Lightning Sparks Small Fires – but not on the North Fork

This news release wasn’t about the North Fork, but it does remind us that we need to be vigilant. From Janette Turk, Public Relations Officer for Flathead National Forest:

Monday night’s storm system that passed through NW Montana produced thunderstorms that sparked several new wildfire starts on the Flathead National Forest in the Swan Lake Ranger District.  Continue reading

Great Game Gumbo

This story is featured in Montana Outdoors September-October 2016 issue… Though technically it’s still summer, hunting season is well under way in much of Montana. Many archery pronghorn and shoulder season elk hunters have already notched their tags, and grouse hunters will be on the prairies and in the mountains within the next few weeks. Waterfowl opener is only a month away. It’s time for hunters to use up any game remaining in their freezer to make room for this year’s harvest. One way is with a big pot of fragrant, savory gumbo. Get the full recipe here.

Coming Through Darkness

A story by Gabriel Furshong is featured in Montana Outdoors September–October 2016 issue and begins… I went to sleep with a sense of foreboding and woke before the alarm. The wintry morning had crept through the walls of our one-room cabin. I could see my breath drift toward the timbered ceiling. After starting a fire in the iron stove, I pressed my nose to the window, a frosted frame of blackness yielding nothing of the world beyond. The moon had waned to a sliver, and the steep slopes of the Rocky Mountain Front were perfectly hidden. Read the full story here.

Woman bit by Grizzly in Glacier National Park

A grizzly sow and her cubs feed in a patch of huckleberries in Glacier National Park in the Swiftcurrent Valley in this file photo. A bear like this one bit a huckleberry picker in the same valley on Saturday. From the Hungry Horse News.

A grizzly sow and her cubs feed in a patch of huckleberries in Glacier National Park in the Swiftcurrent Valley in this file photo. A bear like this one bit a huckleberry picker in the same valley on Saturday. From the Hungry Horse News.

A park employee, while off duty picking huckleberries in the Swiftcurrent valley, surprised what is believed to be a grizzly bear. She sustained non-life threatening injuries to the leg and the hands. The surprise encounter which led to a non-predatory attack occurred on Saturday, August 27 in the early evening hours, a quarter mile off the Swiftcurrent Pass trail near Red Rock Falls, and reported to dispatch at 7:15 p.m. The park employee walked most of the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail back before she was met by park rangers. She was then transported by Glacier county EMS to Browning for further treatment and evaluation. She was carrying bear spray but it was not deployed. Hikers reported a grizzly bear sow and two cubs leaving the area shortly after the incident. Continue reading

Visitor Misbehavior Abounds as National Park Service Turns 100

The Flathead Beacon reports that record visitor numbers at the nation’s first national park have transformed its annual summer rush into a sometimes dangerous frenzy, with selfie-taking tourists routinely breaking park rules and getting too close to Yellowstone’s storied elk herds, grizzly bears, wolves and bison. Read the full story here.

Orientation to InciWeb

The Flathead National Forest Facebook page says… Orientation to InciWeb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ is one of the best ways to get up-to-date information about a wildfire, directly from the people working on the fire itself. On the main page, the fire incident most recently updated will show at the top. You may have to scroll down to find the fire you are interested in. You can also toggle to the state you are interested in by selecting the state, in the upper right corner. Once you find the fire you want, you can locate all kinds of information, like an incident over view and outlook, announcements, maps, photos, closures, size of the fire, how many personnel are on the fire, the phone number to talk to a fire information officer, and articles which often go into more detail about the fire. The best way to use InciWeb is to explore all the tabs and keep an eye open for updates. Also, there is a terminology page, which is a guide to all the jargon used on fire incidents. http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/terminology/