Crews Tackle Grass Fire Near Kalispell Homes

One home was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after fire started near the intersection of Appleway Drive and Fenn Way

By Justin Franz
Crews mop up a grass fire near Appleway Drive in Kalispell on June 21, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Firefighters quickly doused a one-acre grass fire in Kalispell that forced the evacuation of one home on Wednesday afternoon.

Kalispell Fire Chief Dave Dedman said the fire was reported at approximately 1:13 p.m. near the intersection of Appleway Drive and Fenn Way and high winds quickly fanned the flames. A home next to the open field was evacuated and police were preparing to clear out nearby apartments shortly before firefighters successfully controlled the blaze.

Firefighters from Smith Valley, Kalispell, Evergreen and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation all responded to the incident, along with the Kalispell Police Department, the Montana Highway Patrol and Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.

Dedman said it’s unclear what started the fire but it was most likely human caused.

“Summer is here and fuels are quickly drying out,” he said. “People need to be careful because all it takes is one careless act and you’ve got a fire like this.”

Tammy Skinner lives in one of the nearby apartments and said she smelled smoke before looking out her window and seeing a plume.

“I smelled the smoke and I thought to myself, ‘Who would be burning anything on such a windy day,’” she said. “There was so much smoke you couldn’t even see across the street.”

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