Thursday, November 30, 2023

Community news briefs

| March 8, 2023 12:00 AM

Spring burning season opens

Spring open burning season in Flathead County runs from March 1 to April 30. Burners must call the ventilation hotline daily at 406-751-8144 or visit the air quality website at for restrictions before burning.

The ventilation forecast is updated by 5 p.m. each day for the next day and by 8:30 a.m. on Monday. Prohibited materials include, but are not limited to, all manmade materials, treated materials, wood, and wood by-product trade wastes produced by any business, trade, industry, or demolition project. Construction debris is considered a trade waste.

Campfires and warming fires when deemed necessary determined by weather conditions are restricted to fires less than 4 feet in diameter. These fires should consist of materials less than 3 inches in diameter. The Flathead City-County Health Department issues some reminders regarding burning. Only clean, dry materials should be burned and poorly burning fires should not be allowed to smolder.

The Flathead County Landfill offers an alternative to burning, free to homeowners within the county. Leaves and grass clippings create excessive smoke and do not burn well. Composting or landfilling these items is recommended. Always burn piles away from other combustible materials and have fire extinguishing equipment nearby. Never allow piles to become larger than manageable. Weather conditions may change quickly. In the Whitefish area, a permit is required from the Whitefish Fire Department for burning. Burning is prohibited within the Kalispell and Columbia Falls city limits. From Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, contact the air quality line for burning opportunities. Burn permits are required from May 1 to June 30, and no burning is allowed July 1 to Sept. 30 due to increased fire danger. Fall open burning season runs from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.

Call 406-751-8144 for the ventilation and burning forecast.

Next Bigfork Blood Drive scheduled for April 4

The next Bigfork Blood Drive in April is looking for donor sign-ups.

The drive will take place on April 4 Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. downstairs at the Bethany Lutheran Church's Fellowship Hall on MT 35 in Bigfork.

Walk-ins are welcome, but having an appointment avoids long waits. People can sign-up directly at or contact organizer Steve Shapero at (406) 890-5040. Walk-ins are welcome throughout the day.