Ravalli County bans open burning because of growing fire danger

Posted at 3:44 PM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 19:06:22-04

HAMILTON – Concerned over the growing threat of wildfire, Ravalli County commissioners are ordering a ban on outdoor debris burning, effective mid-week.

Commissioners ordered the ban on open burning after being advised on the forecast for continued hot, dry conditions and also the re-deployment of firefighters to help with blazes burning elsewhere in the region.

The ban goes into effect at midnight on Wednesday and means the entire Burn Permit System is being shut down until conditions improve.

Campfires up to 48″ in diameter are still being allowed, as long as they are fully attended and completely extinguished when breaking camp.

Keep in mind the following fire prevention tips:

  • Avoid driving or parking vehicles in tall, dry grass. Exhaust systems and catalytic converters easily start fires.
  • Make sure safety chains on trailers or other equipment do not drag, causing sparks.
  • Dispose of smoking materials properly. In a vehicle, use the ashtray; outside, crush smoking materials and matches dead out on bare ground larger than 3′ in diameter.
  • Make sure all mechanical outdoor equipment (tractors, chainsaws, off-road vehicles, etc.) are equipped with properly-working mufflers, spark arresters, and bearings.

The fire danger remains “high” on the Bitterroot National Forest.