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Fire Up Red Meadow

By | September 9, 2019

10:00AM Monday – From Andy Huntsberger …

A quick update on the fires up Red Meadow:

-Red Meadow Fire is approximately 10 acres. Most of the growth was 9/5-6. Since Friday the area has received over 1’’ of rain. The attached picture was taken yesterday, not much fire activity.

-Red Meadow #2 Fire – NO ACTIVITY or growth.

This will be the last update unless something drastically changes.

7:00 AM Friday – Here’s a report from Bill Walker…

Aerial reconnaissance spotted a second Red Meadow Fire yesterday. That blaze is only about 1/10 of an acre and is not presently visible from the ground. Red Meadow Fire #2 is a little under 2 miles southwest of the larger fire initially reported Wednesday. The Forest Service is continuing to monitor both fires. The wet weather expected over the next few days makes it unlikely that either fire will pose a threat.

Red meadow Road remains open. Fire information is posted at both ends of the road and, I’m told, also at the Polebridge Mercantile.

4:00PM Thursday – Here’s a report from Bill Walker…

I took a little drive this afternoon to look at the Red Meadow Fire. The Forest Service has a crew on-site keeping an eye on things (an engine and a pickup truck) and they’ve posted informational signage at both ends of Red Meadow Road. I got some photos. It looks like the fire is still just skunking around a little below the ridgetop…

Red Meadow Fire | photo by Bill WalkerRed Meadow Fire | photo by Bill Walker

8:00 AM Thursday… Molly sent along the following from Andy Huntsberger Fire Management Officer (Division 6)…

I thought I would pass this information along regarding a new start in the Red Meadow Creek drainage.  It is the Red Meadow Fire.  As it states below we will be monitoring/managing this fire.  Due to fuel conditions, time of year and location we felt this fire was a good candidate to manage and and not suppress.  The fire is currently estimated at about 2 acres.

Then Andy attached an email from Engine Captain Todd Hannan that said…

We have a new fire on the Glacier View Ranger District today. The Red Meadow Fire is burning on the upper 1/3 of the ridge that separates Moose Creek and Red Meadow Creek drainages (Lat./Long. N 48º 48.69 W 114º 26.97). The fire is currently an estimated 1 acre in size and creeping/smoldering with isolated single tree torching. We will be managing this fire, and evaluating potential road, trail, and area closures if fire growth or activity warrants.

We will be posting signs in the North Fork area tomorrow. I attached a screenshot of the map and photo of the fire taken from Thoma LO.

WildCad said that the cause of this fire was lightening.

Red Meadow Fire

Last Wednesday Market

By | September 9, 2019

Here’s a note from Chris Heitz…

It’s perfect weather for canning, and making jam or jelly, so don’t let the rain keep you from coming to Wernick’s Market this Wednesday, the 11th at Noon.  Jerry says they will have tomatoes, cucumbers, figs, yellow squash, zucchini, fava beans, potatoes, beets, cabbage, lettuce and chard.  Also, Curtis is back, so expect a surprise!
Anyone who wants extra onions or potatoes for the winter, let Jerry know and they will make arrangements to dig some just for you…he was suggesting quantities of 10# or more, I believe.
Also, they have decided to make this the LAST market of the summer, so be sure to come and let them know how much we have appreciated all their efforts!    Chris

Forest Expands Partnerships Program, Welcomes New Public Affairs Officer

By | September 5, 2019

A growing visitor and local population has prompted Flathead National Forest to take a new look at capacity, outreach, and partnerships.

This fall, the forest will formally launch a new partnerships program, designed to better engage non-profit groups, businesses and the public through philanthropy, grants, and volunteerism.

Janette Turk, who has been the forest’s public affairs officer for the last three and a half years, will lead the new partnership program.

“Janette has been instrumental in growing our partnerships and community relationships,” said Forest Supervisor Chip Weber. “With this program, we’ll have the capacity to truly engage the public on all fronts.”

“I’m also pleased to announce that Lauren Alley has been selected to become Flathead National Forest’s new Public Affairs Officer in late October,” said Weber.

For the past three years, Alley has worked at Glacier National Park in a similar capacity managing the park’s public affairs and lands programs. She has also worked at Death Valley National Park and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in both commercial services and public affairs. She began her career as an elementary school teacher on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. Alley holds a B.A. in Psychology from Wellesley College and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a member of Leadership Flathead’s 2020 class.

Alley said “I grew up in Oregon surrounded by national forest, and our home in the Flathead is adjacent to forest land. I look forward to working with the community on a number of topics related to how we manage and enjoy this two million acre swath of public land that is so important to recreation, economy, and our way of life.”

As Flathead National Forest’s public affairs officer, Alley will lead the forest’s public affairs program, and manage a portfolio that includes the conservation education program, website services, and oversight of the Secure Rural Schools Act Title II Funds & Flathead County Resource Advisory Committee.

2019 September/October/November Wildland Fire Potential

By | September 2, 2019

Here’s a note from Allen Chrisman…

Here is the latest Wildland Fire Outlook. Just as we have seen, our part of Montana has had a slower than normal fire season due to the recurrent moisture we have received that has kept our live fuel moistures up:

The entire Northern Rockies fire season thus far has been characterized by a lack of extreme heat or dryness, especially this past August. Periods of showers and thunderstorms arrived every 5 days or so. This pattern produced considerable lightning across the NRGA, but moisture inputs have been sufficient to offset the few dry, windy episodes that have occurred.

Going into early September, warmer and drier weather is expected, especially over the western half of the geographic area. For September, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s outlook favors drier than average conditions for the NRGA, but a split between warmer than average West of the Continental Divide – and cooler than average East of the Divide. Longer-term projections continue this trend at least through September. Then in October and November, near average temperature and precipitation are expected across the entire district. December may bring cooler and wetter than average weather east of the Continental Divide.

Despite the recent precipitation, conditions will need monitoring, if warm dry conditions persist for five consecutive days (or greater) in September. Even with average precipitation, fire potential can quickly increase through the month of September or into early October, especially during windy periods that can dry fine fuels.

So, we aren’t out of the woods yet – but we are so much better off than we have been the last couple of years.

Fall Prescribed Fire Projects

By | September 1, 2019

Kalispell, MT, August 30, 2019 – The Flathead National Forest is planning to conduct fall 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 follow Montana air quality standards and be 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:


Pile burning- On the attached map locations of concentrated piles are identified. These may include both landing and hand piles. There are also scattered piles not identified on the map which may also be burned. Continue reading

Wednesday Market

By | August 26, 2019

Here’s a note from Chris Heitz…

Quack, quack, quack. I feel like I am going to have web feet! But the good news is 1) NO FIRES, 2) it’s supposed to be sunny the rest of the week, and 3) I just heard from Jerry and Linda about the Market on Wednesday.

“We will have raspberries, figs, peas, zucchini, yellow squash, green onions, new potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, salad greens, and chard. Curtis is on vacation with Mom and Dad, so no surprise this time. See you there.”

Sounds like a great market – noon on Wednesday, and don’t be late! Quack, quack.

Off Grid North Fork Home

By | August 26, 2019

Here’s a post from Cindy Webb…

Turn-key – rents completely furnished for $950 per month. Tenant is responsible for propane, wood for wood-burning stove, snow removal, weed removal, and alternate power system operation and maintenance. Located about 5 miles from the Canadian border on the North Fork Rd. Pet is subject to approval and pet fee. For more information, send an email to Cynlwebb@gmail.com .


Bear Fair in Polebridge

By | August 25, 2019

Bear Fair 2019: photo by Debo Powers

On Saturday afternoon, people gathered in front of the stage behind the Northern Lights Saloon for a Bear Fair. There were booths, demonstrations of electric fencing and bear spray, speakers, face painting for children, and costumed bears roaming around posing for pictures with participants.

Bear Fair 2019: photo by Debo Powers

The event was held to educate landowners and visitors about bear safety and living in bear country. The North Fork community has a reputation of being a place where humans live in harmony with grizzly bears. However, last year there were some incidents around Polebridge where bears got “food rewards.” When humans leave food and other attractants available, bears become habituated to human presence. This can lead to bear mortality and creates unsafe conditions for humans as well. “A fed bear is a dead bear.”

Bear Fair 2019: photo by Debo Powers

Bear Fair organizer, Flannery Coats, was thrilled by the several hundred people who attended the event.

Bear Fair 2019: photo by Debo Powers

The Bear Fair was organized by the North Fork Preservation Association and sponsored by the North Fork Landowners Association, the North Fork Trails Association, Polebridge Mercantile, and the Northern Lights Saloon. Representatives from Glacier National Park and Fish, Wildlife, & Parks were present to provide expertise.

2006 Toyota Sequoia Sold!

By | August 24, 2019

Yep… It’s been sold. But you’ll probably still be seeing it running up and down the North Fork road.

I’m selling our beloved Toyota Sequoia…

Year 2006 – Model SR5 – Silver – It’s 4WD, of course, and has a little over 100,000 on the odometer. It includes bucket seats in the front and a set of removable seats in the way back.  With those back seats in, 8 people fit comfortably. It also has a roof rack, fog lights, industrial-style floor mats, and running boards that make it easier to crawl into the thing.

A set of 10 Ply Toyo Tires without studs mounted on wheels that we bought on 7-2-15 from Les Schwab: LT265175R-I6110 123J120R OPEN COUNTRY AT II ALL POSITION OW
A set of 10 Ply Toyo Tires with studs mounted on wheels that we bought some time ago, but I don’t remember when. But we also bought them at Les Schwab, so they could look it up.
A set of town tires on wheels that came with the car… these have very little wear since this is a North Fork rig.
Various chains

All of the service has taken place either at Les Schwab or Glacier Toyota, so getting that information would be pretty easy if the buyer wanted it. All of the various recalls (sigh) have been taken care of.

We’re asking $9,000 for everything, but are open to negotiation. We’re going to use it through Aug. 6th, but it’s available after that.

If you’re interested and have questions, please contact me (Patti Hart) through NFNews.

This photo was taken last November, so you can see it’s in good shape!