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Stage II Fire Restrictions to begin across NW Montana

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Posted at 4:12 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 18:12:41-04

KALISPELL — The wildfire danger level is set to rise once again across northwest Montana.

Stage II Fire Restrictions will go begin at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 26 across the Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks sites, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Kalispell, Stillwater, and Swan Units, and Flathead County.

Interagency fire managers note the goal of the higher fire restrictions is to reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires during periods of high to extreme danger.

Officials note that each year, 70 to 80% of wildfires are human-caused and this summer the trend has continued.

Northwest Montana is currently experiencing drought conditions including extremely dry forest fuels and weather forecasts of high temperatures accompanied by wind, low humidity, and minimal precipitation.

Click here to view fire restriction information across Montana.

Stage II Fire Restrictions Prohibit:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or wood stove fire.
  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.
  3. Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.
  4. The following acts are prohibited from the hours of 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Outside of these hours a one-hour foot patrol in the work area is required following cessation of all activities as identified below. Non-Federal lands within Lincoln County require a two-hour foot patrol:
    1. Operating an Internal Combustion Engine.
    2. Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
    3. Using an explosive.

EXEMPTIONS:

  1. Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
  2. Persons using a device fueled solely 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.
  3. Operating generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.
  4. Operating motorized vehicles on designated roads and trails.
  5. Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads as per attached conditions.
  6. Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.
  7. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  8. All land within a city boundary is exempted unless otherwise noted.
  9. Other exemptions unique to each agency/tribe.

Federal, State, and Private jurisdictions under Stage II restrictions include:

  • Flathead National Forest lands outside the Great Bear and Bob Marshall Wilderness, in Flathead, Lake, Missoula, Lewis and Clark, and Powell counties, Montana.
  • Kootenai National Forest lands in Flathead, Lincoln, and Sanders counties in Montana and Kootenai National Forest lands in Bonner and Boundary counties in Idaho.
  • Glacier National Park
  • Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), Kalispell, Libby, Stillwater, and Swan Units. State Land and Private Classified Forested Land within Flathead, Sanders and Lincoln counties.
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Region 1 within Flathead, Lake, Sanders, and Lincoln counties.
  • Flathead County
  • Lincoln County
  • Sanders County
  • Lake County
  • Cities of Libby and Troy, Montana
  • Flathead Ridge Ranch is not allowing any fires on their lands.
  • Stimson Private Timber Company is not allowing any fires on their lands. No camping is allowed unless in a specifically designated area along Fisher River. Motorized use is not allowed behind closed gates.
  • F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Company is not allowing fires, camping, smoking, fireworks, shooting, use of internal combustion engines, or motorized vehicles on or off-road (Unless on an open, public road). These restrictions begin July 22 at 12:01 a.m. Non-motorized use is currently allowed until further notice.
  • Green Diamond Resource Company lands in Lincoln, Sanders, and Flathead Counties.
  • SPP Montana timberlands in Lincoln, Sanders, and Flathead Counties.

Please keep wildfire prevention in mind when visiting your public lands. Never park in tall, dry grass. The heat from your undercarriage and exhaust pipe can cause accidental ignition. When traveling to and from your public lands with any type of trailer ensure your chains are properly connected. Dragging chains can easily spark a wildfire.