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Prescribed fire near Whitefish Mountain Resort Thursday

by Whitefish Pilot
| October 19, 2022 12:00 PM

If conditions align with air quality, the Tally Lake Ranger District will prescribe burn an area directly adjacent to the Whitefish Mountain Resort on Thursday, Oct. 20. The smoke from this burn will be highly visible from around the Flathead Valley. This unit was initially planned for ignition on Oct. 10, but due to uncertainty in incoming chances for precipitation, was delayed.

Unit B to the east of Whitefish Mountain Resort was approved in the Whitefish Municipal Watershed Fuel Reduction Project in 2017. The purpose of this burn is to protect the municipal watershed by introducing prescribed fire that would reduce the chance for high-intensity wildfire in the future. In addition to these protections, this burn would increase resilience to insect and disease, improve wildlife species habitat, and aid in the restoration of whitebark pine.

This controlled burn will utilize a helicopter equipped with a helitorch, a device that drops fire into the area to be burned, to accomplish ignition. Firefighters will be on scene and in surrounding areas to aid in implementation.

A temporary closure order will be in effect surrounding the burn.

Fire managers are hoping to accomplish approximately 285 acres of burning approved in the Whitefish Municipal Watershed Fuels Reduction Project. A total of 850 acres were approved in this project with roughly 187 being successfully completed last year.

Please monitor social media sites for updated information at https://www.facebook.com/discovertheflathead and https://twitter.com/FlatheadNF. General Forest information can be found online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/flathead.

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