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Flathead fire conditions remain active during winter months

Posted at 2:44 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 16:44:49-05

Despite above average moisture, fire officials in the Flathead Valley warn of possible fire danger during winter months.

Flathead County Fire Service Area Manager Lincoln Chute said abnormal winter weather has left the valley with inconsistent snow coverage for this time of year.

Even during winter months, Chute said dry conditions with an ignition source can push fires along with high winds.

“If we get an ignition source and there’s enough wind to push it, it will move right through the brown grass, even some of the trees and stuff this time of year,” said Chute.

This past week, thousands of acres burned after a fire sparked in eastern Montana spreading rapidly due to severe high winds.

Chute said shrubs and trees in the valley won’t start absorbing moisture until the spring leaving them vulnerable to spread fire during winter months.

He added to always be aware of your surroundings and to contact emergency officials immediately if you see a fire developing.