Flathead National Forest eases fire restrictions to Stage I

Fire restrictions ease a bit to Stage I in the Flathead National Forest starting today. Other federal and state lands will likely follow suit. Commissioner gridlock will probably keep Flathead County at Stage II restrictions over the long weekend.

Here’s the meat of the Flathead Forest press release announcing the changes . . .

Weather conditions have been a contributing factor for the Flathead National Forest to move the current fire restrictions to Stage I, which become effective at 0001 a.m. Mountain daylight time on Saturday, September 5, 2015.  Under Stage I, stove fires, campfires and charcoal fires are allowed ONLY at developed recreation sites (See the list below or contact your local agency for a list of sites), fires within rock fire rings are not authorized.  Smoking is allowed only 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 flammable materials.   There will be no fire restrictions within the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness areas within the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

The restrictions may continue into the hunting season until the area receives enough moisture to ensure that wildfire starts will be at a minimum. Hunters need to check for restrictions in the area they plan to be, and adhere to those restrictions accordingly.

Fire Danger is currently at level High.  When the fire danger is “high”, fires can start easily from most causes and small fuels (such as grasses and needles) will ignite readily.  Unattended campfires and brush fires are likely to escape.  Fires will spread easily, with some areas of high-intensity burning on slopes or concentrated fuels;  so always crush smokes dead out; never leave a campfire unattended; ensure that your vehicle has a properly installed spark arrester that is operational; stop and park only in areas clear of vegetation;

For further information contact the Flathead National Forest at (406) 758-5200 or visit the Flathead National Forest web page, www.fs.usda.gov/flathead and http://firerestrictions.us.

Continue reading . . .

Also read: Flathead County Stays at Stage 2 Fire Restrictions for Long Weekend (Flathead Beacon)