A meeting of recognized ‘firewise’ communities in the Whitefish area was held on August 28, 2014 by the Whitefish Area Fire Safe Council (WAFSC). The meeting took place in a private fire lookout at the top of Lion Mountain in Whitefish, owned by Bick and Bonnie Smith. The meeting was attended by approximately 20 people from various Whitefish ‘firewise’ communities, along with WAFSC ‘partners’ from DNRC, USFS, Whitefish Fire Department, and Flathead Economic Partners. Bick Smith is on the board of WAFSC.
Whitefish currently has five officially recognized ‘firewise’ communities, and is in the process of creating more in order to complete a ‘network’ of ‘firewise’ communities surrounding the city of Whitefish to help reduce the intensity of any wildfire, and to create safe ‘work places’ for firefighters in the event wildfire visits the community.
The ‘Firewise’ communities attending the meeting consisted of Suncrest, Wolf Tail Pines, Grouse Mountain Estates, Lion Mountain Estates, and Elkhorn. This year marks the tenth anniversary for Elkhorn’s participation as a recognized ‘firewise’ community. A representative from the community of Glacier Hills near Coram (which is in the process of becoming a ‘firewise’ community) also reported on activities within that community. Each community reported on their ‘firewise’ activities for the past year, and discussed plans for the future. (Please see photos of the meeting).
Monarch-Neihart held an all-day ‘Wildfire Awareness’ event on Saturday, August 9, 2014 (please see photos above). Smokey Bear was in attendance to celebrate his 70th birthday. Keep up the good work Monarch-Neihart.
Georgetown Lake HOA held its ‘Wildfire Awareness’ Event on Sunday, August 10, 2014. FireSafe Montana Board member Rich Blaney spoke about beetle killed timber at the event. Nice job Georgetown Lake HOA.
Today marks the 70th birthday of our good friend Smokey Bear. This year’s theme is “No candles please!”, which is excellent advice for any August day in Montana. Smokey has been doing his part to prevent wildfires longer than most of us have been alive, and we salute his efforts on this special day. We assume that ‘clean livin’ is responsible for Smokey’s dark shiny coat with hardly a grey hair in sight. For more information about Smokey’s birthday, please click here. For some little-known facts about Smokey, please click here.
To view best selling author Tim Egan’s opinion piece that concludes the people who “hate” government most are also the loudest voices demanding government action to save their homes, click here. For an excellent book about the fires of 1910 and the United States Forest Service, please see Egan, Tim (2009). The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America, Boston. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.