State Declares End to Fire Season

By Beacon Staff

Montana’s fire season will officially end at midnight tonight and most restrictions will be lifted across the state, according to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

DNRC Director Mary Sexton and Forestry Division Administrator Bob Harrington signed the proclamation effectively ending the wildfire season and rescinding fire restrictions for state and private classified forest lands.

Fire restrictions will remain in some areas of the state, but open burning will be permitted in Flathead and Lake counties until Nov. 30. Burning will be shut down from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28 due to air quality regulations.

“Just because our official fire season has ended doesn’t mean the wildfire risk is completely gone,” Sexton said in a statement. “While some areas of Montana have received significant rainfall, other parts of the state continue to be dry and some are still in moderate to high fire danger.”

Sexton continues to encourage the public to take extreme caution with off-road vehicle use, the use of cutting torches or welding equipment, camp fires or any other activities that could potentially start a wildfire.

Montana’s 2012 fire season was extremely active, with more than one million acres burned. Fire activity began in earnest in mid-June and persisted late into September.

For more information about regulations in the Flathead, visit www.firesafekalispell.com.

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