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

Flathead National Forest Spring 2022 Prescribed Fire Projects

Flathead National Forest Prescribed Fire, Spring 2022
Flathead National Forest Prescribed Fire, Spring 2022

Here’s the Flathead Forest press release announcing this spring’s prescribed burns. Short version: There’s only one on the North Fork, the “North Fork Road PCT,” where “5 acres of hand piles will be ignited along the North Fork Road north of the Demers Ridge trailhead.”

The full text of the release . . .

Kalispell, MT, March 21, 2022 — 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.

Each project follows a Prescribed Fire Burn Plan.  The prescribed fire projects are located and designed to be controlled to reduce the potential for adverse effects, or to escape as a wildland fire.  These projects will follow Montana air quality standards and coordinated with Montana State Department of Environmental Quality to reduce the impacts of smoke to our neighbors, cooperators, and surrounding communities.  The project areas include:

Pile burning: On the attached map major locations of concentrated piles are identified.  These may include both landing and hand piles.  There are also scattered piles not identified on the map which may also be burned.

Swan Lake Ranger District:

Dewey and Louie Timber Sales – This project includes broadcast burning in timber harvest units located within the Blacktail Mountain area west of Lakeside, MT and South of Kila, MT. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement.

How Now Timber Sale – This project includes broadcast burning in timber harvest units located on Sixmile Mountain, North of Swan Lake, MT.  These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction and vegetation regeneration.

Swan Valley Bottom Maintenance Burning – This project includes maintenance broadcast burning in previously treated timber harvest units located within the Swan Valley. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, large ungulate winter range improvement, and improvement of forest health.

Swan Lake Ranger Station – This project includes under burning the administrative site at the Swan Lake Ranger District office located in Bigfork, MT. These treatments will used to rejuvenate the grass and reduce fuels.

Pile Burning – Hand or machine piles are located in locations within the Blacktail Mountain area, Swan Valley, Bigfork community, and miscellaneous piles around the district as a result of but not limited to: logging, hazardous fuels reduction in the wildland urban interface, hazard tree removal, recreation site management and trail or road construction. These piles are burned to reduce fuel loads in these areas. These piles are strategically burned based on their location, access, and weather conditions.

Tally Lake Ranger District:

Burnt Grouse 2.0 – This ecosystem burn will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement. The burn would involve up to 150 acres of planned ignition.

Swamp Rat 5/5A/6 – Treatment will include approximately 57 acres of a hand ignited understory burn just south of Star Meadows.

Hungry Horse/Glacier View Districts:

Coram Pasture RX – Forest Service Administrative Site near Martin City, used for pasturing agency livestock. Up to 15 acres of livestock pasture will be burned to rejuvenate the grass and remove encroaching conifers. Five acres of hand piles from blowdown cleanup will also be treated.

Liger 41 Rx—20 acres of understory burning will occur adjacent to FS road 38 near Emery Bay campground. The purpose of this burn will be to reduce fire hazard and to prepare the site for regeneration planting.

North Fork Road PCT—5 acres of hand piles will be ignited along the North Fork Road north of the Demers Ridge trailhead.

Spotted Bear Ranger District:

Spotted Bear Ranger District is monitoring the weather and fuels conditions this spring in anticipation of conducting a few prescribed burns to meet a variety of objectives including slash reduction and site preparation in harvest units as well as reducing natural fuels in the surrounding areas.  All of the burn units under consideration for this spring are near the Spotted Bear Ranger Station on south and west aspects.

For more information about these projects, contact the appropriate Ranger Station:

Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger District: 406/387-3800

Tally Lake Ranger District: 406/758-5204

Swan Lake Ranger District: 406/837-7500

Spotted Bear Ranger District: 406/758-5376

For precise prescribed fire ignition dates and times, follow our Facebook and Twitter profiles at

https://www.facebook.com/discovertheflathead and https://twitter.com/FlatheadNF.  General forest information can be found online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/flathead