With the warmer, drier weather, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes has issued a list of tips for when you are planning to burn debris on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Here is what they strongly suggest:
Debris Burning Checklist
• Have you considered other alternatives to burning?
• Have you obtained your burn permit? (When required, May 1-June 30)
• Have you checked the weather forecast? Forecasted winds?
• Have you checked to see if it is a “Burn or No Burn Day?” Air Quality — 800-225-6779
• Have you notified proper authorities of your burn, i.e. location and size?
Lake Co. No notifications are necessary
Sanders Co. 826-3061
Missoula Co. 728-0911
Flathead Co. 758-5260
Before You Light
• Have you scouted the area you are going to burn?
• Do you have control lines between your land and adjacent lands?
• Have you cleared weeds and grass around telephone poles,
Utility boxes, gas meters, propane tanks, cottonwood trees, corrals or sheds?
• Have you created fire breaks to keep your fire from spreading beyond the intended burn area or piles?
• Do you have adequate equipment, tools, water and personnel on site to keep your fire from escaping?
While You’re Burning
• Keep your fires small: avoid burning large areas at one time.
• Always burn against the wind and be cautious of wind shifts.
• If winds increase, consider extinguishing your fire.
• Monitor you fire at all times.
After the Burn
• Walk the fire perimeter: check for any smoldering piles or debris that could reignite if winds increase.
• Spread any hotspots around with a rake or other tool. If water is available, use it to cool hotspots.
• Pile burns should be monitored for a few days after your burn.
• Stay on the site until the fire is out.
The number-one cause of wildfires on the Flathead Indian Reservation is careless debris burning. Burning on windy days, when it is too hot and dry, or leaving their burns unattended are the most common reasons.
Don’t let your fire escape.