Robust fire season still possible

Print Article

I know that a lot of people think we will have a light fire season since we had such a wet spring. It is not necessarily so.

True, it seemed like an awfully wet spring. In fact, May was very wet which caused grasses and low shrubs to grow faster and taller than usual. Maybe a factor in the big bear grass bloom?

June was not as wet as usual and, in fact, what rain came in June was more in the line of thunderstorms with sometimes heavy rain but always accompanied by high winds. Winds tend to dry out tall grass and, as a result, it is slightly drier than normal. Taller-than-usual grasses could become flash fuels as they dry out.

Good preventative measure is to cut all of the high grass around buildings, water to keep the lawn green, and keep it short.

While you are at it, trim bushes and trees around the house and remove any down, dead wood. Larch trees often lose limbs that dry out and make good kindling. Better to have that kindling stored in the woodshed to be put to good use for firebuilding, instead of letting an outside fire get to the house.

While we are on the subject of fire, there are still some dollars in the fuel management fund. If you think you need help to reduce fuels around your cabin or on your lane, call Bill Swope in Columbia Falls. He will do a free inspection of your property to see if you are eligible for a 75 - 25 percent grant to make your property safer. There are also grants available for thinning projects which make your forest healthier and reduce the risk of fire. Call your local office (Kalispell) of the Department of Natural Resources for more information.

Right now is also the time to be bear aware. Huckleberries are not ripe yet so bears are scrounging for food. Don’t leave dog food outside. A screened in porch is not a bear barrier. Haul garbage often and don’t leave it outside either. Bears are like us, they are omnivorous and eat a lot of veggies as well as meat. Unlike us, they don’t mind eating rotten meat and spoiled, moldy vegetables.

Finally, I hope we have zero fires caused by human stupidity—careless fireworks or campfires, that no one is hurt or drowned on the river, and that everyone has a safe, fun-filled Fourth of July.

Fireworks are illegal in the National Forest which surrounds us all. If your fire gets into the National Forest you will pay dearly, plus pay a big fine.

Duke Hoiland has had a long winter dealing with medical issues, which we all hope are about over. We hope that he and Naomi will soon be full time at Trail Creek again. They are extremely grateful for all of the support and help they have received from family, friends and neighbors. The North Fork is truly a special place.

Larry Wilson’s North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

Print Article

Read More Columns

Finding Brandon

February 21, 2018 at 7:29 am | Lake County Leader Probably because of a life-long love of art and an awe of artistic talent, I was stopped by a display of school kids’ drawings in a bank lobby about 28 years ago. Among those art works from Peterson ...

Comments

Read More

‘Bleed Blue’ week at high school

February 21, 2018 at 7:29 am | Hungry Horse News Columbia Falls High School invites the community of Columbia Falls to be part of our second annual Bleed Blue Week, Feb. 26-March 2. Businesses are asked to fly their blue flags throughout the week...

Comments

Read More

Cold is cold

February 21, 2018 at 7:28 am | Lake County Leader It is definitely winter in Columbia Falls, with more and more snow, low temperatures and a cool breeze moving the snow around. It is even more so on the North Fork. Trail Creek, without a doubt, has ...

Comments

Read More

Guide helps the Blackfeet

February 14, 2018 at 8:29 am | Hungry Horse News Glacier Adventure Guides owner Greg Fortin recently showed some kindness to the Blackfeet Tribe. Fortin, whose been a guiding in Glacier Park and the Flathead and Kootenai Forests for years, last mo...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2018 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X