fuel loads in these areas. These piles are strategically burned based on their location, access, and weather conditions.
For more information about these projects contact the appropriate Ranger Station:
Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger Districts: 406/387-3800
Tally Lake Ranger District: 406/758-5204
Spotted Bear Ranger District: 406-758-5376
Swan Lake Ranger District: 406/837-7500
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