Flathead National Forest plans spring burns

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Flathead National Forest announced Tuesday its plans for prescribed fire projects this spring and noted the work will begin when weather, fuel conditions and air quality are deemed favorable.

Projects are planned on the Swan Lake Ranger District, the Tally Lake Ranger District and the Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger District.

Each project has a prescribed burn plan that identifies the best conditions for initiating work.

“We will burn as soon as we can,” said Janette Turk, a spokeswoman for Flathead National Forest. “You might see pile burning before broadcast burning.”

Once the burns begin, smoke could be visible from various places in the Flathead Valley, depending on the site of the burn and weather conditions, the Forest Service said.

The agency suggested the prescribed fires could, among other things: reduce fuels that might otherwise intensify a wildfire: improve wildlife habitat; facilitate regeneration of tree species that are more fire resilient; and, more.

Swan Lake Ranger District

• Huey Timber Sale - Broadcast burning in timber harvest units located within the Blacktail Mountain area west of Lakeside.

• Swan Valley Bottom maintenance burning – Maintenance broadcast burning in previously treated timber harvest units located within the Swan Valley. Specific locations include the Lion Creek Drainage and Condon Airstrip area.

• Swan Lake Ranger Station – Underburning the administrative site at the Swan Lake Ranger District office in Bigfork.

• Pile burning – Hand or machine piles are located in several locations within the Swan Valley and Bigfork community and miscellaneous piles around the district.

Tally Lake Ranger District

• Ashley-Herrig – Reduce timber harvest activity fuel loads, improve forest stand conditions and more.

• Logan Creek 202 – The unit is located on the east aspect of Tally Mountain, west of Tally Lake campgrounds, being visible from the campgrounds.

• Radnor — Radnor units 10 and 18 are 135-acre understory fuels treatment in the wildland urban interface adjacent to Finger Lake, about 20 miles northwest of Whitefish. The fuel was hand piled last summer and fall and should be ready to burn this spring.

• Whitefish Municipal — 37 acres understory fuels treatments in the wildland urban interface in Haskill Basin, about 5 miles northwest of Whitefish.

Hungry Horse District

• Big Creek Administration Site — Targets 3 acres of hand piles adjacent to the Big Creek learning center facility north of Columbia Falls.

• Hungry Horse Ranger Station — Targets hand piles near the town of Hungry Horse along the lower dam road and south of the ranger station. In addition, 5 acres of grass and shrubs on the Hungry Horse/Glacier View administrative site is targeted for prescribed fire.

• Coram pasture treatment — Proposal to burn 20 acres of the Coram pasture administrative site to reduce encroachment of woody vegetation and enhance forage for livestock.

• Anna Creek Cabin — Hand piles produced from reducing hazardous fuels around the Forest Service rental cabin.

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 fire ignition dates and times go to www.facebook.com/discovertheflathead

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