Wildfire Closes Public Access to Bird Island

Officials are not actively suppressing the fire due to safety concerns

By Maggie Dresser

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) officials have closed public access to Bird Island on Flathead Lake near Finley Point after a wildfire was reported on Aug. 3.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 4, the wildfire was burning two acres on the island, according to Confederated Salish and Kootenai Fire Division.

The fire is three miles southwest of Blue Bay and is still under investigation as of Aug. 4.

Due to safety concerns, FWP is not actively suppressing the fire.

“There is a lot of dense undergrowth, downed or hanging tree snags and other hazards that make it unsafe for firefighters,” FWP Regional Wildlife Manager Neil Anderson said in a press release. “We recognize there may be concerns about the fire’s damage to the island but the risk to the safety of the firefighters is too significant to actively engage the fire.”

Bird Island is a 30-acre Wildlife Habitat Protection Area that was originally purchased for goose nesting.