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.

Swan Lake Ranger District:

Lindy Ridge Prescribed Burn – The objective of the prescribed fire is to treat 1,104 acres in and adjacent to the Mission Mountains Wilderness, west of Lindbergh Lake along Lindy Ridge, to reduce crown fire potential, decrease flame lengths and decrease spotting distance and, therefore, increase the probability that a natural ignition would stay within the wilderness boundary and fire could play its natural role on the landscape. More information will be forthcoming as the window of opportunity approaches.

Huey Timber Sale – This project includes broadcast burning in timber harvest units located within the Stoner Creek drainage near Blacktail Mountain west of Lakeside, MT. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement.

Louie Timber Sale – This project includes broadcast burning in timber harvest units located within the Truman Creek drainage near Blacktail Mountain south of Kila, MT and west of Lakeside, MT. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement.

Swan Valley Bottom Maintenance Burning – This project includes maintenance broadcast burning in previously treated timber harvest units located within the Swan Valley. Specific locations include the Lion Creek Drainage, and Meadow Creek area. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, large ungulate winter range improvement, and improve forest health.

Tally Lake Ranger District:

Whitefish Municipal Watershed Prescribed Burn – The objectives of this prescribed fire include burning several units ranging in size from 36-268 acres to reduce the likelihood of crown fire, reduce stand density, improve mule deer and elk habitat and prepare areas for planting of White Bark pine. Units will be selected based on conditions at the time of ignition. Aerial ignition will utilize a helicopter. The burn will be highly visible from Whitefish and the greater Flathead Valley. More information will be forthcoming as the window of opportunity approaches.

Radnor Unit 64 – A 17-acre activity fuels hand ignited understory burn in the Wildland Urban Interface west of Olney with retention of mature Larch and natural regeneration.

Hungry Horse District:

Red Whale Fuels Reduction— A 1,114-acre project is planned in the Red Whale Creek Drainage in the North Fork of the Flathead about 4 miles northwest of Polebridge. Depending on weather this burn is planned for mid to late September to early October. The purpose of this project is to help restore a more historical fire regime to the ecosystem, improve wildlife habitat and reduce hazardous fuels to reduce wildfire risk and aid in potential future fire suppression efforts and improve wildlife habitat. Approximately 750 acres will be targeted this fall in Moose creek and Moran creek.

Belton Rx— This prescribed fire project targets 5 units totaling 916 acres. The project is designed to restore fire to the ecosystem and remove dead and down fuels while reducing conifer encroachment in openings to improve wildlife habitat. The units are located west of, and adjacent to, the northernmost portion of the Great Bear Wilderness near West Glacier.

Middle Fork Fuels Rx—This burn targets approximately 622 acres in 4 units. The prescribed fire treatments are designed to target the shrub-dominated areas with the objective of reducing conifer encroachment, rejuvenating wildlife browse, creating a diverse mosaic of vegetation conditions and across the landscape, and reducing fuel accumulations.

Coram Pasture Rx—A proposal to burn 20 acres of the Coram pasture administrative site to reduce encroachment of woody vegetation and enhance forage for the livestock. This burn is located between Martin City and Coram.

Spotted Bear Ranger District:

The units listed below around the Spotted Bear Ranger Station are being prescribed burned to reduce fuel loading, maintain and increase winter range forage and reintroduce fire into the ecosystem. Most units are a mix of grassy openings, shrub fields and timber patches. The objective is to reduce conifer encroachment while retaining key thermal cover timber patches.

Aerial Ignition – Spotted Bear River Units E, M, N 50, 65, 66 and Silver Mule units 48 & 49 – 515 acres

Hand Ignition – Silver Mule Units 44, 45, 46, 52, 53, Tin Mule Unit 54 and Spotted Bear Fuels Unit 5 – 57 acres total.

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
Spotted Bear Ranger District: 406-758-5376

For precise prescribed fire ignition dates and times, follow our Facebook and Twitter profiles.
General forest information can be found online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/flathead.


Forest Service Shield
Meghan Mulholland
Acting Public Affairs Officer
Forest Service
Flathead National Forest, Supervisor’s Office
p: 406-758-5252
c: 406-249-1714
650 Wolfpack Way
Kalispell, MT 59901
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About NFNews Editor

Patti Hart is the editor-in-chief and founder of the NFNews.net. Patti lives on the North Fork during the summers and travels the world for the rest of the year, updating NFNews every day wherever there is an internet connection.

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