Wildfires in Western Montana

Presented by Rick Trembath

Black-backed Woodpecker on Fire-killed Tree – Photo Credit: Audubon

Flathead Audubon will have a special program on Monday, January 8 by Bigfork resident, Rick Trembath. He will provide a historical perspective on wild fires and how they affect flora and fauna based on fire intensities and behavior. Other fire-related topics include: how forest fires burn; forest fire management with examples of suppression and use; forest fire smoke, origins, drift patterns, inversion and smoke management and issues involved with protecting the wildland urban interface. The meeting will be held at the Gateway Community Meeting Room on Highway 2 West from 7-9 PM. The program is free and open to the public.

Rick’s experience as a fire fighter began at the young age of 16 when he was recruited by his scout master in northern Minnesota to help put out wildfires. In 1967-1969, he was on the Flathead Hot Shot Crew and fought fires for the US Forest Service until retiring in 2003 and worked for the MT DNRC from 2004-2017. He also served as the Team Safety Officer on the Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Teams for 22 years. He was a structure firefighter for 35 years at the Bigfork Fire Department and served as chief for 5 years. He has taught a “Forest Fire Management” class for Natural Resource Students at FVCC since 2011 and teaches various wildland fire safety operations classes to fire contractors and structure firefighters.

Rick is no stranger to the Flathead Audubon Society. He helped establish our chapter in the 1970’s.