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Bird Island on Flathead Lake Closed to Public Access Due to Wildfire Danger

Enforcement - Region 1

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Kalispell, MT — Bird Island on Flathead Lake near Finley Point is closed to public access due to wildfire danger.

A wildfire is actively burning on the island, creating unsafe fire conditions and hazardous trees. These safety concerns pose threats to public safety, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks implemented an emergency closure effective immediately on Aug. 4, 2020. The island is closed to all public access and recreation until further notice.

Bird Island, encompassing 30 acres off the southeast shore of the lake, is a Wildlife Habitat Protection Area that was originally purchased for goose nesting.

FWP has worked closely with Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and would like to thank crews for promptly responding to the fire. Due to serious safety concerns related to fighting the fire on the island, FWP has made the decision to not actively suppress the fire.

“There is a lot of dense undergrowth, downed or hanging tree snags and other hazards that make it unsafe for firefighters,” said Neil Anderson, FWP Regional Wildlife Manager.

“We recognize there may be concerns about the fire’s damage to the island but the risk to the safety of the firefighters is too significant to actively engage the fire.”