KALISPELL — Dillon Tabish with Fish, Wildlife and Parks says originally during Gov. Steve Bullock's shelter in place order, FWP had no intentions of opening up state campgrounds.
However, Tabish explained to MTN with the state's phased reopening, on Friday campgrounds are officially opening.
"We originally said we weren't going allow any camping for any of our sites, but now that we've got this reopening plan," he said.
He said campground numbers are already soaring. He attributes this to the nicer weather and people wanting to get outside after sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
"Numbers similar to the summer season at our fishing access sites and our state parks," explained Tabish.
However, Flathead County Health Officer Hillary Hanson reminds people to continue practicing social distancing.
"We still want people as much as possible to be staying together in their family units," said Hanson." So, if you're camping go with family, go with folks you've already been around and really stay with those folks during that time. Make sure you're still social distancing from others that may be at the campgrounds."
She added being outside doesn't mean you're safe from the virus. You should still take safety measures.
"There are still surfaces outside when you're camping, you're still using tables chairs, etc. And so definitely, being outside does not mean you're safe from COVID-19," she said. "We want people to still be taking the same precautions."
Hanson reminds people if you've traveled from out of state, regardless if you're a Montana resident you need to self-quarantine for 14 days. That means staying inside your home.
If you're interested in camp sites that are open please visit Montana state park's website.