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Bitterroot Valley Has First Major Fire of 2013, 50 Acres Burned

It’s not even spring, and already the Bitterroot Valley has had its first major grass fire of 2013.

The fire, which took place on the afternoon of March 5 occurred near the Three Mile area and was tackled by members of the Three Mile Fire Volunteer Fire Department, The Stevensville Volunteer Fire Department, as well as the Florence Volunteer Fire Department.

“A homeowner was burning his grass and branches and stuff like that,” Colleen Schmiedeke with the three Mile Fire Department said. “A little bit of wind came up and blew it out into some taller grass, which he thought was wet, but obviously was dry. It expanded to about 50 acres.”

Schmiedeke said no structures or people were injured in the blaze which took about two and a half hours to bring under control.

The fire was still burning in a ravine on Tuesday, March 5, because the homeowner wanted the ravine cleared out.

Schmiedeke said that homeowner started fires are not uncommon and that people need to be sure to try to burn in the morning hours when grass have not dried out and strong winds are less common.

Colleen Schmiedeke:

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