For Northwest Montana residents, there’s no denying that wildfire season is an ever-present part of life. With dry conditions and heavy winds, wildfires can flare up without a moment’s notice, leaving us scrambling to prepare.
To help better understand and prepare for what fire season may bring each year, Flathead Community College has organized a lecture series combining experts from diverse backgrounds – including foresters and firefighters with decades of experience – to give those in the community the best chance of being prepared when flames start licking at our fingertips. Attend this informative series on Thursdays from February 23rd to March 16th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, as we explore all aspects of wildland fires and how to prepare for the 2023 fire season.
February 23rd – Debris Pile Burning Workshop
Disposal of forest debris resulting from fuels reduction, forest management projects and even simple yard clean up requires a great deal of care and should always be done in accordance with local air quality regulations. Burning is an appropriate way to dispose of brush, small pieces of woody materials, and other organic wastes that result from these activities. However, it is important to become familiar with the best practices for constructing and burning piles, as well as obtaining a valid burn permit prior to starting the fire. The first lecture in the series, FireSafe Flathead in partnership with Montana DNRC, offers educational resources that provide guidance on where to construct the pile, how to safely and effectively burn it, and other important information regarding air quality regulations.
The Debris Pile Burning presentation will take place on Thursday, February 23rd from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Arts & Technology Building at Flathead Community College. This presentation is open to the public and costs nothing to attend. No registration is required.
March 2nd – Introduction to Forestry for Landowners
Ownership of land comes with a unique opportunity to learn about and engage with your trees, wildlife habitat, and weeds. Join DNRC Service Forester Holly McKenzie for an introduction to basic forestry and find out firsthand how managing your land can lead to a range of positive outcomes. Gain knowledge on how to identify different tree species, assess the health of individual trees, and recognize signs of disease or insect infestation. Discover how thinning dense stands of trees can minimize wildfire risk while producing valuable wood products such as lumber or firewood. Learn more about the state-specific regulations that apply to your property, including those regarding timber harvest activities.
The Introduction to Forestry for Landowners presentation will take place on Thursday, March 2nd from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Arts & Technology Building at Flathead Community College. This presentation is open to the public and costs nothing to attend. No registration is required.
March 9th – The History of Wildland Fire in Northwest Montana
This picture-based presentation on area wildfire history, hosted by a Forest Fire Management Instructor with 56 years of wildland fire experience, is an opportunity to learn from historic fire and be better prepared for future fires. In this presentation, attendees will explore the Native American influence on wildfire management and how that legacy has impacted current events. Attendees will gain insight into Native American burning practices, which help shape vegetation patterns, reduce the risk of catastrophic fires, and maintain healthy ecosystems in our area. The presentation will also cover more recent wildfire events and how we can use the lessons from these events to inform our management strategies going forward. With a deeper understanding of forest fire history in the region, we can make more informed decisions about how best to manage wildland fires as well as the economic costs associated with them. It’s an invaluable chance to learn from experience to better anticipate future fire activity and minimize its damaging effects.
The History of Wildland Fire in Northwest Montana presentation will take place on Thursday, March 9th from 6:00-8:00pm in the Arts & Technology Building at Flathead Community College. This presentation is open to the public and costs nothing to attend. No registration is required.
March 16th – Prepare for Fire Season
Wildfires have become increasingly frequent and destructive, leading to the need for greater preparedness from individuals, families, and communities. FireSafe Flathead is hosting this presentation and discussion to help people better protect their homes and properties from wildfire risk. The event will cover concepts such as choosing fire-resistant building materials and ensuring proper home maintenance, creating defensible spaces in one’s Home Ignition Zone with strategic landscaping choices, evacuation planning in case of an emergency, and much more. These tips from FireSafe Flathead are especially important in high-risk areas such as Flathead County, where temperatures are rising faster than average due to climate change. It is beneficial for those living in these types of regions to participate in the event so they can be better informed about the risks of wildfires and available methods of prevention. Taking steps now can help minimize damage from future fires and ensure the safety of our families, homes, properties, and communities.
The Prepare for Fire Season presentation will take place on Thursday, March 16th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Arts & Technology Building at Flathead Community College. This presentation is open to the public and costs nothing to attend. No registration is required.
Are you a property owner in Flathead County?
Flathead Community College’s Wildfire Prevention series can be especially beneficial for residential property owners to prepare their properties for the upcoming fire season!
If you’re a property owner in Flathead County or the surrounding areas, get a free property analysis on our website. You’ll receive a comprehensive report about your property and learn how PMI NW can help you with all your property management needs!
Call us at 406.426.1916 or click here to get your free property analysis now.