DNRC issues northwest Montana fire danger reminder

Posted at 8:20 AM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 10:20:10-04

KALISPELL – Local fire officials want to remind folks across northwest Montana that the area’s fire danger remains "very high."

Ali Ulwelling with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation points out that the recent hot and dry weather is continuing to cause grasses and forest fuels to dry out quickly.

Residents and visitors in northwest Montana are being reminded to be aware of what fire restrictions are currently in place. Ulwelling says the fire restrictions are aimed at cutting down on the number of human-caused wildfires.

The Kootenai National Forest and Lincoln County are currently in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. A list of exempted campgrounds may be found here.

Additionally, Ulwelling says in a news release that Stage 1 Fire Restrictions for the DNRC’s Libby and Plains units — as well as Sanders County — will enact Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on Friday.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions prohibit:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire except with a developed recreation site or improved site.
  2. 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.

Campfires are still allowed in the Flathead National Forest while in  Glacier National Park and in state parks, fires are allowed only within the designated fire rings. Folks are also being asked to adjust trailer chains so they are not dragging.

Ulwelling reports that Northwest Montana saw over 50 fires in the past week — including several that were human-caused.