Lincoln County residents are taking advantage of the spring open burning season by getting work done outside while social-distancing.
While interagency wildfire managers say they support fuels reduction work around homes and property, they recommend taking extra care to avoid putting unnecessary stress on limited firefighting resources because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“We understand how important this work is, but we are also aware that our first responders are dealing with medical calls and COVID-19 concerns,” said Logan Sandman, Fire Management Officer for the Libby Unit of the DNRC.
Interagency firefighters in Lincoln County report they responded to eight escaped debris burns for a total of 53-acres last month.
Excess smoke in the air also has an impact on the health of those in the community affected by respiratory illness, including asbestos-related disease and COVID-19. Libby Air Quality Control District suggests building piles of clean, dry vegetation that will burn hot and fast rather than green wet plants as they cause more smoke.
They also say to not burn when winds are predicted and cause risks for possible wildfires. Residential burns inside the Libby Air Quality Control District are only allowed in April. A free burn permit issued from the Lincoln County Health Department is required before any buring occurs.