See smoke in the Flathead? This is why
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: April 11, 2017

Kalispell, MT, April 10, 2017- The Flathead National Forest is planning to conduct spring prescribed fire projects, when weather, fuel conditions, and air quality become favorable.  Smoke will be visible from various places in the Flathead Valley depending on the location of the burn units and weather conditions. 


Each project follows a Prescribed Fire Burn Plan.  The prescribed fire projects are located and designed to be controlled to reduce the potential for adverse effects, or to escape as a wildland fire.  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:

Swan Lake Ranger District:

Wild Cramer — This project includes broadcast and underburning in stands located within the Blacktail Mountain area West of Lakeside.  These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement.

Tree Farm – Hand or Machine piles will be burned to help maintain the property north of Bigfork.

Swan Lake Ranger District Compound – Grass understory will be burned to help naturally maintain the landscape especially the steep hill side.

Pile Burning – Hand or Machine piles are located in several locations within the Swan Valley and Blacktail Mountain as a result of, but not limited to: logging, hazardous fuels reduction in the wildland urban interface, hazard tree removal, and trail or road construction.  These piles are burned to reduce the fuel loads in these areas.  These piles are strategically burned based on their location, access, and weather conditions.

Tally Lake Ranger District:

Beaver Lake North 30 – 34 acre natural fuels understory burn to reduce fuel in the Wildland Urban Interface and improve big game habitat approximately 4 miles west of Whitefish.

Hungry Horse District:

Compound – Approximately 5 acres of maintenance burning on the Forest Service compound in Hungry Horse to reduce the fuel load so there is less likelihood of a significant fire starting and spreading to other properties in the community.

Firefighter Timber Sale – We will be looking to burn 4 activity units near Hungry Horse reservoir to reduce logging slash and prepare the units for planting.

Heinrude – Burning of piles from the work in close proximity to the summer homes on the west side of Hungry Horse reservoir.

For more information about these projects, 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

For precise prescribed fire ignition dates and times, follow our Facebook and Twitter profiles at and  General forest information can be found online at

New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing