Posted: Aug 14, 2012 7:00 AM by Mark Thorsell - KPAX News
Updated: Aug 14, 2012 8:06 AM
HAMILTON- Expected breezy weather, combined with the discovery of several abandoned campfires over the weekend, have prompted the Bitterroot National Forest to put Stage 1 Fire Restrictions into effect, beginning this weekend.
Forest spokesman Tod McKay says the new rules will kick in at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 18th, and mean that "building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, and smoking, unless within an enclosed vehicle or building" are not allowed, according to a news release.
Campfires are only going to allowed in a designated campground or recreation site which contains a Forest-provided fire ring, and will not be permitted at sites on the Bitterroot National Forest that do not have a Forest-provided fire ring.
McKay says that firefighters found and extinguished three abandoned campfires in the Bitterroot National Forest over the weekend. Two of the fires were left burning in fire rings at camp areas on the Darby and Stevensville Ranger districts.
Meanwhile, fire crews were busy Monday responding to 12 lightning caused fires from last week's strong thunderstorms, which McKay says produced over 500 confirmed lightning strikes.