KALISPELL – Open Spring burning season is ending due to the risk of wildfires. As of Sunday, July 1 no debris burning is allowed in Flathead and Northern Lake Counties.
Each summer more than 70% of wildfires in the Flathead are caused by human activity, with top causes being escaped and illegal debris burns.
Debris burning is not allowed in July, August, and September due to the increased fire danger during Montana’s fire season.
“The big sticks the slash piles, you can have a campfire, that needs to be small, it needs to be maintained, put some rocks around it, and put it out. That’s putting a buck of water in it and stirring it around,” said Lincoln Chute Flathead County Office of Emergency Fire manager.
Recreational campfires are allowed during prohibited months unless further fire restrictions are issued by Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) or your local fire district. Open burning will begin again October 1 as conditions allow.
There is time to use debris burning season to prune lower branches, remove ladder fuels, and prepare property for fire season. Even when no burning is allowed, there are other simple ways to prepare for this fire season:
You can clean out gutters and rake any leaves or needles from around your home and under porches or decks to create a three to five-foot noncombustible perimeter.
Additionally, prepare a Family Emergency Plan and include where you would go in an evacuation situation and what you would bring with you, make copies of all important documents, create a list of sentimental or irreplaceable items, and update your home inventory.
Post your address at the end of your driveway and on your house using contrasting text on reflective noncombustible material.
Anyone with questions regarding debris burning, creating defensible space, or preparing for wildfire season, contact the Kalispell Unit of the DNRC at (406) 751-2270.