Take care with burn piles this spring

Print Article

Residents off Spring Prairie Road between Whitefish and Kalispell had quite the scare Tuesday evening when a grass fire swept through their neighborhood.

A debris pile got out of control and burned more than 30 acres in its path, including a few outbuildings, a vacant mobile home and a vehicle. This fire was serious, with flames ripping across the field at an alarming rate. Luckily, no one was hurt and no homes were damaged.

The rapid response by our local fire departments and their efforts to contain the blaze before it engulfed the nearby neighborhood deserves the highest praise. Fire crews responded from West Valley Fire and Rescue, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Evergreen Fire Rescue, South Kalispell Fire, Smith Valley Fire, Whitefish Fire and Flathead County Office of Emergency Services.

Lincoln Chute of the Flathead County Office of Emergency Services summed it up well when he said the response was a perfect example of all the departments “working together as a unified force.”

The blaze is also a stark reminder that the valley isn’t yet dressed in its springtime green. Grasses are still brown and as dry as they were in the fall, creating a potentially dangerous scenario during open burn season.

Open burning began March 1 and lasts through April 30. Chute emphasizes that people need to be extremely conscientious with burn piles right now, and to be prepared for the worst.

The DNRC advises people to keep burn piles away from other combustible materials and to have fire extinguishing equipment nearby at all times. Piles should be kept a manageable size, and people need to keep an eye on changing weather.

Chute points out that even a slight breeze is enough to fuel a dangerous grass fire in these dry conditions.

Please, take time to be extra careful with burn piles this month — the consequences of a rogue ember could be devastating for you and your neighbors.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

Valley keeps pushing back on hate

June 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Northwest Montana’s recent history with hatred and extremism can be best described as erratic. Scroll through the Southern Poverty Law Center’s online “hate map,” and the cluster of dots indicating ...

Comments

Read More

Adequate funding needed for addiction recovery services

June 13, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake For nearly 45 years, the Flathead Valley Chemical Dependency Clinic has served the region by providing critical addiction recovery services. Last week we learned the clinic was dissolving and that ...

Comments

Read More

AERO has piloted better air-travel options

June 09, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Glacier Park International Airport is truly the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg for economic development in the Flathead Valley. On so many levels we rely on our airport for the connection...

Comments

Read More

D-Day at 75: We must never forget

June 06, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Seventy-five years later, it remains difficult to comprehend the pivotal World War II military operation known as D-Day. It was an extraordinary feat that remains the largest military operation by se...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2019 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X