Grant Creek residents want help with garbage pickup, wildfire readiness

Neptune Aviation air tankers aided in the quick suppression of a wildfire last summer in Missoula’s Grant Creek Valley. (Neptune Aviation photo)

By Sherry Devlin/Missoula Current

Residents of Missoula’s Grant Creek subdivision want a little more time to get their garbage to the curb on collection day, a neighborhood leader told City Council members Monday.

They’re also worried about wildfires, knowing the one-way-out neighborhood won’t always be lucky when a spark flares in the thick timber, said Bert Lindler of the Grant Creek Neighborhood Council.

Lindler said Missoula Animal  Control recently gave out 54 warnings to residents who did not comply with the city’s Bear Buffer Zone regulation forbidding garbage to be left on the curb overnight.

The trash is simply too large an attractant for the many bears that inhabit Grant Creek and other buffer zones in Missoula. The area also has significant numbers of deer, elk and mountain lions.

But Lindler said residents at last week’s neighborhood council meeting asked their leaders to work with the city and Republic Services for an adjustment in the time their trash is picked up on Wednesdays.

The city’s regulation would remain the same, but Republic Services wouldn’t send their collection trucks into Grant Creek until 7:30 a.m. or after.

At present, Lindler said, garbage trucks reach some residences in Grant Creek by 6 a.m.

The second concern voiced at last week’s meeting was for wildfire, and whether the valley is prepared for the certainty of wildfires.

A fire in Grant Creek last summer was quickly caught by an outpouring of help from local, state and Forest Service firefighters – and retardant drops from Neptune Aviation’s tankers.

Lindler said neighborhood leaders are going to work with the state Department of Natural Resources to assess fire hazards across all ownerships in the Grant Creek Valley.

“We all know it would not be good to have a major fire in Grant Creek,” he said.

Sherry Devlin is a longtime Missoula journalist. She  can be reached at info@missoulacurrent.com.