Kalispell, MT – Flathead National Forest is planning spring prescribed fire projects when weather and air quality are favorable. People can expect to see smoke in various places in the Flathead Valley depending on burn locations and weather conditions.
The Forest follows a prescribed burn plan for each project, designed to reduce the potential for an escaped wildland fire or other adverse effects like excessive smoke. Fire managers time the projects to comply with air quality standards and state and local regulations to reduce smoke impacts in surrounding communities. This spring’s project areas include:
Swan Lake Ranger District:
- Huey Timber Sale – This project includes broadcast burning in timber harvest units in the Stoner Creek drainage near Blacktail Mountain, west of Lakeside, MT. The prescribed fire treatments will reduce fuels, regenerate vegetation and improve wildlife habitat.
- Louie Timber Sale – This project includes broadcast burning in timber harvest units in the Truman Creek drainage near Blacktail Mountain, south of Kila, MT and west of Lakeside, MT. Prescribed fire treatments will reduce fuels, regenerate vegetation and improve wildlife habitat.
- How Now Timber Sale – This project includes broadcast burning in timber harvest units east of Swan Lake near Swan Lake, MT. Prescribed fire treatments will reduce fuels, regenerate vegetation and improve wildlife habitat.
- Swan Valley Bottom Maintenance Burning – This project includes maintenance broadcast burning in previously treated timber harvest units in Swan Valley. Specific locations include the Lion Creek Drainage, and Meadow Creek area. Prescribed fire treatments will reduce fuels, improve large ungulate winter range, and improve forest health.
- Swan Lake Ranger Station – This project includes under burning the administrative site at the Swan Lake Ranger District office located in Bigfork, MT. Prescribed fire treatments will reduce fuels and improve wildlife habitat.
Hungry Horse District:
- Coram Pasture- This project includes burning a 20-acre Forest Service administrative site near Martin City. The site is used for pasturing agency livestock. The project objectives are to reduce encroaching brush and saplings and improve range conditions.
Spotted Bear Ranger District:
- Spotted Bear Ranger Station- This project includes burning 41 acres using hand ignition techniques around Spotted Bear Ranger Station to reduce fuels, improve winter range forage, reduce conifer encroachment, reintroduce fire into the ecosystem, and retain key thermal cover timber patches. Specific burn units include Silver Mule Units 45, 53, and 53a.
People who want more information about these projects should contact the appropriate ranger station:
Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger District: 406-387-3800
Tally Lake Ranger District: 406-758-5204
Swan Lake Ranger District: 406-837-7500
Spotted Bear Ranger District: 406-758-5376