North Fork Fuels Reduction Field Trip, Wednesday, June 15

North Fork Fuels Reduction Field Trip Schedule, June 15, 2022Don’t forget the North Fork Fuels Reduction Field Trip Wednesday, June 15 beginning at Mark and Margaret Heaphy’s place, 11530 North Fork Road at 0930. While there we will talk about fuel modification around structures, and the work that has been done in the North Fork in response to our large fires.

Bring a bag lunch to enjoy at Sondreson Community Hall, while NRCS District Conservationist Sean Johnson goes over the Wedge Canyon TIP project – where grant funding is available to landowners not only within the Wedge Canyon Fire Area, but all forested landowners from Teepee Creek/Ford Work Station north to the Canadian Border. He will cover not only the project area and types of work that qualifies, but also the application process. Continue reading North Fork Fuels Reduction Field Trip, Wednesday, June 15

Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for period beginning June 1, 2022

June 2022 Wildland Fire Outlook
June 2022 Wildland Fire Outlook

Greetings everyone. Here is our first Outlook that can give us a reasonable hint of what the fire season might look like. The good news is that the forecast looks like a “normal” fire season for Northwest Montana – which of course includes the North Fork.

The bad news, of course, is that the rest of Montana, especially east of the Divide, is looking at potentially being significantly above normal wildland fire potential.
The caution for us is that even with the cool spring, and increased snowpack over the past month or two, those factors are transitory. That is, if we wind up turning off hot and dry in early July, the positive effects that the cool, wet spring we had will dissipate quickly. We had that a few years ago, and meteorologists called it a “Flash Drought.” It was not forecasted that summer and caught the meteorologists by surprise. They apologized the next spring for having told us we would have a “Slow Normal” fire season…

So, we need to prepare for a reasonably active fire season, as normal. One factor of course, is that resources will be spread thin with potentially a lot of activity elsewhere in the Northern Rockies, and around the Country.

While these Outlooks are useful, there are limits to their accuracy. The July Outlook will give us a better look at the conditions going into July, and the weather systems that might affect the rest of our fire season.

Stay tuned.

Thanks to all! Remember our Fuels Field Trip on June 15, and our Firewise Day on July 13.

See you all there! Thanks. Allen

Read the full outlook:
https://www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/outlooks/monthly_seasonal_outlook.pdf

September-December Wildland Fire Potential Outlook

September 2021 Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook
September 2021 Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook

Here is the Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for September, October, November.  As you all are aware, we turned a corner in mid-August in the North Fork with the moisture we received.  A big change that significantly slowed the fire season for us.  And the good news is that we are forecast to continue to be a “normal” fire season through September, October and November.  Plus, with a La Nina forecast for Montana this winter, you all need to be tuning up your snowblowers and getting your firewood laid in.

While that is good news for Northwest Montana, Oregon and Washington will continue to be busy through September, Northern California gets no relief until December.  Grim.

See the full report (PDF format) for further details.

August National Wildland Fire Potential Outlook

July 29, 2021 Hay Creek Fire - USFS
July 29, 2021 Hay Creek Fire – USFS

Good Afternoon!  The August/September/October Wildland Fire Potential Outlook was posted this morning, and it doesn’t contain good news for the North Fork or Montana.

In contrast to the July Outlook, the August Outlook projects Above Normal Wildland Fire Potential to extend through September in addition to August.  The July Outlook had us returning to normal in September.  Above Normal conditions will persist in October on the Eastside.  Northwest Montana should return to normal in October.  Here are some excerpts: Continue reading August National Wildland Fire Potential Outlook

June 1st National Wildland Fire Potential

I am a little late forwarding out the current National Wildland Fire Potential.  I’ll be sharing this through the fire season until we get our season ending event.

This is as we would expect given our dry spring and spreading drought.  The good news is that we in the North Fork are in a better position than most of the West.  That is not much consolation since the outlook across the West is grim.  Specifically for the Northern Rockies, here are some excerpts: Continue reading June 1st National Wildland Fire Potential

Almost out of the woods for Fire Season 2020

Cross-posted from Facebook . . .
Well, we are almost out of the woods for Fire Season 2020 in the Northern Rockies. We have areas of dry fuel with potential in Eastern Montana, although the forecast is for normal fire potential across the Geographic Area.
Our rainfall in Northwest Montana on September 24 and 25 provided significant relief, but the warmer daytime temperatures leave us with some potential. More moisture will help a lot. Note there are other parts of the country that will continue to have active fire seasons.
This will be the last Outlook I post until Spring 2021. Feel free to access the monthly updates on your own, posted the first of each month.
Wait for a bit more before burning your piles, unless you enjoy chasing skunking fires. And when you do burn, be sure and know what the wind is going to do. Thanks, and be safe out there!

Wildland Fire Potential Outlook – issued September 1, 2020

Well, there is Good News and Not as Good News in this Month’s Wildland Fire Potential Outlook!

The Good News is that Montana is now not forecasted for an “Above Normal” September as it has been in the past two Outlooks.

The “Not as Good” News is that things are critically dry across the State. Energy Release Components, an indication of the volatility of the fuels, are in the 95th to 97th percentile, which is pretty much pegging the meter.

For the most part, we have avoided the large fires associated with these seasonally dry fuel conditions. I think the lack of numerous starts from dry lightning storms factors into the equation. And, as we move into September, the potential for dry thunderstorms drops off.

However, there are numerous other ways fires can start – most of them human. Three fires started earlier this week along Highway 200 outside of Plains/Paradise where a flat tire on a trailer sparked fires with the wheel contacting the pavement throwing sparks. Unattended campfires are always a concern – even transitioning out of the summer camping season into the fall hunting season with hunter fires.

So, continue to be careful out there. If we get some of the forecasted moisture alluded to in the narrative, we’ll get out of this fire season relatively intact. More time to work on fuels projects for next fire season! Only You….

https://www.nifc.gov/nicc/predictive/outlooks/monthly_seasonal_outlook.pdf

Wildland Fire Potential Outlook – issued August 1, 2020

As expected, Northwest Montana continues to be projected as above normal for fire activity through August and September. We can all be glad that the moisture we got at the end of June and the first of July pushed our fire season out from becoming active in early to mid July.

But, with the current temperatures, low overnight temperature and humidity recovery, and live fuels suffering due to the combination of those factors, we can become pretty volatile pretty quickly.

The other aspect of this Outlook indicates we will have enough moisture in the air masses pushing up from the 4 Corners area to stimulate convective activity – dry thunderstorms. So, we can wind up with a lot of new starts from lightning.

Probably not telling any of you anything you don’t know – but it is a good time to get those fire tools shaped up, tanks mounted in 4 wheelers, and watching the lightning maps.

Here is the link to the complete Wildland Fire Potential Outlook. As we have said before, these Outlooks are useful but there are no guarantees.
https://nflandowners.org/nflawp/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/August-monthly_seasonal_outlook.pdf

New Smokey Bear-Fire Danger sign at Camas intersection

Thanks to the Hungry Horse/Glacier View Fire Staff – Andy Huntsberger and Staff – for installing the new Smokey Bear/Fire Danger Sign on the North Fork Road at the Camas Creek Road Junction. We all appreciate the service our wildland fire protecting Agency, the Flathead National Forest, provides. (Note: the tethers on the sign will come off once the concrete cures.)
And thanks to FireSafe Flathead for promoting the idea. The timing is excellent. It won’t take much more hot and dry weather until we are seeing High Fire Danger.
A good reminder to always Be Careful with Fire!
New Smokey Bear-Fire Danger sign at Camas intersection
New Smokey Bear-Fire Danger sign at Camas intersection