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Out of control burn piles taxing Flathead firefighters

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Posted at 1:36 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 21:31:02-04

KALISPELL — Despite cooler wetter weather Flathead fire officials are warning homeowners about out of control burn piles and how they can tax emergency services.

Flathead Fire Area manager Lincoln Chute told MTN News that emergency service personnel have heightened awareness right now responding to any call because of COVID-19 concerns.

Chute explained that there are extra cleaning procedures as well as personal protective equipment that need to be used. He also said that people should be taking extra responsibility for their burn piles to prevent a pile from growing and possibly burning structures.

"It takes resources and then when we have multiple big wild land fires that are, unnecessary," he said. "People need to take a little more responsibility and pre-plan a little better when they're doing some of these controlled burns."

Chute told MTN News that people should start their burn piles mall and burning should start at the edges, explaining that starting at the edges helps if the pile gets out of control it won't run into any structures.

He also suggests having a handful of people to manage the controlled burn and enough water in case the pile gets out of control.