KALISPELL – Officials say that a Tuesday grass fire in Whitefish was sparked after a controlled debris burn that got out of hand.
Lincoln Chute with Flathead Emergency Management says multiple agencies responded to Sunset Prairie Lane off of KM Ranch Road in Whitefish on Tuesday around 5 p.m.
He told MTN News that 40 acres burned, while a mobile home and a vehicle were also destroyed in the fire as bone dry grass and light winds fed the fire.
Chute is reminding people to keep an eye on their controlled burns and to be prepared and suggests having a hose and gallons of water ready in case.
“We do need to use some extra caution this time of year. The fuels are very receptive to fire right now especially if there’s the sun on it and a light breeze. And only three to five miles [per hour] makes a huge difference. It doesn’t take a huge wind,” Chute said.
He also suggests that people start creating defensible spaces around their homes now in preparation for fire season.
Cutting limbs off of trees and creating defensible space could save your home from a wildfire by preventing small embers that jump easily from spreading, according to Chute.
More information about preparing your home for wildfire season can be found here.
Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News