LIBBY – The continued hot and dry weather has prompted fire officials in northwest Montana to once again hike the fire danger.
The Lincoln County Commission has issued an emergency resolution to institute Stage I fire restrictions which means all open burning is now off limits.
The resolution states that stove fires, campfires and charcoal fires are now only allowed in designated campgrounds or recreation sites.
The Stage I fire restrictions — which also cover the Kootenai National Forest — will stay in effect in Lincoln County until further notice.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks provides the following information about Stage I fire restrictions:
The following acts are prohibited until further notice:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire unless noted in the exemptions below.
- 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.
- Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
- Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.
- Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.
- Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
- All land within a city boundary is exempted.
- Other exemptions unique to each agency/tribe.
- Campfires allowed within established steel fire grates at all state parks and some fishing access sites under Stage I Fire Restrictions.
- You could be fined up to $5,000 individually or $10,000 for an organization and imprisonment up to 6 months for violating restrictions and closures.
- You can be held liable for all suppression costs and damages if you start a fire.