Saturday, January 28, 2023

Fire danger significant

by By Larry Wilson
| September 7, 2022 6:35 AM

The causes of global warming are way beyond my ability to figure out. It doesn’t take a genius to see that summers are longer than they used to be and so is the fire season. In recent years, it has become common for smoke to obscure any view of the mountains and the stench of smoke is a frequent odor in the air.

That is the way it has been for the last week on the North Fork. Obscured mountain views and the smell of smoke. The only North Fork fire is the Quartz Fire in Glacier Park and fire folks seem to believe it will remain in Glacier’s high country and poses little or no risk to the North Fork Valley. One small Ranger cabin is somewhat at risk and has been wrapped and protected with sprinklers.

Other than that there have been no active fires on the North Fork except for small lightning strikes that local Forest Service crews have quickly suppressed. Most of our smoke seems to come from the far away Elmo Fire and the Weasel Fire, neither of which threatens us. Even though it is September and nightime temperatures are cool, daytime temperatures are still near 90 so we need to remain careful and watchful.

The Forest Service has finally started work on Trail Creek Road. In fact, it is currently closed, as they are doing major work west of Tuchuck campground. Since the road is open to Tuchuck private landowners on Trail Creek have full access to their property and Tuchuck campground is open but several trails to the North are closed due to the Weasel Fire in Canada.

The lower or east end of Trail Creek Road is very rough and badly in need of grading. This was promised for July but, so far, it has not been done. The road is so rough that you have to drive so slow you can really watch for wildlife.

With the road closed to Eureka, locals are unable to travel west to pick late season huckleberries or journey to Eureka for a meal. One good thing about the road closure is that it has stopped the convoys of ATV’s and side by sides. These vehicles always seem to be driving too fast, are spaced out to maximize dust and have inadequate mufflers.

Personally, I miss the folks on bicycles. They make no noise, are mostly friendly and I really enjoy seeing their faces which almost always hide the fact they are riding because they are having fun. Luckily only one of these fun seekers had a heart attack and died this year on the North Fork.

Hopefully, Trail Creek Road will be graded this year.

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