Ecosystem restoration fire planned for Flathead River Valley

A prescribed fire is being planned in the Elder Creek drainage of the Flathead River Valley to take place between Sept. 19 and Oct. 1

  • Sep. 19, 2014 8:00 a.m.

A prescribed fire is being planned in the Elder Creek  drainage of the Flathead River Valley to take place between Sept. 19 and  Oct. 1, 2014, weather conditions permitting.

This controlled fire is being implemented as part of the Ecosystem Restoration Program developed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Ministry of Environment.

The primary goal of this prescribed fire is to restore high-elevation grizzly bear habitat through achieving the following objectives:

• Stimulate black huckleberry production by reducing the lodgepole pine crown closure.

• Improve white pine recruitment by maintaining seed trees on site, improving the seed bed and decreasing competition.

• Reduce ground fuels as a method to decrease the likelihood of ecologically destructive fires.

• Decrease the canopy cover to regain a park-like structure.

Effects from smoke on surrounding communities will be minimal due to the remoteness of the area. Prescribed fires may only be ignited on days when the forecast for the venting index is “good” or better. All prescribed fires must comply with the Environmental Management Act’s open burning smoke control regulation, which helps minimize the amount of smoke that’s produced.

A Wildfire Management Branch Initial Attack crew will be on hand to ensure the fire is contained to the intended burn area.