NFLUAC to meet at Sondreson Hall, October 3, 6pm

Sondreson Hall by Gerry StearnsI would like to announce a NFLUAC meeting next Monday, October 3rd at 6:00pm at Sondreson Hall. We hope to see you there as we head down the homestretch. The agenda is attached.

Randy Kenyon
Chair

NORTH FORK LAND USE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
MEETING October 3, 2022
SONDRESON HALL 6:00
AGENDA

Call to Order

Members Present

Minutes of the August 4th and 24th Meetings Reviewed

1. Review of Current Status of Text Amendment

2. Discussion regarding the November 1st Commissioner’s meeting.

3. Public Comments

Those with special needs will be accommodated

Prescribed burns planned for Moose and Whale Creek drainages

Flathead National Forest prescribed burns, 2022
Flathead National Forest prescribed burns, 2022

The Flathead National Forest just published information on this fall’s prescribed burns. The only entry of local interest is this one (listed under “Hungry Horse District” for some reason)…

Red Whale Fuels Reduction— Approximately 750 acres will be targeted for prescribed burning this fall in Moose creek and Moran creek.  This project location is in the North Fork of the Flathead about 4 miles northwest of Polebridge.  Depending on weather this burn is planned for mid to late September to early October. The purpose of this project is to help restore a more historical fire regime to the ecosystem, improve wildlife habitat and reduce hazardous fuels to reduce wildfire risk and aid in potential future fire suppression efforts and improve wildlife habitat.

Of course, any prescribed burn is contingent on weather, fuel conditions, and air quality lining up just right.

The entire press release is available online here:
Fall prescribed burns planned in the Flathead National Forest

NFLA awards certificates of appreciation

At last night”s membership meeting, NFLA President Richard Hildner presented well-deserved certificates of appreciation to the following individuals for their volunteer service to the community spanning a great many years!

Mark and Margaret Heaphy
Randy Kenyon
Bonny Ogle and
Lynn Ogle

(Thanks to Jack McFarland for the photos.)

Mark and Margaret Heaphy
Randy Kenyon
Bonny Ogle
Lynn Ogle

September/October Wildland Fire Potential Outlook

Greetings all! The latest Wildland Fire Potential Outlook was released today, and it is as expected. The continued hot and dry weather in early September will give us above normal fire activity in Northwestern Montana:

The good news, of course, is that we did receive a little precipitation in the North Fork – and that was welcome. But, we have two to three weeks of fire season left at least. Days are getting shorter, nighttime temperature and humidity recovery is significantly improving (except in the thermal belts), which really decreases fire activity.

We aren’t out of the woods yet – and we have the potential for some significant fire yet this fall, especially if we remain warm and dry through September into October.

Check out the latest report – and don’t let your guard down! Thanks. Allen

Karen Chesna passes

From Cecily McNeil . . .

To the Flathead Valley friends and pupils of Karen Chesna (formerly Karen C. McNeil):

You may not have heard that Karen suffered a fatal heart attack on August 6, at her home in Missoula.

She is survived by her sister Barbara and her two children: Henry and Fiona McNeil.

If you wish to join her family, friends, and pupils in memory of Karen, please contact the Arbor Day foundation at the following address: https://shop.arborday.org/trees-in-memory. There you may order a tree to be planted in a U.S. national forest as a living memorial for Karen.

Aug 26: Quartz Fire grows two acres; crews patrolling after Thursday’s lightning

Quartz Fire aerial, August 25, 2022 - NPS
Quartz Fire aerial, August 25, 2022 – NPS

From the Press release . . .

National Park Service
Glacier National Park
Incident Commander: M. Lewelling

Fire Information Email: glac_fire_line@nps.gov
Fire Information Recording: 406-206-6099
Fire Information Office: 406-206-5272 (8 am to 6 pm)

Quartz Fire grows two acres; crews patrolling after Thursday’s lightning 

Current Situation: The Quartz Fire was mapped at 1698 acres last night, resulting in a two acre increase over the infrared mapping done Tuesday night. Consistent rains over the past few days have significantly reduced fire activity. Scattered heat remains within the fire’s perimeter.

Wet weather over the Quartz Fire resulted in additional lightning to the area. Glacier fire personnel observed many lightning strikes resulting in two fires in the northwest region of the park. The Numa Lookout observed one lightning strike in the late afternoon resulting in a tree torching. A crew accessed the area via helicopter but did not find any active fire yesterday. Firefighters will hike in from Bowman Lake today to patrol the area and will be prepared to respond if any new fires are discovered. Firefighters located at Quartz Lake observed a second lightning strike in the Quartz drainage near the Quartz Fire, but there was no smoke observed after the afternoon rain. Crews will continue to patrol and scout the Quartz area today.

Weather: Winds are expected to increase on Friday ahead of a cold front that will pass over Glacier on Saturday. Winds will be 10-20 mph from the west through the day and 5-15 mph overnight, which may slightly increase fire activity during the warmest part of the day. Smoke may be visible if fire activity increases.

Closures: Glacier National Park has enacted a Closure Order for the areas, campgrounds, and trails within the Quartz Lake drainage from the Continental Divide to the Inside North Fork Road for the protection of park visitors, employees, and natural resources. This includes the Quartz Lake Loop trails starting from just south of Bowman Lake toward Quartz Lake, as well as the Quartz Lake and Lower Quartz Lake Wilderness Campgrounds. A map of the closure is available on InciWeb.

Fire Restrictions: The fire danger rating in Glacier National Park is currently Very High. All park visitors are reminded that campfires are allowed only in designated fire rings or grates and should be kept small. Never leave a fire unattended and drown any campfire with water until cold to the touch before leaving it.

Air Quality: National air quality and smoke conditions can be monitored at https://fire.airnow.gov/. Visibility in different parts of Glacier National Park can vary from hour to hour, depending on fire and wind conditions both locally and throughout the west. Check the park’s webcams at https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm for current views.

Quartz Fire Statistics:
Size: Approximately 1698 acres
Total Personnel: 35
Start Date: Sunday, August 14, 2022
Containment: 0%
Cause: Lightning
Location: 25 miles north of West Glacier

Quartz Fire Closure Map, August 18, 2022
Quartz Fire Closure Map, August 18, 2022

Coal Ridge Fire update for August 26th

Coal Ridge Fire (3), August 25, 2022 - USFS
Coal Ridge Fire (3), August 25, 2022 – USFS

This information was received from Ryan Butler, Assistant Fire Management Officer-Operations for the Hungry Horse-Glacier View Ranger District. Note that the Coal Ridge Fire is still about 10 acres . . .

[ Update! All trails in the Coal Ridge Fire  vicinity (trails 2, 239 & 4) have reopened. ]

Not much to report on Coal Ridge fire. Yesterday was quiet with no growth and only smoldering was observed. Two cells did go over the fire yesterday and district personnel are hiking up to the fire today to confirm how much rain was received on the fire. As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have question. Thank You

Coal Ridge Fire (2), August 25, 2022 - USFS
Coal Ridge Fire (2), August 25, 2022 – USFS
Coal Ridge Fire (1), August 25, 2022 - USFS
Coal Ridge Fire (1), August 25, 2022 – USFS

Weasel Fire update for August 25th

Weasel Fire Map, August 25, 2022
Weasel Fire Map, August 25, 2022

The Weasel Fire has grown very little over the past couple of days, gaining only 43 acres overall for a total of 5044, most of it in Canada. Today, August 25, Firefighters continue to improve areas along roads, clear debris from the roadway and are providing point protection of resources in the area. Lower temperatures and an increased chance of rain showers is predicted with thunderstorms this today. Fire managers continue to monitor, assess, and coordinate with Canadian efforts.

Weasel Fire Area Closure Map
Weasel Fire Area Closure Map