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Flathead County to enter Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 23:15:54-04

KALISPELL — County Commissioners have approved a resolution to move Flathead County into Stage I Fire Restrictions starting Saturday at midnight.

Commissioners said fire danger has worsened in the county due to extreme hot, dry, and windy conditions. Stage I fire restrictions on all private lands in Flathead County include building, maintaining, or using a fire or campfire.

Smoking, except with an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that’s cleared of all flammable materials.

Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.

Flathead County Fire Area Manager Lincoln Chute said the Flathead is a little greener than neighboring counties that have already moved into Stage Two Fire Restrictions.

He said the Flathead may be joining those counties in Stage II soon.

“There’s a little island, it’s really about the Blackfoot Tribe property over to Olney, the Canadian border to the north end of Flathead Lake where we’re a little greener, we got a couple of those deep soaking rains here a while ago and that’s held us on, but that moisture is leaving us rapidly,” Chute tells MTN News.

Exemptions for Stage I restrictions include:

  • Persons with written permits that specifically authorize the otherwise 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 area 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.