An out-of-control trash fire in Kila that nearly spread to a house drew a response from nine agencies from across the county Thursday afternoon.
According to Smith Valley Fire Chief DC Haas, the residents at 6515 U.S. 2 West in Kila were burning a trash pile near their home when wind pushed the fire across their property, setting fire to tires, plastic, debris and fiberglass shortly before 2 p.m.
“The tires and plastics behind their house made it much hotter in terms of BTUs being released,” Haas said. “The fire went down the hill to the house and spread uphill with wind, with fire touching the house.”
The house was not damaged, nor were any other structures.
As of 4:30 p.m., firefighters were mopping up the fire area that covered three acres.
Haas warned other county residents about the unexpectedly dry conditions that helped the fire spread as quickly as it did.
“It’s surprisingly dry,” Haas said. “[The fire was] burning both the fine fuels and heavy fuels with a lot of consumption. It’s much drier than I thought it was. Folks really need to be careful when they’re burning.”
Smith Valley was assisted by Evergreen Fire Rescue, Kalispell Fire Department, South Kalispell Fire Department, West Flathead EMS, West Valley Fire Department, Marion Fire Department, the Kalispell Interagency Dispatch Center and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.