Aug 27, 2012 3:34 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
MISSOULA- Fire management officials in southwest Montana are instituting Stage 1 fire restrictions as of midnight on Wednesday, August 29th as our stretch of hot and dry weather continues.
The new rules specifically apply to campfires and smoking on the Flathead Indian Reservation and the Lolo National Forest. The Bitterroot National Forest and the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge already have the tougher rules in place.
With some exceptions, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire is not allowed. The same goes for smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
Devices solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off will still be allowed, but must be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device, according to a news release.
The restrictions will remain in effect until there is a significant change in fire danger, which is well above average for this time of year in Western Montana.
Forests at all elevations are dry according to Boyd Hartwig with the Lolo National Forest. Fire management officials say they are hopeful that the Stage 1 fire restrictions there will be fewer preventable person-caused wildland fires.
Stage 1 fire restrictions also remain in effect in all of Ravalli County.
Click here for the most current fire restrictions.