Tag Archives: Flathead County

Fire restrictions lifted in almost all areas of Northwest Montana

Pretty much all fire restrictions (Stage I and Stage II) have been rescinded in this corner of Montana except for Flathead County proper. Chances are, the Flathead County Commissioners will get around to lifting restrictions for the county on Thursday.

There is no open burning, however. That will have to wait until October, if not later.

See also: Most fire restrictions removed (Daily Inter Lake – paywall)

No fireworks for the 4th

As expected, Flathead County has banned all fireworks displays, public and private, due to exceptionally dry conditions . . .

Flathead County has banned the use of fireworks on all public and private land located within the county’s boundaries, outside of the city limits, effective immediately.

The commission took a hard stand against fireworks on Thursday morning, removing any exemptions for previously permitted shows in the county’s jurisdiction.

With the use of fireworks banned, the Flathead Emergency Communication Center, also known as the 911 Center, has set up a separate line to report non-emergency fireworks violations.The number to that line is 260-4161, and it feeds directly into the dispatch center. Emergencies such as injuries or fires should be reported to 911. There is no automatic fine assessed for violations, according to deputy county attorney Tara Fugina; the resolution states that violations may be prosecuted under applicable statutes.

Read more . . .

Montana’s fire season officially ends

Montana’s fire season officially ends at midnight tonight (Wednesday, October 17). Open burning will be permitted locally until the end of November. The Flathead Beacon has a write-up . . .

Montana’s fire season will officially end at midnight tonight and most restrictions will be lifted across the state, according to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

DNRC Director Mary Sexton and Forestry Division Administrator Bob Harrington signed the proclamation effectively ending the wildfire season and rescinding fire restrictions for state and private classified forest lands.

Fire restrictions will remain in some areas of the state, but open burning will be permitted in Flathead and Lake counties until Nov. 30. Burning will be shut down from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28 due to air quality regulations.

Continue reading . . .

Burn permits required starting May 1

If you’ve got a slash pile or whatever that needs burning, you’ll need a burn permit starting May 1 and running through June 30. (No burning is allowed July 1 – September 30.) Here are the highlights . . .

Burn permits are available online at http://www.firesafekalispell.com/.  Fill out the online form and a permit will be emailed to you.

If you don’t have Internet access — or don’t know someone who does — several locations can issue burn permits during normal business hours: the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation office in Kalispell at 655 Timberwolf Parkway, the DNRC office in Olney at 7425 U.S. 93 N., Flathead County Environmental Health on the second floor of the Earl Bennett Building at 1035 1st Ave. W. in Kalispell or the Bigfork Fire Department at 810 Grand Ave. in Bigfork.

Permits are free. One permit is required for each location, but the permit is good through June 30.

Have a copy of your permit with you when you burn.

Depending on air quality, there may be burning restrictions on some days. Before you burn, call the Flathead County Air Quality Hotline at 751-8144 or check online at http://flathead.mt.gov/environmentalhealth/burning.php.

You are responsible for any and all suppression costs if a fire escapes your control. Escaped debris burns are the leading cause of all wildfires in Montana. Don’t leave your fire unattended and don’t burn when windy.

Wolf hunting to close in large section of NW Montana; quota reached

This AP article is referring to Wolf Management Unit 101, which covers a good portion of Flathead and Lincoln counties. Wolf hunting is still open in Unit 110, covering the North Fork. See the FWP Wolf Hunting Guide page for more detail . . .

Wildlife officials say wolf hunting will close in portions of northwest Montana on Thursday after hunters filled the harvest quota for the area.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Tom Palmer said hunters filled the 19-wolf quota for a wildlife management area that includes portions of Lincoln and Flathead counties.

Continue reading . . .


Stage 1 fire restrictions go into effect for Flathead County

From the Hungry Horse News , , ,

A fire on the south side of Big Mountain and another in Marion drove home the point of the Flathead County Commissioners in imposing Stage 1 fire restrictions on private property in Flathead County…

As fire crews battled the two fires – both likely human-caused – and facing persistent hot and dry conditions that continued to fuel fires, the Flathead County Commissioners approved Stage 1 fire restrictions on Sept. 6.

The restrictions ban fireworks, require that campfires have a fire ring no larger than three feet in diameter and limits smoking to buildings, vehicles or areas that are cleared of vegetation…

Continue reading . . .

County treats 43 miles of road for dust, up from 29 last year

The month is not complete without at least one road-related post. This one is courtesy of the Daily Inter Lake . . .

The road dust control project in Flathead County has wrapped up for the season, county Public Works Director Dave Prunty recently told commissioners.

Magnesium chloride was applied to 43 miles of county-maintained gravel roads in a cooperative effort between the county and landowners. The total project cost was $244,000, with the county paying half and people who own property along the roads where the material was applied paying the other half.

Continue reading . . .

Larry Wilson: North Fork threat level still secret

In this week’s column, Larry Wilson covers a broad range of topics, including the Border Patrol’s seemingly excessive secrecy about their operations . . .

It has been another action-packed, fun-filled week on the North Fork, with community service, educational, informative and just plain fun social events. The biggest gathering was for the interlocal meeting, which I would call informative and educational.

For several years, the Border Patrol has been asked about the threat level on the North Fork and whether or not arrests have been made here and, if so, for what offense. The Border Patrol’s reply is that they can tell us arrests have been made but they cannot provide details or inform us about the threat level.

I can understand not being informed about the threat level – that might fluctuate from day to day subject to nationwide possibilities. I don’t understand why we cannot be told about North Fork arrests and what the violations were. Even assuming continuing investigation of a particular event, they could give us details of 2008-2010 arrests. We would then know what to watch for and could even aid the Border Patrol with information.

Continue reading . . .

Flathead rivers fall just short of flood stage

From today’s Flathead Beacon . . .

While many residents across western Montana were waking up to raging rivers, those in Flathead and Lincoln counties had pretty much dodged the bullet.

By Thursday morning, no rivers in Northwest Montana had reached flood stage, as was predicted by the National Weather Service in Missoula on Wednesday afternoon. As a result all flood advisories had been lifted for both counties, with the exception of a river-specific warning on the Stillwater, according to meteorologist Jessica Nolte.

Continue reading . . .

Plenty of rain falls, but local rivers stay below flood stage

So far, so good. It appears the North Fork is staying within its banks and the same is holding true for the general area.

From today’s Daily Inter Lake . . .

In spite of Wednesday’s rainfall, rivers in Flathead County remain inside their banks, the county’s emergency services director said late Wednesday afternoon.

Scott Sampey said water conditions didn’t change much between Tuesday and Wednesday. The North Fork was up a bit Wednesday and running muddy. The Middle Fork at West Glacier was up and the main Flathead River had risen near action stage, Sampey said.

“It could be that someone along any of these rivers gets flooded,” he said. But no county rivers are at flood stage yet, he said.

With more rain in the forecast for the next week, rivers should stay high, he said, but lower temperatures at the same time will prevent mountain snowpack from melting quickly.

Continue reading . . .