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Em Kayan Village

Em-Kayan VillageEm-Kayan Village is located approximately seven miles from Libby, Montana in the northwest corner of the state. Em-Kayan Village was established in 1966 by Morrison Knudson, the engineers for the Libby Dam project, as a housing area for its staff. The Village has grown steadily and now includes 58 homes. It is surrounded by USDA-Forest Service lands and all homes sit on forested lots ranging in size from less than one acre to approximately three acres.

Em-Kayan VillageThe national forest around the village and the village itself had become increasingly susceptible to wildfire because of drought, an abundance of small trees and underbrush. Cooperative efforts by the USDA-Forest Service, Montana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and local residents have reduced the fire danger and restored the health of our forested area. In 2002, the Forest Service began clearing undergrowth, small trees, and ladder fuels within their jurisdiction on lands surrounding the Village. At the same time, the Montana DNR offered grants to area homeowners to treat their own property for fuels reduction. Many homeowners thinned trees and cut underbrush. The result was that property was opened visually, wildfire risk was reduced, and the beauty of the property was enhanced.

Em-Kayan VillageSince we are a new Firewise community, we still have much to do. We will encourage each non-resident lot owner to get on board and implement a fuels reduction program on his/her own property. We will also develop a long-range plan to assure continued support for this program.

Our Firewise Coordinator, Bob Castaneda, has many years of experience with the USDA-Forest Service and will be a great asset to the Village in implementing and maintaining a fire management program.