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Flathead Forest plans spring burn operations

by Daily Inter Lake
| March 21, 2024 12:00 AM

The Flathead National Forest is planning to conduct spring prescribed fire projects when weather, fuel conditions and air quality become favorable. Smoke will be visible from various places in the Flathead Valley depending on the location of the burn units and weather conditions.

Swan Lake Ranger District:

How Now Timber Sale – This project includes broadcast burning in timber harvest units located on Sixmile Mountain, North of Swan Lake. 

Swan Valley Bottom Maintenance Burning – This project includes maintenance broadcast burning in previously treated timber harvest units located within the Swan Valley. 

Swan Lake Ranger Station – This project includes under burning the administrative site at the Swan Lake Ranger District office located in Bigfork. 

Pile Burning – Hand or machine piles located within the Blacktail Mountain area, Swan Valley, Bigfork community, and miscellaneous piles around the district.

Tally Lake Ranger District:

Dateline 79/80, Swamp Rat 6, Salish Good GNA 67 – These projects of approximately 118 combined acres. 

Oettiker 3 – This 96-acre unit is in the vicinity of Star Meadow, approximately 14 air miles west of Whitefish, and was previously burned in the spring of 2016.

Burnt Grouse 2.0 – This 220-acre unit is in the Good Creek drainage approximately 7 air miles southwest of Olney and was previously burned in the fall of 2014. 

Ashley Mtn 202 – Prescribed fire will burn approximately 200 acres of natural fuels to reduce the likelihood of crown fire, reduce stand density, and improve mule deer and elk habitat. The prescribed fire will also help protect our Ashley Mountain communication site from future fire. The burn will be highly visible from the Ashley Lake area.

Pile Bruning – Planning on burning small hand piles in the Bootjack Lake and Pilot Knob area. These piles are burned to reduce fuel loads in these areas.

Hungry Horse/Glacier View Districts:

Royal Tiger Units 54/54A/55/57 – These units are in the Emery Creek Drainage on the east side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir. 

Royal Tiger Unit 86 – This unit is adjacent to Emery Bay on the east side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir. 

Coram Pasture – Utilizing hand ignitions to burn Fields 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 for a total of 50 acres. Coram Pasture is approximately 1-mile northeast of Martin City.

Hungry Horse Ranger Station – Utilizing hand ignitions to burn 4 units that are 3.5 acres. These units are located on the Ranger Station Administrative site. 

Spotted Bear Ranger District:

Spotted Bear River units E, M, and N – Hand and aerial ignition will be utilized to blackline approximately 100 acres of Spotted Bear River units E, M, and N on the south end of Horse Ridge near the Spotted Bear Ranger Station. 

Spotted Bear Mountain Unit 300 – Utilizing hand and aerial ignition, a prescribed fire unit in the new Spotted Bear Mountain timber sale will be burned in conjunction with a timber harvest unit (Silver Mule unit 71) for a total of 48 acres. The units are located to the southeast of the Spotted Bear Ranger Station, just south of Spotted Bear Lake.