A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

10 July 2017 — 0740 mdt

Why isn’t there a forestfire.gov website?

The smoke plume below was rising from the west-southwest when I returned home yesterday. When I tried to find the fire’s location, all I could find on the internet was a story in the Flathead Beacon about a fire west of Kalispell, located between Loon Lake and Rogers Mountain. The Beacon had a map. Later, a Facebook friend reminded me that fire information is available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov.

Every summer, I need to relearn that URL because the name is so anti-intuitive. There should be a forestfire.gov website, but for the bureaucrats in charge that kind of clarity in a website’s name probably is frowned upon as an amateurish display of candor and clarity.

As for the fire producing the smoke I saw, InciWeb is no help. As of the time of this post, it listed only the July Fire in eastern Montana.


Taken two miles northwest of Kalispell at 1916 MDT yesterday. The smoke is coming from west-southwest, and probably is from the Lazier Creek Fire.